3 ASX shares near 52-week highs with room to run harder

Wow, what a roller coaster it has been for investors on the ASX this year. After falling over 10% at the start of 2016 the ASX has bounced back into positive territory. Boosted by the RBA’s decision to cut rates and a falling Australian dollar, the following three stocks have recently hit 52-week highs and look set to continue even higher.

Westfield Corp Ltd  (ASX: WFD)

Westfield appears almost to have been forgotten by investors for the past 12 months, but a falling Australian dollar appears to have put the company back on the radar. Westfield operates the overseas arm of Westfield run shopping centres throughout Europe and the US. As all dividends are paid in US dollars before being converted to Australian dollars, any further decline in the AUD will add cream to the pie for Westfield investors. This one is for the investor looking for overseas exposure and a nice dividend.

McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX: MMS)

Ever since the ALP first floated the idea of changes to the fringe benefits tax, McMillan Shakespeare has lived under the shadow of regulatory changes. That was until last week when Bill Shorten finally put the threat to rest by confirming the ALP had no plans to change the current policy. This announcement has been like lifting a weight from the share price and the market is now free to appreciate outstanding results posted by the company back in February where revenue and NPAT rose by 34% and 25% respectively. Sitting on a PE of just over 15, this one looks to have further to travel. This would suit an investor looking for both a healthy dividend and good growth prospects.

Challenger Ltd  (ASX: CGF)

Challenger is another company which appears to have flown under the radar of a lot of investors. In their recently released third quarter update, annuity sales increased by an outstanding 29% on the prior corresponding period (PCP). Particularly pleasing for investors was the 63% rise in lifetime annuities versus the prior corresponding period. With Challenger riding the wave of an ever-growing retirement population, this one would suit the long-term investor looking for steady growth and an income stream.

Foolish takeaway 

With the ASX returning to positive territory in 2016 after having one of its worst starts ever, I will leave you with a quote to contemplate from an investment legend. “The stock market has a very efficient way of transferring wealth from the impatient to the patient.” – Warren Buffett.

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Motley Fool contributor Alan Edmunds owns shares of Challenger. 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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