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3 great shares to watch this reporting season

It feels like last year’s reporting season only just ended, but here we are again at the rough equivalent of Christmas for investors.

What’s in the stocking?

Will I get the presents I want?

Some companies will give you the equivalent of a remote control helicopter, or the latest I-gadget 3000.

Others will give you socks and underwear – not very exciting, but a lot more functional and long-lived than flashy wow-toys.

Finally, there’s some that will have you concluding that alas, no, Santa Claus isn’t real.

Now I like Santa as much as the next guy, so today’s article features only companies from the first two categories:

JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) Full Year results presentation.

Verdict: Socks and underwear, but the current retail environment is pretty Darwinian and JB continues to safeguard its place in the food chain.

An impressive performance in a subdued retail environment, JB Hi-Fi has delivered on all fronts, with all important metrics of performance rising.

Total sales (up 5.3%), comparable sales (up 2%), EBIT, NPAT, EPS, dividend, dividend payout ratio, and overall sales margins all rose by modest figures, and on top of that JB Hi-Fi bought back 1.4% of its shares on the open market. Costs of doing business remained constant, rising by 0.1%, and the New Zealand businesses look to be a promising avenue for future growth.

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) First half 2014 results

Verdict: Remote control helicopter and new smartphone; flashy and purchased on the credit card, but nevertheless a pretty cool present.

An aggressive collector of childcare centres, G8 continues its tour-de-force with first-half revenue up 59%, Net Profit After Tax up 48%, and earnings per share up 26%. The company owns 349 childcare centres in Australia and 18 in Singapore, having acquired another 115 Australian centres in the most recent half-year.

An expansive collection of debt and equity raisings have contributed to the rapid growth that has seen G8 jump 83% in the past year. While earnings per share are somewhat diluted by this, the increase in earnings from new centres more than compensates and I expect the explosive growth to continue in the short term.

Westoz Investment Company Limited (ASX: WIC) Preliminary Final Results

Verdict: Surprise Tiffany diamond necklace – which might not be your kind of gift, but is undeniably priceless and awe-inspiring.

Westoz is a Listed Investment Company I stumbled across just recently, and a quick glance through its financials shows it to be a shrewd investor capable of very high performance.

This year’s revenue jumped 206% to $34 million (up from $11 million), with profit attributable to members rising 187% from $7.4 million to $21 million dollars.

More impressively, the results come on the back of FY13 results which saw revenue rise 217% and profit attributable climb 206%.

Westoz is a small-cap company that invests with a strong focus on West Australian and resources shares, and thus is able to deliver very high performance when its portfolio grows, and suffers large losses when it does not (as happened in FY2012). It also pays a dividend of 6.9% at today’s prices, and will definitely be making an appearance in future articles as I do more research – so keep an eye out.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill doesn't own shares in any company mentioned.

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