U.S. COVID-19 stimulus uncertainty weighed on sentiment last week and led to the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) dropping lower. The benchmark index lost 9.8 points or 0.2% of its value to end at 6,167 points.
Fortunately, not all shares dropped lower with the market. Here’s why these were the best performers on the ASX 200 last week:
Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)
The Pro Medicus share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a 12% gain. This appears to have been a delayed reaction to an announcement a week earlier which revealed that the healthcare imaging software provider has signed a milestone contract in Germany. Pro Medicus has signed a seven-year deal with LMU Klinikum worth a total of A$10 million. The contract will see its Visage 7 technology deployed throughout LMU Klinikum’s radiology and subspecialty imaging departments.
BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL)
The BlueScope share price was on form and charged 9.2% higher over the five days. All of this gain came on the final day of the week after the steel producer released its guidance for the first half of FY 2021. According to the release, BlueScope expects to report underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $340 million for the first half. This represents a 30% increase on the second half of FY 2020 and a 12.4% lift on the prior corresponding period.
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)
The Qantas share price wasn’t far behind with a gain of 8.1% last week. A reduction in COVID-19 cases in Australia and its annual general meeting presentation appear to have helped drive its shares higher. The latter revealed significant cost cutting plans and management’s belief that it will win a greater share of the domestic market due to Virgin Australia’s new strategy.
Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF)
The Challenger share price was a positive performer last week and rose 7.9%. This latest gain stretched the annuities company’s month to date gain to a sizeable 25%. A week earlier Challenger released its first quarter update and reaffirmed its guidance for FY 2021. It continues to expect normalised net profit before tax in the range of $390 million and $440 million.
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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited and Pro Medicus 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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