On Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) closed the day at 6,169 points, bringing its February return to 4.9%.
Whilst this was undoubtedly strong, a number of shares on the benchmark index managed to deliver even stronger returns.
Four of the best performers on the ASX 200 in February were as follows:
The Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price was the biggest mover on the ASX 200 in February with a massive 46% gain. The global leader in the development of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence impressed the market with a full year result that smashed its guidance and the market’s expectations. Due to the accelerating AI market and the high and growing demand for quality training data, Appen posted a 153% increase in underlying EBITDA to $71.3 million. Looking ahead, demand is expected to remain strong and lead to further EBITDA growth in FY 2019. Management has given underlying EBITDA guidance in the range of $85 million to $90 million, representing year on year growth of 19% to 26%.
The Automotive Holdings Group Ltd (ASX: AHG) share price wasn’t far behind Appen with a gain of 44% in February. Although the automotive retailer released a disappointing half year result due to difficult trading conditions caused by weak consumer sentiment and tighter lending, the market responded positively to news that management is cleaning up its balance sheet. In addition to this, the company announced a strategic review of its struggling Refrigerated Logistics business.
The Breville Group Ltd (ASX: BRG) share price was another impressive performer with a monthly gain of 43.5%. The release of a strong half year result was the catalyst for the rampant buying of its shares. Thanks partly to the success of its European expansion, Breville posted a 15.4% increase in revenue to $440 million and a 19.7% lift in net profit to $43.5 million in the first half of FY 2019. With the company expanding further in the second half, the market appears confident that Breville will deliver a strong full year result in August.
The Speedcast International Ltd (ASX: SDA) share price rallied a sizeable 38.5% in February. A better than expected full year result was the driver of its positive share price performance during the month. In FY 2018 the remote communications and IT services provider delivered full year revenue growth of 21% to US$623 million and underlying EBITDA growth of 7% to US$132 million.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Automotive Holdings Group Limited. 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.