Here’s why these 3 ASX shares are up over 100% in 2016

So far in 2016 the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has posted a moderate gain of just 2.2%.

But the same cannot be said for the following three shares. It’s fair to say the shareholders of these companies are having an incredible year after the value of their holdings more than doubled in some cases. Here’s why:

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

Thanks largely to a surge in the iron ore price, year-to-date the group’s share price has risen by a staggering 176%. But as well as this the iron ore miner has been impressing the market with vast improvements to its balance sheet and costs. Fortescue repaid US$2.9 billion of debt during FY 2016. This reduced its net debt to US$5.2 billion, meaning net gearing is now below 40%. Furthermore, costs have been falling and look set to continue to fall in FY 2017. In the last quarter cash production costs were US$14.31 per wet metric tonne. Next year this is expected to fall to between US$12 and US$13 thanks to its focus on productivity and efficiency.

Vita Group Limited (ASX: VTG)

Shares of this telecommunications and IT retailer have jumped a massive 103% so far in 2016 thanks to the success of its Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shops. A strong increase in like for like sales at both its Telstra Business Centres and Telstra Retail stores led the company to recently report a 43% increase in full year net profit to $38 million on a 19% increase in revenue to $645.1 million. Management expects the Telstra stores to continue to drive earnings growth for at least the next couple of years. With its shares changing hands at around 24x full year earnings, it’s not cheap but could be a good investment still.

Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)

Thanks to strong demand from China’s steel producers the price of coal has rocketed this year, taking Whitehaven Coal’s share price along with it. Year-to-date its shares have climbed an astonishing 210%. The company recently reported a 52% jump in full year revenue to $1,164.4 million, with net profit coming in at $20.5 million. This was a vast improvement on the $342.7 million loss the miner reported last year. If demand from China persists then Whitehaven Coal is positioned to profit, but if it subsides then I wouldn’t want to hold its shares.

These three fantastic shares may not have climbed 100% this year, but I feel quite sure they would be solid additions to most portfolios today. Are they in yours?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro 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.

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