Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares will be keenly watched next month for a number of reasons.
The first is the Reserve Bank of Australia's cash rate meeting next week. The chances of a hike at the meeting have increased in recent days following a hotter-than-expected inflation reading.
Another hike could be classed as good news for Westpac and its shares, just as long as it doesn't put pressure on bad and doubtful debts.
What else should you watch if you own Westpac shares?
Next month is of course earnings season for the banking sector. Three of the big four, including Westpac, will be releasing full-year results, whereas Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) will be unveiling its first quarter update.
According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, it expects Westpac to report a result well short of the market's expectations on Monday 6 November.
For the second half of FY 2023, the broker has pencilled in cash earnings of $3,054 million. This will be up 40% from $2,181 million a year ago but down 25% from the first half and 11.4% short of the consensus estimate of $3,446 million.
Goldman expects this to lead to a 70 cents per share final dividend being declared. Once again, this is short of the consensus estimate of 71.1 cents per share.
For the full year, Goldman's estimates imply cash earnings of $7,133 million and a fully franked dividend of $1.40 per share. Whereas the consensus is $7,409 million and $1.411 per share. If Westpac does better than this, then it could garner a positive reaction from the market.
Overall, there's plenty that could happen that has the potential to move Westpac shares higher or lower. But with its shares down heavily this year, shareholders will no doubt be hoping it's a month filled with good news.