The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) had a strong day on the market yesterday, rising 1.6% to be back above 5,000 points. The past week has been a strong one for a number of shares, with a much higher than usual number of businesses hitting new 52-week highs.
Here are some of the latest winners:
Pro Medicus Limited (ASX:PME) – last traded at $3.95, up 153% in the past 12 months
Pro Medicus shares soared on the back of a number of contract wins this year, and have risen nearly 8% more from their previous 52-week high just last week. Pro Medicus is really just getting started with its customer growth in the US, but the question of whether it offers value at today’s prices will be a tricky one for investors. Shares are trading at a lofty valuation, and investors must be prepared to wait for the business to grow into its value.
However, with a number of new contracts coming in and a second share buyback announced recently, Pro Medicus has a good shot of delivering those returns to shareholders. I expect Pro Medicus shares could rise further over the next twelve months.
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) – last traded at $8.77, up 45% in the past 12 months
Vocus shares have soared in the aftermath of its recent interim report and the approved M2 merger, with investors buying into the potential synergies to be delivered by the deal. Like Pro Medicus above, Vocus does not appear cheap on conventional metrics, but it has a significant share of the market and its data cables and networks will be difficult to replicate. With the recent 180% increase in revenues thanks to the Amcom and M2 mergers, Vocus could also be set to see a significant increase in profit once acquisition and integration costs are excluded.
With this in mind, Vocus does not look expensive today and I expect shares will rise further over the near term as the company continues to execute on its growth strategy.
Sydney Airport Limited (ASX: SYD) – last traded at $6.76, up 25% in the past 12 months
Sydney Airport has delivered another year of market-beating returns, as it leverages its monopoly on the Sydney Airport asset to benefit from long-term tailwinds of rising visitor numbers. Total passenger numbers were up 3% for the past year, which contributed to a 5.8% increase in Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA). Thanks to its relatively fixed cost base, Sydney Airport is able to grow earnings faster than passenger numbers, and this is an attractive attribute in a business expecting to double its passenger numbers by 2030.
Although debt appears high, Sydney Airport is a high quality borrower and has great access to low-cost bonds, allowing it to renew maturing facilities without too much hassle. It’s an open question where shares go from here, but I expect over the medium term Sydney Airport should be able to continue generating market-beating returns for shareholders.
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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill 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.