3 ASX small-cap shares that soared 250% to 675% in FY24

ASX small-cap shares can offer potentially higher price growth but typically involve more risk.

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The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) moved 8.27% higher in FY24, which is a perfectly respectable return. But it ain't nothin' compared to these superstar ASX small-cap shares.

ASX small-cap shares have a market capitalisation ranging from a few hundred million to $2 billion. 

They are typically younger, growing companies. They can offer ASX investors potentially superior share price growth (if all goes well). But the trade-off is higher risk given their early business development.

Let's check out three of the best performers among the ASX All Ords small-cap shares in FY24.

3 ASX small-caps that rocketed in FY24

Clarity Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: CU6)

ASX small-cap healthcare share Clarity Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $1.59 billion.

The Clarity Pharmaceuticals share price went stratospheric in FY24, rising by 674.29%. Investors are keen to be part of Clarity's story as it continues to have success with its highly targeted radiopharmaceuticals in the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases, including cancer.

Among the company's highlights in FY24 was the first patient ever to be dosed with two cycles of 67Cu-SAR-bisPSMA at 8GBq maintaining undetectable levels of prostate cancer for almost six months.

Droneshield (ASX: DRO)

ASX small-cap defence share Droneshield has a market cap of $1.53 billion.

Droneshield shares certainly flew in FY24, rising 647.83%. The share price got a big kick in January after the company launched its Expeditionary Fixed-Site (EFS) Kit for the DroneSentry-X Mk2.

Another piece of news that moved the Droneshield share price substantially higher was a repeat order of A$5.7 million from a US Government customer for several of its CUxS (Counter-UxS) systems in May.

Zip Co Ltd (ASX: ZIP)

ASX small-cap buy now, pay later (BNPL) share Zip has a market cap of $1.96 billion.

The Zip share price lurched 256.1% higher during FY24. This was welcome news for long-term investors who have held on through some very difficult years. The company has undergone a major transformation since abandoning plans for global growth in order to focus on growing revenue in a few key markets.

First-quarter results and the half-year update gave the ASX small-cap stock some exciting price boosts.

In a recent update, the portfolio managers of the Blackwattle Small Cap Quality Fund said there were opportunities to buy high-quality industrial small caps in today's choppy market.

Robert Hawkesford and Daniel Broeren wrote:

As investors digest the likelihood of fewer (if any) rate cuts in 2024, we expect equity markets to remain choppy.

Many cyclical sectors have already seen meaningful corrections from the very elevated valuations at the end of February.

We are now seeing opportunities to selectively increase exposure to good-quality industrial businesses that are performing well.

The portfolio managers said the fund remained overweight in ASX small-cap mining shares. But they have banked some profits from big gains in the prices of some ASX gold and copper stocks.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has positions in Zip Co. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended DroneShield and Zip Co. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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