On the first day of trading since Christmas, the S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) was trading 44 points, or 0.9%, higher in mid-afternoon trade. However, the share prices of the following four companies were rampaging higher.
- Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) – up 2.8%
The owner of Coles, Bunnings Warehouse, Kmart, Officeworks and more, was trading 2.8% higher. The company did not release any specific news or commentary to the market that could explain its price rise. However, Wesfarmers is a well-run, established, dividend-paying business that is in high demand amidst the record-low interest rate environment.
- A2 MILK FPO NZ (ASX: A2M) – up 16%
The a2 Milk Company Limited share price is going much the same way as Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL). The strictly a2 protein-only dairy products manufacturer recently expanded its range into ‘premium’ infant formula products with a focus on Chinese consumers. Thanks to very strong demand for its infant formula, a2 Milk recently upgraded its full-year profit guidance to the delight of shareholders. The company’s share price is up 236% in six months and 104% in a month.
- Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) – up 13%
Like a2 and Bellamy’s, Bega Cheese has recognised the potential of the Asian dairy foods marketplace. Recently, Bega Cheese’s Tatura business teamed up with Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) to manufacture high-quality dairy products for “consumers in Australia and Asia.” Blackmores’ brand is well regarded in Asia, while Bega has the dairy manufacturing experience, capabilities and supply chain.
- Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP) – up 21%
In November, Freedom Foods sold its remaining shareholding in a2 Milk, realising a capital gain of around $64 million. The diversified food company operates in the Health and Wellness sector, but no company-specific news was released today to explain its sudden rise. Further, after being issued with a ‘please explain’ by the ASX, the company said it’s not aware of information that could explain its 20% jump. Over the past five trading days, Freedom Foods share price has risen more than 40%.
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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Bellamy's Australia.
Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. 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.
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