10 blue chips soaring more than 50% in the past year

The S&P/ASX 100 (Index: ^AXTO) (ASX: XTO) has had an abysmal 12 months really.

According to Standard & Poor’s, the ASX 100 index is up just 1.2% since September 15, 2015. Including dividends reinvested, the index has returned a much more reasonable 5.9%.

What might surprise many readers is that several large blue chip companies have seen double-digit gains in their share prices over the past year. In fact, nine of them have soared more than 50% – a remarkable achievement for companies with billion-dollar market caps.

Here are the top 10.

Company Last Price Market Cap ($m) Gain
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) $4.70 $14,619.3 138%
Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) $4.14 $2,483.2 97%
Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) $21.10 $16,173.4 86%
BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) $7.91 $4,539.5 88%
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP) $70.33 $6,247.5 84%
Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) $10.94 $8,075.2 88%
Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) $14.88 $9,480.3 83%
Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) $133.83 $7,682.2 66%
JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) $28.85 $2,862.7 62%
Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) $4.82 $2,049.6 47%

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

Fortescue has had a remarkable year. The iron ore miner has dramatically cuts costs and goes close to rivalling the lowest cost operators in the sector, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP).

Northern Star and Newcrest Mining have benefitted from the run up in the gold price and the falling Aussie dollar, meaning both are generating huge margins at current gold prices.

Bluescope Steel is a surprise given the pressures the steel sector is meant to be feeling – and the collapse of Arrium earlier this year.

There should be no surprise about Domino’s being in this list. The pizza chain continues to go from strength to strength – whether it’s in Australia or its expanding operations offshore.

Treasury Wine has turned around its business which was struggling, poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat has rocketed partly on the back of a huge US acquisition, and doubling net profit after tax for the half year.

Cochlear continues to defy critics who said cheaper Chinese and Indian hearing aids and implants would steal market share, while JB Hi-Fi has thumbed its nose at all those who said the pure online consumer electronics retailers would kill the business.

Rounding out the top 10 and another surprise was engineering and contracting firm Downer EDI, which has recovered from a horror 2015 financial year.

Can these companies continue the gains?

I very much doubt that in a year’s time these 10 companies will again be the best performers in the ASX 100, but some of them may offer an idea for next year’s winners. Look for those companies which are currently down on their luck – but expect to see an improved year ahead.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Cochlear. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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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