The S&P/ASX 200 index certainly had a week to forget. Concerns over the coronavirus outbreak spooked global markets and led to the benchmark index falling 697.8 points or 9.8% last week to 6441.2 points.
Whilst almost all shares on the index tumbled lower, a few managed to push higher. Here’s why these were the best performing ASX 200 shares over the period:
The InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a gain of 9%. Investors were buying the funerals company’s shares following the release of its full year results which revealed strong profit and dividend growth in FY 2019. A combination of the death rate returning to trend and operational efficiencies led to InvoCare reporting a 19.6% increase in operating earnings to $59.2 million. This allowed the company’s board to declare a final fully franked dividend of 23.5 cents per share, which brought its full year dividend to 41 cents per share fully franked. This was up 11% year on year.
The Chorus Ltd (ASX: CNU) share price was the next best performer on the index with a gain of 5.1%. The catalyst for this gain was the release of the New Zealand based telco company’s half year results. Although Chorus posted a small decline in revenue to NZ$483 million, its EBITDA rose by a solid 4.4% to NZ$332 million. Looking ahead, thanks partly to the company’s progress with its fibre network rollout, management has increased its FY 2020 EBITDA guidance. It now expects EBITDA of NZ$640 million to NZ$655 million, up from its previous guidance of NZ$625 million to NZ$645 million.
The Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) share price was on form and rose 3.75% last week. The catalyst for this was news that the healthcare company received a takeover approach. The company, formerly known as Primary Health Care, has received an unsolicited, non-binding, indicative proposal from Partners Group to acquire it for $3.40 per share. This values Healius at approximately $2.1 billion.
The NEXTDC Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price the next best performer with a gain of just 0.6% last week. Its shares rose strongly on Friday following the release of its half year results. For the six months ended December 31, the data centre operator delivered an 8% increase in revenue to $97.7 million and a 21% lift in underlying EBITDA to $50.9 million. Management also reiterated its guidance for the full year.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare 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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