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5 company reports to review this weekend

This week, some big name stocks in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) (^AXJO) reported their half or full-year results. Here is a quick summary and rating out of five for their performance – where a rating of five means an impressive result and worth taking the time to read. One means it was an underwhelming result and not worth reading through the full report.

On Tuesday Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) announced a strong first quarter cash profit of $1.73 billion for the period – 13% higher than the previous corresponding period. The results were bolstered by a strong performance in the domestic retail market, low levels of bad debts, and the group’s International and Institutional banking arm in Asian markets, most notably its Global Markets business which notched up revenue of $600 million. Overall the result was modestly ahead of expectations and it continues to be the bank most likely to outperform in the medium term. Overall I give the report 4/5.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) followed with an impressive 14% increase in cash profit to $4.23 billion for the half year to 31 December 2013. Despite the above forecast profit growth, shares ended the day slightly lower. Perhaps it was the fact profits were fuelled by falling bad debt and competition for deposits and loans continued to drag on margins. Nevertheless, the group recorded a stellar profit and set the standard high for the full year. It declared a $1.83 dividend. Overall I give the result a 3/5.

Australia’s biggest Telco, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) announced an increase to its legendary 28 cent dividend, with a 14.5 cent payout declared. It notched up consistent growth across mobiles, Network Application Services (NAS) and its international division. It allowed net profit to jump 9.7% to $1.7 billion for the half year. Its performance paved the way for further growth of its booming businesses in Asia. Telstra remains a great company for dividends, safety and modest growth. Overall I view its progress in the last six months as 4/5.

On Thursday evening, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) proved the worst of its write-downs and losses could be behind it, after it posted $10.2 billion of underlying earnings. Its $3.7 billion net profit was up from a loss of $3 billion in 2012, but this turnaround story isn’t complete yet. It has a number of troubled businesses which continue to drag on the miner’s earnings and according to the results over 96% of underlying profit is derived from iron ore – a commodity tipped to fall in value. Despite the flaws, shareholders are able to catch a break from huge write-downs. It’s not out of the woods just yet, but it deserves a 4/5.

Lastly, one company which has really impressed me this week is Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR). The Tasmanian salmon producer today announced a profit increase of 42% from flat revenue growth. A transition from exporting its products has well and truly paid dividends for the company’s management. Against the previous corresponding period, EBITDA climbed 24%, the declared dividend was up 20%, diluted earnings per share grew 42%, operating cash flow climbed 30% and debt dropped over 5%. Being a past shareholder I’m disappointed I didn’t hold onto the shares, I give the report a 5/5.

Foolish takeaway

Earnings season is a great time of year to get a hold of your company’s annual or biannual report and see how it’s tracking. Gauge the company’s progress against management’s forecasts and your expectations. Don’t forget your portfolio only deserves the best.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any of the mentioned companies. 

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