Although it finished the month with a day deep in the red, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form in February and recorded a 1% gain.
While a number of shares charged higher, here’s why these were the best ASX 200 performers during the month:
The Zip share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 in February with a massive 43% gain. Investors were buying the buy now pay later (BNPL) provider’s shares for a number of reasons. One of those was speculation it is considering a secondary listing in the United States. This would give Zip greater access to US capital markets. In addition to this, a strong second quarter update and an overall re-rating of BNPL shares following the highly successful Affirm IPO in the United States were supportive. This more than offset a pullback in the Zip share price following weakness in the tech sector at the end of the month.
Virgin Money UK CDI (ASX: VUK)
The Virgin Money UK share price wasn’t far behind with a gain of 39.5% in February. The catalyst for this was the release of a stronger than expected first quarter update early in the month. That update revealed that the UK based bank “had a profitable and positive first quarter.” Another positive was that management revealed that its COVID bad debts are comfortably within the level assumed in its provision.
EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML)
The EML Payments share price was on form in February and recorded a gain of 29.6%. Investors were fighting to get hold of the payments company’s shares following the release of its half year results. EML Payments delivered a 54% increase in group gross debit volume to $10.2 billion and a 61% jump in revenue to $95.3 million. In respect to its earnings, as this growth was driven largely by its lower margin General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) segment, its net profit grew at a slightly lower rate of 30% to $13.2 million. This was still well ahead of the market’s expectations.
Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR)
The Sandfire share price was a very strong performer last month and rose 27.6% during the period. A large portion of this gain came in the final week of the month following the release of its half year result. For the six months ended 31 December, the copper producer almost doubled its net profit to $60.8 million. This allowed its board to lift its interim dividend to 8 cents per share from 5 cents per a year earlier. Management advised that this strong performance was driven by rising copper prices, which offset a slight reduction in production.
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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. owns shares of and recommends EML Payments. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended EML Payments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.