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Were these the best results on the ASX 200 last week?

Last week a large number of popular companies released their latest sets of results during the final week of earnings season.

Three results that caught my eye are summarised below. Here’s why I think they were among the best results last week:

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) 

In the first half of FY 2020, this payments company reported a massive 109% increase in underlying sales to $4.8 billion. The catalyst for this was increasing usage from existing customers, a 134% jump in active customers to 7.3 million, and an 86% lift in active merchants to 43,200. And while the company’s EBITDA was down heavily compared to the prior corresponding period, this was due to management’s investment in marketing, people, and technology. These investments are being made to accelerate its growth in existing markets and expand its platform for further geographic expansion and product development. Afterpay is planning to launch in Canada by the end of the year.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) 

I thought the best result of last week came from this global leader in the development of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. For the 12 months ended December 31, Appen delivered revenue of $536 million and underlying EBITDA of $101 million. This was a sizeable 47% and 42% increase, respectively, on FY 2018’s result. The latter was also ahead of management’s upgraded guidance for EBITDA in the range of $96 million to $99 million. Pleasingly, management has forecast further strong growth in FY 2020. It expects minimal impact from the coronavirus and has guided to underlying EBITDA in the range of $125 million to $130 million.

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)

Another strong result came from InvoCare. For the 12 months ended December 31, the funerals company reported a 4% increase in revenue to $500.35 million and a 19.6% jump in operating earnings after tax to $59.2 million. This was driven by a combination of market share gains, acquisitions, the success of the Protect & Grow strategy, and the death rate increasing back toward the long-term trend. Deaths were up 2.9% during the 12 months, compared to a drop of 3.3% in FY 2018. This strong performance allowed InvoCare to increase its full year dividend by 11% to 41 cents per share fully franked.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare 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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