Three company reports that exceeded expectations

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Three company reports that exceeded expectations. QBE Insurance delivered stronger than expected insurance margins given the well flagged headwinds from lower discount rates/bond yields. The result included reserve releases rather than reserve top ups as has been the case more recently. There was also considerable increase in reinsurance and aggregate cover and hedging in crop business which reduces guidance risk for next year. Beacon Lighting (BLX) exceeded expectations with a strong trading update. Beacon Lighting is a clear beneficiary from the strong housing cycle as well as lower petrol prices and interest rates. Nine Entertainment also delivered a strong result with a positive trading update. Despite what appears to be a soft advertising market and concerns for the health of free to air tv, the company reported a good increase in revenue for the beginning of the year. Nine Entertainment has some nice optionality in their portfolio around content costs and affiliation deals. After significant underperformance the stock has rallied on the back of the result.

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