Leading up to the midpoint of 2021, it might be time to take stock and see how your investments stack up against the best performing shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) so far this year.
While the arbitrary timeframe of performance holds little weight in the long term, it can be helpful to understand what a winning investment looks like. Whether it’s macro trends, business decisions, or speculation – there’s usually a reason behind strong performance.
So, let’s make like a rock and get rolling…
Top 5 ASX 200 shares, you might be surprised
We covered 2021’s top performers out of all the ASX-listed shares on Wednesday. But today is solely for those that are included in the benchmark index.
And here they are…
ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB)
The Australia-based 4×4 accessories manufacturer has shot the lights out so far this year. This ASX 200 share has gained 48% year to date (YTD). Making its performance all the more impressive, this is on the back of a 64% gain in 2020.
The company has benefitted from a massive boom in vehicle sales, as savings and the desire to travel locally surged. For the half year ended December 2020, ARB reported revenue of $283.9 million, representing an increase of 21.6% on the prior corresponding period.
Other share price catalysts included the company’s acquisition of Truckman – a utility accessories manufacturer in the United Kingdom, and a strategic collaboration with Ford Motor Company for its new Ford Bronco.
Reece Ltd (ASX: REH)
Ultra-low interest rates, a rebounding economy, and money to spend – a recipe for a thriving property market. Whether it’s building brand new, or updating the bathroom, Reece has captured plenty of the property tailwinds. Reece is Australia’s largest supplier of all things bathroom, kitchen, plumbing and HVAC.
The company reported a 4% increase in revenue for the half-year. Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 12% to $349 million. With the property trend continuing into 2021, investors have been buying up this ASX 200 share in their droves.
The Reece share price has gained almost 50% YTD.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)
Lithium prices have flown higher this year, with carbonate and hydroxide pushing more than 50% off November 2020 lows. The upwards move in the electrifying commodity has boosted revenues and earnings margins for lithium mining companies, such as Pilbara Minerals.
As of December 2020, the company’s trailing 12-month revenue was $105.5 million, an increase of 59.4% from December 2019. Additionally, the company’s strategy and outlook announcement on 11 May showed plans to further increase production.
The Pilbara Minerals share price has surged 53% so far this year. Despite the jump in its share price, the company is still one of the smaller shares in the ASX 200 index with a market capitalisation of around $3.85 billion.
Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)
Pro Medicus is a provider of healthcare imaging software, ranging across medical accounting, clinical reporting, appointment scheduling and more. The company runs on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, making it important for it to land new contracts.
So far in 2021, Pro Medicus has landed a few big contracts, instilling investor optimism. In January, the company signed a 7-year contract with Intermountain Healthcare for $40 million.
Then in February, another 7-year contract – this time with a major University Health System for $31 million. Lastly, an 8-year contract worth $14 million was signed with the University of Vermont Health Network in May.
The flurry of new customers has been met with a 58% share price increase YTD.
Codan Limited (ASX: CDA)
Finally, taking out the spot for best performing ASX 200 share so far in 2021 with a gain of almost 66% YTD is… Codan. A manufacturer of metal detectors, communications, and tracking solutions, Codan has enjoyed record sales – driven predominantly by metal detector and tracking solution sales.
Furthermore, the company has made two acquisitions already this year, the first being Domo Tactical Communications. Domo is a provider of high-bandwidth wireless communications to more than 20 key United States Government agencies.
The second acquisition involved Zetron Inc, a provider of mission-critical communication technologies. Codan anticipates that the acquired business will contribute roughly $67 million in sales during the next financial year.