3 S&P/ASX 200 stocks touching 52-week highs today

The S&P/ASX 200 opened up 1.8 points to 6,174, only to sink down 14.6 points at the time of writing.

But these three stocks are touching 52-week share price highs.

Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO)

Australian iron ore company Atlas Iron Limited shares are sitting at a 52-week high at the time of writing, at 4.6c per share – matching the off-market takeover bid price confirmed by Hancock Prospecting yesterday.

Atlas Iron also released its 2018 annual report today, with the chairman’s report by Eugene Davis expressing “mixed feelings” over recommending shareholders accept the takeover bid from Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting as the “best option for shareholders given the harsh environment in which Atlas finds itself”.

Atlas has struggled over the past year as profit margins were squeezed by lower benchmark prices for iron ore – offsetting the company’s operational efficiency – with Davis saying only a “large and well-resourced” company like Hancock will be able to overcome such issues in the long term.

Takeover is imminent.

Bravura Solutions Ltd (ASX: BVS)

Shares in software product and services company Bravura Solutions Ltd have been soaring in the past year, sitting up 0.6% at the time of writing to $4.41 – a 52-week high for the stock.

Bravura logged revenue growth of 15% in FY18 with EBITDA growth of 18% and underlying NPAT growth of 27% with client wins in all markets across Australia, UK, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The company’s Sonata product was a particular performer, with revenue for the wealth management platform rising 32% over the year – contributing 55% to group revenue which makes the $30 million invested in Sonata development over FY18 appear well spent.

For a growing small cap, Bravura’s balance sheet also appears healthy, with net cash of $24.8 million and a strong sales pipeline underpinning its FY19 guidance of mid-teens EPS growth.

Investors should watch Bravura’s movements in the funds administration space after the company reported a revenue downturn of 4% in the segment, well and truly overshadowed by its revenue increase of 26% in the wealth management space.

The funds administration downturn was due to a flagged contract expiry in the first half of FY18, but Bravura has some work to do to build this segment back up to strength.

WAM Research Limited (ASX: WAX)

Shares in listed investment company managed by Wilson Asset Management Group, WAM Research are up 0.5% to 1.71 at the time of writing – a 52-week share price high.

WAM Research’s August investor update revealed its portfolio rose 2.7% over the month with the market-driven portion of its investment portfolio bolstered by solid performance out of Seven Group Holdings Ltd Fully Paid Ord. Shrs (ASX: SVW) as Seven’s FY18 results came in above expectations.

WAM Research provides investors with exposure to undervalued growth companies with a penchant for industrial-style businesses and its strong long-term performance indicates it has been getting the formula right for some time.

Some investors balk at the high level of cash WAM Research holds – with close to one-quarter of its portfolio held as cash as at the end of August 2018 – but this cash level has actually dropped recently and shareholders have certainly not been complaining about its growing dividends.

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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. 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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