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4 of the biggest news pieces from the ASX200 this week

The ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) was eventful again this week. Here are four big stories you may have missed that affected businesses in the ASX 200 index:

REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) 

REA Group reported its first quarter numbers this week. The share price fell 3.6% after REA Group disclosed that revenue fell 9%, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 14% to $114.9 million and free cash flow declined 20% to $41.8 million.

This was partly because national listings fell 15% (with declines of 21% and 22% in Melbourne and Sydney respectively). Revenue also fell because REA Group extended the duration of its Premiere All listings from 45 days to 60 days which deferred revenue – otherwise revenue would have only dropped 6% and EBITDA would have declined by 9%.

Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) 

The cloud accounting tech company announced its half year result this week.

Subscribers grew by 30% to just over 2 million, operating revenue increased 32%, EBITDA excluding impairments rose 91% and it reported positive net profit and free cash flow numbers.

One of the most attractive parts of the report was that the gross margin increased from 82.8% to 85.2%.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) 

Big bank NAB reported its FY19 result to investors this week.

As expected, the final dividend was cut to $0.83 per share. Cash earnings fell by 10.6% to $5.1 billion, although excluding large notable items cash profit actually increased by 0.8%. Statutory net profit dropped 13.6% to $4.8 billion.

NAB expects the tough conditions to continue for the short-term.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) 

Another big ASX bank reported this week, but Westpac’s numbers weren’t as good as NAB’s.

Westpac’s cash earnings dropped 15% to $6.85 billion, excluding notable items cash profit still dropped by 4% to $8 billion. Statutory profit obviously dropped too, falling by 16% to $6.8 billion.

The Westpac board decided to reduce the final dividend by 15% to $0.80 per share.

Retirees have taken a bit of an income hit from the big banks this week. That’s why I think these dividend income stocks are better ideas for anyone needing cashflow.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended REA Group Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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