There is nothing that investors like to see more than shares in their portfolio climbing strongly, especially when the overall market isn’t performing well itself.

During the last 30 days the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has lost 3.5% of its value, with declines in energy and financial shares being the main culprits.

But not all shares performed this poorly. In fact, two blue chips have put on strong gains in the last month. But can they keep on climbing higher in the month ahead?

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)

Despite a reasonable drop today, Qantas has taken off in the last month with a gain of over 9% and is now rapidly closing in on setting a new 52-week high.

The fact that jet fuel prices have remained at low levels for some time now, should mean that Qantas is having a very profitable second-half to its fiscal year.

Although the Australian dollar has strengthened in recent weeks, it is still a lot lower than where it was 18 months ago. I believe this makes Australia a very attractive destination for tourists all over the world. Not least from Asia, where I expect Qantas to benefit from the incredible rise in Chinese tourism through its link up with China Eastern.

With Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) suffering an almost 20% decline during the same period, Qantas certainly appears to be the better airline to be invested in. I believe its strong performance could yet take the share price higher.

Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited (ASX: SIP)

In the last 30 days the operator of the Amcal brand has been one of the market’s stand out performers putting on a whopping gain of 18% for investors.

Part of the rapid ascent came on the back of its full year earnings for the financial year ending January 2016. The company produced strong results which saw revenue increase by 10.2% to $3.5 billion. Earnings before interest and tax grew at an even higher rate of 13.7% year-over-year to $89 million.

I always like to see earnings grow at a higher rate than revenue, as I believe it is a good indication that management is running the company in an efficient way.

Sigma Pharmaceutical’s shares are priced at 17 times estimated FY 2016 earnings. This puts the company at a discount to rival Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API), which trades at 18 times estimated FY 2016 earnings.

Because of this I would not be surprised to see Sigma Pharmaceutical’s share price climb steadily in the next few months, much to the delight of shareholders.

Why These 3 Blue Chip Shares Look Set to Soar in 2016

Discover The Motley Fool's top 3 blue chips for 2016. These 3 'new breed' shares pay fully franked dividends AND offer the very real prospect of significant capital appreciation. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report.

No credit card required.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Bruce Jackson.