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Earnings Preview: 10 shares that could stop the market this week

Week three of earnings season was punctuated by a number of big misses including weaker-than-expected results from the likes of Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) and Hansen Technologies Limited (ASX: HSN).

Week four is shaping up to be the busiest week of results so far, with a deluge of companies set to report their results. Some of the most important include:

Monday:

Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB)

The Brambles share price has plunged around 15% since the pallet company announced a profit downgrade earlier last month. While investors will be keen to find out exactly how the company performed in the first half, I suspect the market will be more interested in a second half trading update and updated full year guidance.

Tuesday:

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP)

The global miner has enjoyed a sharp rebound in commodity prices over the past 12 months and this should see it post a bumper profit result. Now that the company has scrapped its progressive dividend policy, it will be interesting to see how much cash will be returned to shareholders via dividends.

Wednesday:

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL)

The Blackmores share price has been trading in a vortex of uncertainty recently so investors will be eagerly awaiting its latest sales and profit results. The market will undoubtedly be focused on export sales and will also be hoping for a positive third quarter trading update.

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX)

The Sirtex share price has taken a hammering over the past two months, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see further falls if the company reports a soft start to the second half of the year. A decline in sales growth is already priced-in, but investors should also focus on how much operating and marketing costs have increased during the period.

Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC)

Short sellers have been circling around Vocus over the past few months so the telco will need to deliver a better-than-expected result to prevent another sell-off. Along with the profit result, the market will also be focused on whether recent integration problems have been resolved.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

Fortescue has been one of the best-performing shares over the past 12 months thanks to the strong rebound in iron ore prices and an impressive reduction in operating costs. Investors can look forward to a much improved balance sheet and a healthy increase in the dividend.

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW)

Woolworths shares have rebounded nicely over the past couple of months as the company has renewed its focus on its core supermarket business. Last week, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) reported a soft result for its Coles division so it will be interesting to see if this was company specific or a sector wide trend.

Thursday:

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT)

The market has already priced in a pretty soft first-half result for Flight Centre following a disappointing update at its AGM last year. Short sellers have been right so far when it comes to the travel agent company, but shareholders will hope for a positive second-half trading update that could be a positive catalyst for the remainder of the year.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

This will be Crown’s first result since some of its employees were arrested following the Chinese government’s crackdown on gambling and corruption. Its VIP business is expected to take a pretty big hit and shareholders will hope the company has developed a strategy to combat these losses moving forward.

Friday:

Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX)

A strong result from the generic drug company could put a rocket up the shares as short sellers scramble to cover their positions. The market will also hope Mayne provides some further information regarding the ongoing investigation by the U.S Justice department and the impact this could have on future earnings.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of Blackmores Limited and Vocus Communications Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Hansen Technologies. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.