Pilbara Minerals’ 470 per cent annual gain puts it top of the ASX tree

Pilbara Minerals is poised to take annual honours as Australia’s best performing top-200 stock after recovering lithium prices fuelled a four-fold jump in value that has the WA miner on the threshold of becoming a $4 billion company (reports The West)
11th June 2021
Resources Rising Stars

With just three weeks left to run until June 30, Pilbara is easily the S&P-ASX200’s biggest gainer of the 2020-21 financial year, its shares up 469 per cent.

That’s more than double the gains of the next best stocks, wealth platform HUB24, up 196 per cent, and rare earths company Lynas, up 185 per cent.

By comparison, the S&P-ASX200 has risen 23.7 per cent over the past year.

At a near-record closing price of $1.33 on Friday, Pilbara is worth $3.8b and trading at four times the 36¢ at which it raised $240 million in December. In the immediate aftermath of the March 2020 sharemarket rout, it was languishing at just 13¢.

The company has been reinvigorated by the sharp jump in lithium prices over the past year, with demand for battery minerals recovering alongside the automotive industry as the world emerges from COVID-19.

The best performers’ top-10 is rounded out by several stocks which have prospered from rising sales during the pandemic.

According to Bloomberg’s data, sports betting platform Pointsbet Holdings is up 154 per cent since June 2020, while four-wheel drive accessories group ARB’s shares are up 151 per cent.

Plumbing and bathroom products company Reece has added 147 per cent. Car dealer Eagers Automotive, which had to lay off hundreds of staff when the virus arrived last year, is now struggling to satisfy demand for vehicles. It is up 136 per cent.

But there have also been some big losers. Baby formula maker A2 Milk is the biggest share price casualty of the year so far, down 69 per cent after four downgrades in nine months.

WA gold miners Regis Resources and Resolute Mining have also disappointed, surrendering 48 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

Mining contractor Perenti Global has also found the going tough, down 41 per cent. Its shares have lost 30 per cent since the group warned last month it was grappling with an Australian wages and labour squeeze.

The broader All Ordinaries index, which includes more than 1400 companies, has supported bigger performances.

Brisbane-based biotech Anteotech has gone from 2¢ to as high as 43.5¢ on the way to closing at 30¢ on Friday. Its 1400 per cent appreciation makes it the sharemarket’s biggest gainer.

Not far behind is WA lithium energy company and market darling Vulcan Energy Resources, which has stormed from less than 60¢ to $8.14.

The company was swamped with demand for a $100m placement in February and ended up taking $120m from investors including Gina Rinehart.

The All Ordinaries also hosts Chalice Mining, which has added more than 800 per cent on its Julimar palladium discovery just outside Perth. The stock closed at a record closing high of $9.17 on Thursday to revalue the exploration play at $3b.

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