Why these 4 shares smashed the market today

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued to slide this morning, formally entering bear market territory before recovering to be up 0.6% at 4,806 points.

A number of shares significantly outperformed the market today, mostly as a result of recent positive announcements. Here’s what you need to know:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) soared 11% to $101.50 after the company posted huge profit growth, with revenue rising 27% and Net Profit After Tax in constant-currency terms lifting 16%, no mean feat for a $5 billion dollar company. Management also declared that with less than 5% global market penetration, the company has a long-term, sustainable growth pathway ahead of it. While Cochlear trades on an elevated Price to Earnings (P/E) valuation, it does have a history of delivering the goods to shareholders.

Cochlear shares are up 18% in the past 12 months.

BWX Ltd (ASX: BWX) jumped 11% to $4.33 today following a flat finish yesterday when the natural beauty company posted its maiden profit. Listing just in November last year, BWX shares have already gained 92% and the company’s results hint at why, with revenue rising 25% and Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) lifting 61%. However, part of the price rise also appears due to investor excitement over BWX’s targeting of international markets, which are expected to contribute 12% of sales in financial year 2016.

Companies with sales into our south-east Asian nations, especially China, have been very popular on the ASX of late.

Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) lifted 5% to $7.70 on no news today. However, it’s worth noting that the company’s merger with M2 Group Ltd (ASX: MTU) was given approval by the Supreme Court last week, and M2 shareholders should expect to receive their Vocus shares on 22 February. With the change of ownership and such a large increase in the number of Vocus shares, it will be interesting to see if M2 shareholders sell out, or keep their cart hitched to the (so far) very successful telecom horse.

Vocus shares are up 26% in the past 12 months.

Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) rose 6% to $5.64 following a 2% gain yesterday after the construction company posted its interim profit results. The company reported strong underlying increases in profit despite a 4% decline in revenue, and pointed to a pick-up in housing activity in the USA as a notable driver of earnings. As a side note, a lift in housing activity could be an interesting precursor to improved business conditions for QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE), which has struggled to grow premiums in this market in recent times.

Despite today’s rise, Boral shares are down 3% in the past 12 months, according to Google Finance.

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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 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.

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