What an interesting (and painful) month we just finished! The Australian sharemarket, as measured by the ALL ORDINARIES index finished the month down 2.79%, while the biggest companies, measured by the S&P/ASX 200 fell by a disappointing 2.80%.

Out of the ordinary

The overall returns themselves actually weren’t that surprising given the up and down nature of this year, rather it was the companies that bucked the trend that made the month extraordinary.

Major companies like Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO), Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) and TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) dropped between 17% and 29%. Elsewhere, some extremely unlikely candidates rose by a similar amount.

  • Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) rose 26% following a great first quarter earnings report.
  • Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) rose 25% as the coal price surged higher again.
  • New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC) rose 15% on strong coal prices.
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia (ASX: GMA) jumped 12% following a takeover offer.

Time to buy?

I think if you’re looking at these companies as potential purchases now, you may have missed the easy gains. It’s not every month that we can expect a huge surge in commodity prices or takeover offers.

Interestingly, one of the reasons why investors are piling into these companies is because so many of the big, reliable companies no longer look like great value with interest rates being so low.

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Motley Fool contributor Andrew Mudie owns shares of Crown Resorts Limited. 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.