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Telstra and Rio aren’t the only big names reporting next week

While investors have already been treated to some early financial results from a few prompt companies, next week reporting season really gets into full swing.

On Tuesday, August 6, investors will hear from Cochlear (ASX: COH). The hearing device company is going to be under unusually close scrutiny following a profit downgrade and news of increased competitive threats from its main viral and from a new Chinese competitor.

Also on Tuesday, engineering firm Downer EDI (ASX: DOW) will release its full-year results. Downer has been winning a number of contracts recently which may boost its outlook but investors will still be using Downer as a guide for the wider mining services sector where investors have been forced to substantially lower their expectations.

Thursday, August 8, will be a big day for the stock market with two of the largest and most widely held companies reporting. Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) is due to release its half-year results and the market will be watching CEO Sam Walsh closely trying to garner any insights on how the resource giant is coping with lower prices and softer demand. The market won’t be interested only in how Rio is coping but will use Walsh’s outlook to assess how Rio’s major competitor BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and the multitude of second and third tier miners are traveling too.

Also on Thursday investors will hear from Telstra (ASX: TLS). There shouldn’t be too many surprises from the stable blue-chip telco but investors will want to know more about expected liabilities faced from asbestos as well as the potential for the dividend to be increased.

To round out the week on Friday, August 9, gaming firm Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) is expected to release its results. Tabcorps’s third-quarter results, released in April, showed low growth in revenue while the fourth quarter saw some changes to the firm’s operating environment with a levy applied to its Victorian gaming machine operations. Investors will be looking for clarity from management on Tabcorp’s growth prospects into the 2014 financial year.

Foolish takeaway

August reporting season is always an important time for investors. This season is shaping up to be particularly important with the possibility that earnings expectations are still too high compared to reality which may lead to a rethink and potential fall in the pricing of stocks.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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