It was a mixed bag of results for ASX healthcare shares as we walked through October, as some names came in red hot, whilst others missed the mark completely.
After a sharp downturn in late September, where it lost around 7% in just one week, the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care Index (XHJ) rebounded 4% and began climbing northwards once more.
Within this group lies a subset of individual companies that gave back handsomely to shareholders last month.
Here are four of the standouts from the ASX healthcare basket for the month of October.
Healthia Ltd (ASX: HLA)
Shares in healthcare group Healthia soared 13% in October towards their 52-week high, closing the month at $2.05 per share.
Driving this upside was positive catalysts from the company’s acquisition of the Back in Motion physiotherapy franchise, which settled during the month.
This strategic acquisition gives Healthia exposure to a suite of physiotherapy clinics across Australia and New Zealand, thereby strengthening its Allied Health portfolio.
Healthia provided another update at month’s end confirming it had acquired a further 18 Back in Motion clinics, thereby bringing the total number of clinics acquired to 32 – half of the company’s 64 physio clinics in total.
Investors sent Healthia shares flying on the news, bidding prices higher after coming off a low of $1.78 mid-month.
From this point, Healthia shares jumped over 15%, to finish October, and finished yesterday’s session in the green at $2.02.
Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC)
Global hospital giant Ramsay Healthcare had a turbulent month, however, came out on top as we rolled over into November.
Shares in the ASX healthcare behemoth jumped 4% from month start to end, however, came off a low of $65.94 at the midpoint to accelerate northwards at a rapid pace.
Investors piled in and added another $5.28 per share in a number of days for Ramsay, as state governments in NSW and Victoria began to roll back COVID-19 restrictions that were limiting hospital patient turnover.
News of the restrictions easing sent Ramsay shares soaring in the days afterwards, as investors appeared to regain confidence in the hospital specialist once again.
This came off a solid first quarter performance on the chart for Ramsay, where it also gained another $6.80 or 11% per share in the three months ending 30 September 2021.
Ramsay shares are set to open the session at $71.85 after inching a further 1% higher in yesterday’s trade.
Aroa Biosurgery Ltd (ASX: ARX)
Shares in soft tissue regeneration company Aroa Biosurgery were another takeout from the ASX healthcare basket last month.
After a wild ride, the wound care and tissue reconstruction specialist finished the month in the green, posting a solid 6.25% gain to close out October.
However, at one point, Aroa shares were trading around 15% higher at $1.22, after the company released its preliminary half year results.
It was a robust half for the Aroa, hallmarked by a contract extension for its Myriad products. This decision enables around 1,500 hospitals and healthcare systems access to its Myriad segment.
Aroa shares jumped on news of the company’s performance and contract extension, with investors securing their position in the company’s growth engine in numbers.
After another day in the green, Aroa shares finished the session 1.8% higher at $1.125 yesterday.
Rhythm Biosciences Ltd (ASX: RHY)
Shares in medical diagnostics company Rhythm Biosciences were star performers last month, claiming a 33.5% gain for its shareholders to bite into.
It was all systems go for Rhythm in October, as investors bid up its share price in rapid succession towards the back end of the month.
Perhaps they were seeking to own a piece of a company making significant advancements in the field of medical diagnostics – like with its ColoSTAT testing technology.
ColoSTAT is the company’s low-cost blood test for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
Rhythm claims this disruptive technology is significantly cheaper and easier to administer than the current standard of care.
And oh my, is Rhythm projecting some serious numbers for its growth outlook in this segment.
The company forecasts a total addressable ‘screening value’ of US$38 billion and a total addressable market of over 770 million people in its market projections for ColoSTAT.
In fact, Rhythm reckons that it can even reach up to a billion people if the standard screening age is lowered to 45 years old.
Rhythm expects it will derive first revenues from the product in late 2022 and is currently working on building out its pipeline of other cancer diagnostics.
For now, it is set to open the session at $1.70 after climbing a further 1.5% into the green yesterday.
Honourable mentions include Volpara Health Technologies Ltd (ASX: VHT) who was up around 10% but fell sharply in the last week of October; and Impedimed Limited (ASX: IPD), which climbed 7 cents per share to post a new 52-week high of 19 cents.