BHP Billiton Limited and Hub24 Ltd hit 52-week highs

The overall S&P/ASX 200 index was down 6.9 points in early morning trade today but these 3 stocks are sitting pretty at 52-week highs to kick off the trading week.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP)

A looming East Coast gas shortage, China’s push for quality iron ore and a Banking Royal Commission spooking investors off big four bank stocks has contributed to strong share price gains out of BHP Billiton Limited of late – with shares now sitting at a 52-week high.

The Sydney Morning Herald last week reported BHP would benefit from Chinese steel-making customers willing to pay higher prices for quality iron ore and coking coal as the country sought to reduce its environmental footprint.

BHP has also benefited from a rapid increase in oil prices off the back of Middle East fears and the company logged an impressive operational review for the period ended March 31 with all major projects tracking to plan and 6% volume growth expected for the 2018 financial year.

BHP shares are up 1.3% to $33.61 at the time of writing, 41% higher than its $23.82 share price at this time last year as share prices in commodity brother Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) are also tracking upwards steadily at $84.91 today – up from $59.44 at this time last year.

Hub24 Ltd (ASX: HUB)

Shares in financial services company Hub24 Ltd were up 3.1% to $13.20 at the time of writing – a 52 week high for the stock which sat at just $5.10 at this time last year – an increase of 157%.

Hub24 reported strong third quarter net inflows of $595 million – growth of 42% on the previous corresponding period – with funds under administration up 58% to $7.4 billion at March 31, 2018.

Hub24 is asserting itself as a market leader in its space, with client-led developments to its offerings for superannuation and investment customers.

Investors have been pretty excited by the company in the last 5 years and their sentiments have showed no signs of waning of late, with Hub24’s long-term growth prospects catching the attention of Credit Suisse and Ord Minnett brokers back in April as both placed a buy rating on the stock.

Software cousins Bravura Solutions Ltd (ASX: BVS) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) are also ones to watch in the space, with both securing long-term customer contracts to secure growth going forward which has been reflective in share price gains.

Idp Education Ltd (ASX: IEL)

Shares in international student placement services company Idp Education Ltd are up 0.6% to $8.34 at the time of writing – a 52-week high for the stock and a rise from $4.60 at this time last year.

Idp shares have tracked upwards steadily in the last 12-months, but took a short-lived tumble on May 10 after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to a neutral rating from a buy.

There has been little news out of Idp of late, but the company owns and operates English language schools in South East Asia, with global educational and conference events.

Idp’s half-year results were favourable, with a first-half revenue increase of 27% to $242 million and NPAT up 27% to $30.5 million as the overall international education sector continues to boom.

One to watch given its current growth profile.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bravura Solutions Ltd and Xero. 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 Scott Phillips.

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