Although the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) dropped a disappointing 2% lower on the final day of the month, it still managed to record a gain in July. The benchmark index rose 0.5% to end at 5927.8 points.
While a good number of shares climbed higher last month, some recorded stronger than average gains. Here’s why these were among the best performers on the ASX 200 in July:
Netwealth Group Ltd
The Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL) share price was the best performer with an impressive 33.9% gain. Investors were buying the investment platform provider’s shares following the release of its quarterly update. At the end of the fourth quarter, Netwealth’s funds under administration (FUA) had climbed to a sizeable $31.5 billion. This means the company grew its FUA by $8.2 billion or 35% during the financial year. Which is all the more impressive when you consider that it recorded a negative market movement of $0.9 billion for the year.
The ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) share price was on form and stormed 29.4% higher last month. The catalyst for this appears to be the testing services company’s annual general meeting. That update revealed that it is performing reasonably positively considering the tough trading conditions. One broker that was pleased with its update was Macquarie. Its analysts put an outperform rating and $9.00 price target on ALS’ shares.
The Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) share price wasn’t far behind with a surprising 28.6% gain in July. Investors were buying the lithium miner despite the price of the battery making ingredient continuing to weaken. One positive, though, was that the company has cut its costs materially. During the fourth quarter Orocobre achieved its lowest cash cost of sales for 3 years at US$3,920 a tonne. However, with a realised average price of US$3,913 a tonne, it is still making a loss.
Fortescue Metals Group Limited
The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price was a very positive performer in July and recorded a 25.7% gain. The iron ore producer’s shares were in demand with investors last month due to a strong iron ore price and the prospect of another bumper profit result in FY 2020. Fortescue doesn’t look likely to disappoint. Late on in the month it released its fourth quarter update and revealed total shipments of 178.2mt. This was ahead of guidance and achieved with a C1 cost of US$12.94 per wet metric tonne. This compares very favourably to its average realised selling price of US$81 a dry metric tonne.
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Returns as of 6th October 2020
Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Netwealth. 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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