There was yet another record bank profit, but it was a combination of good earnings growth and dividend sweeteners that lifted Australian shares in the first full week of the February corporate reporting season.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 rose by 3.67 per cent over the week to 5,356.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose by 3.52 per cent to 5,366.9 points - the first weekly gain in six weeks.
Commonwealth Bank didn't surprise many investors when it posted a record first half profit of $4.27 billion, but the bank did push its shares higher after announcing a 12 per cent increase in its interim dividend to $1.83.
CBA shares gained $2.47 in the week to $75.99.
Earlier in the week, ANZ achieved a double digit jump in first quarter profit that boosted analysts' expectations of a sixth consecutive year of record earnings for the major banks.
Another dividend surprise, this time from Telstra, also pushed its stocks higher.
The telco made a first half profit of $1.7 billion, up 9.2 per cent, and lifted its dividend for the first time in eight years, increasing the interim payout by half a cent to 14.5 cents.
Telstra shares rose by 3.8 per cent in the week, to $5.20.
The opening to the reporting season has been positive, with above-average numbers of companies beating expectations, lifting profits and increasing dividends, AMP Capital head of investment strategy Shane Oliver said.
"Key themes are a massive turnaround for the resources stocks (notably Rio), banks doing very well, help coming through from the lower $A, ongoing cost control, improved outlook comments from cyclicals (like Boral) and soaring dividends," Dr Oliver said in a report.
"The surge in dividends is a good signal that companies are confident about the outlook.
"The bottom line is that Australian earnings look to be on track for strong growth this financial year."
Among other key results for the week, mining giant Rio Tinto announced a full year profit of $US3.67 billion, up from a loss of $US3.03 billion in 2012, as well as an increased dividend.
Rio shares were up for the week, but relatively subdued after the result was announced.
Computershare's stocks soared by 8.65 per cent to $11.93 after the shareholder services company increased its half year profit by 47 per cent to $139.4 million.
Australia's biggest food company, Goodman Fielder, announced a half year net loss of $65 million, sending its shares down 4.7 per cent to end the week at 61 cents.
And one of the smaller food producers, Capilano Honey, produced a standout result, with its half year profit of $2.08 million almost three times what it made a year earlier.
The honey maker's shares rose by 18.7 per cent in the week to $4.70.
Classified business Carsales made the week's biggest gain, up 19.75 per cent to $10.61 after reporting a 17 per cent rise in net profit to $43.9 million.