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Why these 9 ASX shares have doubled in value in the past year

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The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is down over 10% compared to this time a year ago. Individual share performances have varied in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic with some surging and others wilting. 

The shift to eCommerce hastened by the onset of the virus is benefiting online operators. Healthcare companies involved in treatment of coronavirus have also been favored by investors. Meanwhile, gold miners have performed well as investors seek safe haven assets. We take a look at why these nine shares have more than doubled in value over the past year. 

9 ASX shares that have doubled in value over the last year

Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ASX: AEF) 

The Australian Ethical Investment share price is up 210% compared to a year ago. The managed funds and superannuation company invests more than $4 billion for over 57,000 customers in accordance with ethical and sustainability principles. Its Emerging Companies Fund returned 13.9% after all fees in FY20 against a benchmark of negative 7.4%. Australian Ethical Investment earned a performance fee of $3.64 million thanks to the Fund’s outperformance. The company is now expecting underlying profit after tax of between $9 and $9.5 million in FY20, an increase of 41% from FY19. 

Kogan.com Limited (ASX: KGN) 

The Kogan share price has risen 228% over the past year with the online retailer’s performance accelerating during lockdown. Kogan sells a wide range of products from consumer electronics to appliances, homewares, hardware, and toys. During lockdown, demand for homewares and electronics surged, facilitating more time spent living and working from home. Kogan saw gross sales rise more than 100% in April and May. Gross profit grew by more than 130% over the same period. Kogan is benefitting from the ongoing shift to eCommerce which has been hastened by the onset of coronavirus. 

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

The biggest of the buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers by market capitalisation, the Afterpay share price is up 186% over the past year. Afterpay is benefitting from the move to digital payments, settling record transaction volumes through 4QFY20. Over the full year, Afterpay delivered underlying sales of $11.1 billion, a 112% increase on the previous year. Fourth quarter underlying sales were the highest ever at $3.8 billion, 127% above 4Q FY19. This reflects the accelerating shift to eCommerce which has occurred since the pandemic broke out. The net transaction margin for FY20 is expected to be approximately 2%, underpinning a pathway to longer term profitability for the business. 

Opthea Ltd (ASX: OPT) 

The Opthea share price is up 173% over the past year and has recovered well from the March market correction. The rise in its share price saw Opthea joining the S&P/ASX 300 (XKO) in the most recent quarterly rebalance. Opthea is developing a novel therapeutic to improve vision and reduce retinal swelling in patients with eye diseases. Its product candidate is currently undergoing Phase 2 clinical trials to determine if it improves visual acuity in patients suffering from Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Macular Edema. The prevalence of both diseases is on the rise due to the aging population and increasing prevalence of diabetes worldwide. 

West African Resources Ltd (ASX: WAF) 

The West African Resources share price has increased nearly 170% since this time a year ago. The company is a gold miner operating in West Africa that has benefitted from the rise in the gold price over recent months. Gold was trading at around $2200 at the start of 2020 but has risen to around $2600 per ounce currently. In the year to 30 June, West African Resources smelted 37,807 ounces of gold and shipped 35,080 ounces. This ASX share reported it held US$65.6 million in cash and gold at 30 June 2020. 

Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS) 

The Ramelius Resources share price has gained 134% over the past year. Another gold miner to benefit from rising gold prices, Ramelius Resources operates a number of gold projects in Western Australia. The company produced 86,517 ounces of gold in the June quarter and a record 230,426 ounces in FY20. The balance sheet remained robust with cash and gold of $185.5 million and a reduced debt figure of $24.4 million at the end of June. This gives a net cash position of $161.1 million. 

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) 

The Mesoblast share price has risen 123% in the last year with its cell therapy remestemcel-L proving beneficial in the treatment of seriously ill COVID-19 patients. In April, Mesoblast reported a significant increase in survival for coronavirus patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) who were given the treatment. Remestemcel-L is currently undergoing phase 3 trials to assess its use in adult ARDS patients. During the nine months to the end of March, Mesoblast’s revenues increased 113% reaching US$31.5 million. Loss after tax reduced to US$45.3 million over the period, with cash in hand of US$60 million plus another US$90 million raised in May. 

Codan Limited (ASX: CDA) 

The Codan share price is up 111% over the past year with the company reporting it will deliver a record profit in FY20 of around $63 million. Codan provides communications technology, metal detectors, defence electronics, and mining automation solutions. Customers are humanitarian organisations, mining companies, security and military groups. Demand for metal detectors has remained strong across both recreational and gold mining markets. The communication business has also been performing strongly delivering a $7 million project which led to a record sales month in May. Codan reports it has net cash of $85 million on the balance sheet. 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH) 

The Fisher & Paykel share price has climbed 115% over the past year with the healthcare company reporting unprecedented demand for its respiratory devices. Production of some hospital hardware products was doubled or tripled earlier this year. Fisher & Paykel announced record results for the year to 31 March 2020 with profit after tax rising 37% to $287.3 million. For the first three months of FY21, hardware sales have continued to accelerate and hospital consumables were tracking at a one third increase. 

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Kate O'Brien has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. and Kogan.com ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. and Kogan.com 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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