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Westfield up ahead of earnings report

Shares in Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) have gained 1.1% today and are back above the $11 mark ahead of the release of the property developer’s half-year results tomorrow.

Westfield’s shares have fallen over 12% since hitting a high of $12.55 in May. Consumer confidence and spending levels remain low and other property groups have delivered less than impressive earnings reports in recent weeks.

For instance, GPT Group (ASX: GPT) announced net profit after tax (NPAT) of $257 million for the six months ending 30 June, which was down 6.7% compared to the previous corresponding period. Diversified property group Stockland  (ASX: SGP) also delivered a 79% fall in statutory profit for the year.

Soft property conditions and economic uncertainty are likely to weigh on Westfield’s results, but the market will also be keen to learn the progress being made on redevelopment and expansion projects. Furthermore, investors will also be looking for confidence from Westfield regarding its economic outlook, considering the group has continued to increase shareholder returns. The company recently announced an estimated interim dividend distribution of 25.5c per share.

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

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