The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is rangebound today and is currently in the green at 7,510.0 points. Several majors in the broad index have had a rough time lately, whereas others have flourished to close out the year.
Nonetheless the broad market has rallied off a low in December and looks set to finish the trading year on a high after relentlessly setting a series of new highs in 2021.
With this momentum in situ, these 3 ASX 200 shares each started the day well on Thursday, nudging past their record highs.
Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE)
Shares in Allkem are inching higher today and are less than 1% in the green at $10.44 apiece. Although in the past week, investors have thrust its share price northwards following a feasibility study and Maiden Ore Reserve release for its James Bay Lithium Project in Canada.
In the announcement, Allkem says the study and ore results afford an approximate 2.5x increase in Net Present Value (NPV) on the site from the preliminary economic assessment that was released in March 2021. This bodes in well for the company’s valuation.
Construction is now planned to commence towards the end of 2022 with commissioning in Q1 2024, after certain criteria are satisfied.
Allkem says the move positions the company in markets “located in proximity to high-growth electric vehicle markets in North America and Europe”.
Today’s gain builds on an extended run into the green that Allkem shares have been on since early December, having bounced off a low of $8.51 to start the month.
UBS, Macquarie and JP Morgan reckon that Allkem is a buy right now, each valuing the company at $10.75, $13.60 and $12 per share respectively.
Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)
Shares in investment banking giant Macquarie eclipsed the illustrious $200 per share mark in 2021 and have continued the strength to trade at $206.85 at the time of writing.
Earlier in the session on Thursday, Macquarie shot past its previous record and established a new all-time high at $208.60 before retracing back down to its current levels.
Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets (GCM) division has already delivered a 60% year-on-year growth in net profit after tax (NPAT) contribution in the first half.
Further, both the firm and experts covering its share price are adamant Macquarie Investment Management (MIM) will benefit from the Waddell & Reed acquisition coming into the new year.
The vast majority of analysts covering the stock have it as a buy. JP Morgan reckons Macquarie is worth $214 whereas Morgan Stanley has the bank as a buy at a $245 price target.
Considering its fundamental this year and the earnings growth planned on the horizon, the market is bullish on Macquarie as well right now, helping carry its share price to new record highs.
Reece Ltd (ASX: REH)
Shares in plumbing and refrigeration supplies giant Reece also cruised past their record high today, reaching an intraday high of $27.48 in early trading.
It’s been fairly quiet out of Reece’s camp lately, with its last major update confirming it had completed a round of debt refinancing.
Prior to this however, the company released its first-quarter sales update for FY22 in October. This gave investors something to bite their teeth into, seeing as sales revenue grew to $1.77 billion for Q1, a 13.2% increase on the year prior. The bolus of growth was underscored by ANZ and United States sales expansion of 9% and 18.6% respectively.
Despite unpredictable “inflation dynamics, supply chain disruptions together with tight labour markets and wage inflation” Reece expects it will “accelerate in Q2 and persist for the balance of FY22”.
With this in mind, the company envisions 1H FY22 EBITDA to fall in a range of 8% to 11% higher than the previous year’s 1H result of $349 million.
The market likes these projections from the plumbing giant, and investors have piled into Reece thereby shooting its share price up by over $9 per share since it released its first half results.
With the ASX about to fulfil its penultimate session for 2021 today, these 3 ASX 200 shares have closed out the year on a high.