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These 4 shares are the S&P/ASX 200’s best performers: Should you buy them?

Despite the impact of the Brexit and the Trump presidency victory, the Australian share market has had a stellar 12 months.

During this time the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has smashed expectations and put on an impressive gain of 11.8%.

Four shares on the index which did a lot of the heavy lifting are listed below. Here’s why they are the best performers on S&P/ASX 200 during the last 12 months:

The a2 Milk Company Ltd (Australia) (ASX: A2M) share price has surged higher by 80% in the last 12 months. The growing popularity of the dairy company’s infant formula products in the lucrative China market has been the catalyst for this gain. The company was given an additional boost recently when the Chinese government delayed new cross border e-commerce laws indefinitely. Its shares do look expensive now, but could still provide significant value for patient long-term investors.

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price has rocketed 95% since this time last year. Significant market share gains and growing profit margins in the United States, Australia, and digital social gaming segments have been the key to its incredible performance. As a result management expects full-year profit to grow in the range of 20% to 30% compared to the prior corresponding period. At 35x trailing earnings its shares are by no means cheap, but I could still see them climbing higher if it delivers on the top end of its full-year guidance.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price has risen a remarkable 86% in the last 12 months. It’s not hard to see why investors have been snapping up shares in Webjet during this time. Thanks to continued growth in organic bookings and market share gains from all of its businesses, the online travel agent delivered a stunning 86.9% increase in half-year net profit after tax. I expect more of the same in the second-half and in FY 2018. This could make it an opportune time to make a buy and hold investment.

The Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price has been the biggest mover on the index in the last 12 months with a massive 256% gain. The catalyst for this has been rising coal prices due to a combination of production cuts in China and strong demand from its steelmakers. As I’m not overly bullish on coal prices moving forward, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Whitehaven Coal share price come under significant pressure in the next 12 months. In light of this, it is one to avoid in my opinion.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of June 30th

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. 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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