ASX tech shares roar higher, puts ASX 200 index in the shade

Alcidion and Whispir shares roar higher, Costa wilts.

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A happy woman at her laptop punches the air, indicating a rising share price

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Having recently been beaten, battered and bruised, smaller tech shares had a well deserved day in the sun on Thursday, with the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) handily out-pacing the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

Could the resurgence have anything to do with the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne, with  'stay at home' shares being beneficiaries again? 

Market movers

The Alcidion Group Ltd (ASX: ALC) share price hit an all-time high on Thursday, jumping 4 cents or 9.8% higher to 45 cents at the time of writing, and is now up an impressive 242% for Motley Fool Hidden Gems members since it was first recommended as a buy in May 2019.

In late April the provider of healthcare analytics software reported continued strong organic sales growth in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with revenue for the first three quarters of FY21 surpassing revenue for the full year of FY20. 

The Hidden Gems team recently reiterated Alcidion as a buy, saying the company has "proven technology and product that is increasingly appealing to hospitals and allied health professionals, and still has a lot of market share to claim."

The Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) share price slumped 23% to $3.39 after the horticulture company warned that growth for the first half of 2021 is expected to be only marginally ahead of the comparable period. 

Costa is seeing mixed performances from its domestic operations, with berries looking strong, but mushrooms, citrus and tomato operations facing near term production and/or pricing pressures. When it comes to agriculture, as the old saying goes, it never rains but it pours.

Perhaps pre-empting such an event, the team at Motley Fool Share Advisor recently downgraded Costa to a hold, citing concerns about valuation and the volatility of its growing products. 

Having recently fallen to a 10-month low, the Whispir Ltd (ASX: WSP) share price jumped 9% higher on Wednesday and another 6.6% today after an article in The Australian mentioned a potential partnership with Chemist Warehouse. According to The Australian, Chemist Warehouse is reportedly set to link with Whispir as it looks to roll out an e-prescription service.

Whispir is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) communications workflow platform provider. As with many similar companies, its share price has been on the nose in recent times as tech shares across the board have taken a beating. 

Shaken but not stirred, Whispir remains an active buy recommendation across six different Motley Fool services. 

Stock of the Week

Our newest feature continues apace, with Motley Fool Chief Investment Officer Scott Phillips joined by Director of Research Kevin Gandiya to deep dive into our Stock of the Week, Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL).

Netwealth is a leading specialist platform provider and one of Australia's fastest growing wealth management businesses. Senior Motley Fool Analyst Ryan Newman recently added it to the real money Motley Fool Pro 2.0 portfolio, saying its solid management team is overseeing strong and consistent market share growth. Click here to see Scott and Kevin's take on Netwealth. 

Thought of the day

Shares can 'only' fall 100%. But they can rise 300%, 1,000% or 5,000%, gains that will absolutely wipe out many losers in your portfolio. The catch is such astronomical returns will take many years, require you holding on during periods of extreme volatility, and need you to avoid the urge to sell a great company simply to lock in a profit.  

Bruce Jackson 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 Whispir Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Alcidion Group Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Netwealth. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alcidion Group Ltd and Whispir Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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