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3 ASX 200 shares that rose strongly today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO) closed out today 1.63% higher at 6849.7 points, close to its high of 6894 reached last week. 

Here are 3 ASX 200 shares that rose strongly today to help push the index higher. 

Carsales.Com Ltd (ASX: CAR)

The Carsales share price was up a very healthy 3.66% today, closing at $17.28.

Carsales has performed very well during 2019 with a very impressive 57% year-to-date rise.

Although consumer sentiment has been subdued during 2019, Carsales, which generates most of its revenues from selling classifieds ads on second-hand cars, actually generally performs better in more challenging economic times. This is because consumers often prefer to buy a second-hand car over a more expensive new car purchase during these times.

The company has demonstrated that it can continue to build on its dominant market position in Australia, while also very aggressively growing its presence overseas.

A big driver in its domestic performance has been its premium listing products, which allows sellers to get more favourable listing slots on its searches by paying more money. Revenues in Asia grew a very impressive 119% higher in FY19, while EBITDA from the Asian region was up 104%. Carsales is well placed to continue to grow strongly during FY2020.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

The Soul Patts share price has been one of the better performing stocks on the ASX today, up 4.3% higher to close at $22.89.

Soul Pattinson has interest stakes in a wide range of industries, ranging from pharmacies to telecommunications, mining and building products. This diversification, makes it an excellent defensive stock, providing a good layer of protection to any market volatility.

It has a great long-term track record of outperforming the ASX index. Soul Patts has been listed on the ASX for over a century and has paid a dividend every year in that time.

Rather than being burdened with too much debt, the company keeps significant cash on its balance sheets which places it in a great position to snap up future investment opportunities.

With a proven strategy in place, investors can feel fairly confident that Soul Pattison’s is very well placed to continue to perform strongly over the medium to long-term.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

The Appen share price is up a very healthy 5.23% today and has also grown very strongly this year, rising from $12.80 at the beginning of the year to close at $23.54, a very impressive 84% YTD gain.  Appen is the global leader in the development of human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. It provides language technology data and services in more than 150 languages and dialects to technology companies and government agencies, globally.

Appen continues to experience very strong demand from many of the largest global technology firms. This has translated into very high revenue growth, assisted by recent acquisitions. In particular, its recently acquired Figure Eight business continues to perform well.

I believe Appen is very well placed to see continued strong growth during FY 2020 and throughout the next decade due to the continued rising demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI) products and machine learning markets.

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Motley Fool contributor Phil Harpur owns shares in Appen Ltd and Carsales.Com Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended carsales.com 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.

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