The best and worst of reporting season


With the ASX reporting season at the tail end of its first round of reporting for 2024, let's look at some of the standouts and disappointments and check in on how some of our biggest companies fared.

First, if we take a bird's eye view of the results so far, you'll see that approximately 47% of companies have exceeded expectations, 19% have met expectations, and 37% have missed expectations.

Not bad if you ask me, especially considering all the talk of recession over the past couple of years, along with the inflationary challenges our economy has faced.

best and worst performers of february 2024 reporting season

Companies have shown remarkable resilience, with an average share price gain of 5% for companies reporting earnings 'beats,' according to UBS.

Now, of all the companies that beat expectations, I have highlighted a few that stood out to me below.

The standouts from February 2024 reporting season

Audinate (ASX: AD8), the technology and hardware company specialising in audio-visual solutions, reported an impressive 51% revenue increase, surpassing consensus estimates by 6%. Its share price has also increased 25% in the last five days.

Seven Group's (ASX: SVW) first-half group revenue jumped 17%, beating consensus by 7%. The most notable part of their report is related to their WesTrac business, which produced a 25% increase compared to consensus.

IDP Education (ASX: IEL) reported a commendable first-half result, with its share price up 17% in the last five days. Earnings for the first half of 2024 reached $159 million, exceeding analysts' forecasts by at least 18%.

Kogan's (ASX: KGN), to me, was the best of the bunch, and its shares surged by more than 17% after announcing a return to profitability. The online retailer reported a 136.4% rise in net profit after tax, reaching $8.7 million.

The underperforming stocks from February 2024 reporting season

Now, let's look at which market area underperformed this reporting period.

You may not be surprised that the real estate sector was hit with real estate giants REA Group (ASX: REA) and Domain (ASX: DHG) reporting weak results as rising interest rates impacted property price growth and listings.

Another notable disappointment was Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS), which saw a significant decline in both revenue and profit due to the slump in lithium prices.

To finish off, looking at some of the largest players in our market, we saw BHP miss expectations, albeit slightly, due to the challenges it faced with its nickel and coal business.

CBA also saw its net profit after tax decline by 8%, whilst Westpac faced a 6% decline in unaudited net profit.

What I find exciting is that in spite of the weak results the big players have reported, the All Ords index is trading at the monthly high, telling me that the market has been very happy with the reporting season overall.

That said, I expect the market to continue its bullish trend of 2024 leading into the next reporting period, taking out the all-time high on the All Ords index in the short term.

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Dale Gillham is chief investment analyst at Wealth Within Limited (AFSL 226347). He also serves as the head trainer at the Wealth Within Institute (RTO 21917). He has more than three decades of experience in the investment industry, and is the author of How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20%, Dale's qualifications include an Advanced Diploma and a Diploma of Share Trading and Investment. He co-hosts the Talking Wealth Podcast, and his work has appeared in The Australian Financial Review, New York Business Journal, Wall Street Select and more.