These were the 5 best performing ASX healthcare shares in November

It was a weak month overall for ASX healthcare shares but several names outperformed.

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Two doctors wearing white coats look closely at a medical imaging x-ray as the share prices of ASX 200 healthcare shares improve in FY23

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The S&P/ASX 200 Health Care index (ASX: XHJ) pared its October gains in November. The index went from 2.62% up in October to a slight 0.11% fall over November to 46,299 points.

However, ASX healthcare shares did outperform the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) which fell 1.56% over November as the market continued to grapple with the latest COVID-19 reopening challenges.

Despite the weakness of the broad healthcare sector last month, several companies pushed well ahead of the pack.

Here are the top 5 performing ASX healthcare shares for November.

Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL)

After a poor start to the month, shares in ASX healthcare giant Sonic Healthcare finished the month 7% in the green.

Early in November, Sonic’s share price took a nosedive and sunk to a 2-month low of $38.51.

However, investors began piling back into Sonic after it released its Q1 FY22 trading update. In the release, the company revealed revenue growth of 5% year-on-year (YoY) to $3.08 billion and EBITDA came in 16% higher.

Robust demand for Covid-19 tests and vaccinations bumped the company’s sales and earnings during the quarter. These trends look set to continue into CY22, according to expert commentary.

These figures were a positive surprise for the market, as many analysts were banking on Sonic’s revenue declining in FY22.

As such, investors bought in at the lows and drove the Sonic share price north to finish the month at $42.70.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

Pro Medicus shares started catching bids in late October and the momentum continued for the next few weeks. The company finished 17% in the green last month after its share price charged north with authority from the get-go.

Investors appeared to view Pro Medicus’ annual report in a positive light. The company reiterated its FY21 earnings results in more detail. It was a successful period and the company secured multiple contract wins during the year.

As a result, 9 out of the 20 leading hospitals in the US are now using the Pro Medicus Visage-7 imaging platform.

Pro Medicus anticipates it will secure additional contracts in FY22 and will continue rolling out its Visage RIS platform. In addition, cash flow from several contracts already secured is set to be realised this coming year. The company expects that this will drive growth at its top and bottom lines.

After shooting off a low of $53.28 on 1 November, Pro Medicus shares finished the month at $62.48. This netted shareholders a tidy $9.20 per share profit for the month.

Incannex Healthcare Ltd (ASX: IHL)

Shares in the medicinal cannabinoid company gained 41% in November.

A slew of positive catalysts bolstered the Incannex share price — mainly clinical trial approvals and the company’s quarterly activities report released in late October.

For example, an ethics committee has approved its Phase 2a clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in primary anxiety disorder.

Psychedelics like psilocybin are gaining traction within medicinal circles as a front-line treatment for many mental illnesses. This is largely due to their non-invasive nature and excellent treatment results.

In its activities report, Incannex told the ASX it has successfully raised $17.66 million from an option exercise program.

Investors piled into the company after these updates and sent its share price soaring from a low of 40.5 cents to 57 cents at the closing bell on 30 November.

SDI Limited (ASX: SDI)

Shares in SDI, a supplier of dental restoration materials, gained 10% during November. This netted shareholders a 10 cents per share gain.

Investors responded positively to SDI’s AGM mid-month, where the company gave a high-level view of its operations across the financial year.

SDI noted it had paid total dividends of 3.15 cents per share last year, up 70% on the prior corresponding period.

SDI also highlighted several product launches in its whitening and glass ionomer division and said it is focused on investing in research and development.

After a jagged start to the month, the SDI share price took off from $1.01 on 12 November to finish the month at $1.10.

In the past 12 months, SDI shareholders have enjoyed a 37% return to date.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH)

Despite it being a quiet month on the news front, shares in Fisher & Paykel still climbed 8% during November.

Fisher & Paykel shares traded as low as $29.42 early on in the month before going as high as $32.30 at the close on 25 November. Investors then sold off their positions and the share price finished the month at $31.58.

One key takeout for the period was the company’s half-year results released on 25 November. Fisher & Paykel outlined it had suffered a slight down-step in revenue and earnings due to pressures on hospitals and patient turnover from the pandemic.

Despite this, consumables revenue came in 8% higher and formed the bolus of total sales. The company’s home care division also grew during the first half.

Despite the share price growth in November, it’s been a challenging year for Fisher & Paykal investors. Their positions are down almost 5% since this time last year.

The author has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended SDI Limited and Sonic Healthcare Limited. 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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