The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has had a pretty successful year in 2021 so far. We’ve seen the index gain a hefty 7.7% year to date. That’s as well as three new record highs, as of just today.
But some ASX 200 shares have invariably performed better than others. Here are three such shares that have all gained at least 50% in 2021 so far:
Codan Limited (ASX: CDA)
Codan is an ASX 200 company that designs and makes mining and communications equipment, as well as metal detectors. It has had a phenomenal year so far, with the Codan share price up 61.6% since the start of 2021. It appears a major catalyst behind this sharp increase was the $114 million acquisition of the US-based Domo Tactical Communications, which was announced back in February. Domo Tactical helps supply high-bandwidth wireless technology. That news helped spark a big jump in the Codan share price at the time. Momentum appears to have kept building from there.
Virgin Money UK CDI (ASX: VUK)
Virgin Money, also known by its former name of Clydesdale Bank (CYBG PLC), is a UK-based bank that was spun out of National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) a few years ago. It is one of the most volatile ASX bank shares on the ASX 200, having a 52-week range of $1.26–$3.90 a share as of today. Fortunately for shareholders, sentiment has broken to the upside in 2021 so far. Virgin Money shares are up almost 63% year to date. The strength of the global economic recovery, and an accommodating credit market, appear to be the driving forces here.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)
Pilbara Minerals is another ASX 200 share that is no stranger to volatility. This company has a 52-week range of 23 cents to $1.47 a share. But once again, 2021 has been very kind to Pilbara shareholders. Pilbara shares are up 50% year to date. This includes a healthy 3% bump just today. Pilbara is an ASX lithium miner – a sector that’s received a lot of attention this year amid the rise of electric vehicles and renewable energy. Lithium is a key component of the rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles as well as used for electrical grid backup. As my Fool colleague reported today, lithium demand out of China is also expected to remain strong in 2021 as well.