April Winners Column: Punters get ‘virus fighter’ fatigue, gold keeps shining
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Here are the top 50 small cap stocks for April — a month defined by numerous gold hopefuls, very few COVID-19 bandwagoners, and an inexplicable +3650 per cent run for one unexceptional oil and gas company.
In March, mounting COVID-19-led uncertainty saw Australian shares recording a broad-based 22 per cent decline.
The S&P/ASX Emerging Companies Index – which gauges the health of the microcap sector – dropped 30 per cent to all-time lows.
April was a month of tentative recovery. The S&P/ASX Emerging Companies Index was up 23.5 per cent, recapturing a big chunk of March’s losses.
HERE’S THE TOP 50 SMALL CAPS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL >>>
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The meteoric rise of oil and gas junior Jupiter Energy (ASX:JPR) remains a mystery, for now.
The Kazakhstan-focused oil and gas stock — which suffered a $918,000 loss in the March quarter and has $123,000 left in the bank — rocketed from 0.5c to highs of 34.5c on April 22 and 23.
That’s also about the time oil prices were hitting crazy lows.
On April 23, chairman and chief executive Geoffrey Gander sold his Jupiter shares for between 16.5c and 19.7c on market.
The company is now in voluntary suspension while it works with “the corporate regulators and other relevant parties to better understand the irregular trading in the company’s shares”.
It’s due to make an announcement to the ASX on or before May 6.
The long-term bullish outlook for gold has inspired a tsunami of ASX-listed explorers to pour into the space. Investors have followed – a impressive 12 of our top 50 movers for April were small cap gold plays.
MetalsTech (ASX:MTC), which now owns the advanced +1moz Sturec gold project in Slovakia, gained 225 per cent for the month. The former battery metals stock is now up 835 per cent since first announcing the acquisition in November last year.
Another ‘battery metals-turned-goldie’ success story is Auteco Minerals (ASX:AUT), which was up 194 per cent in April. That makes it a +430 per cent gain for Auteco since it dropped vanadium to buy a Canadian gold project in January this year.
During February and March ‘nimble’ small caps pivoted towards selling hand sanitiser, virus testing kits, or just assessing an existing drug/compound in the treatment of COVID-19.
Investors loved it.
Their collective popularity may have waned in April, but a couple still made the top 50.
In March, Skin Elements (ASX:SKN) was questioned by the ASX about a vague statement it made in its half year report about a new product launch for an antimicrobial liquid dubbed ‘Invisi Shield’.
It didn’t stop the momentum of the stock, which went on to record a 284 per cent gain in April.
The company says the first production run of Invisi Shield Natural is now underway at its Perth facility in WA.
Online vendor Harris Technology (ASX:HT8) also made gains after announcing a “pro-hygiene range” of facemasks, hand sanitiser gels and alcohol wipes mid-month.
Harris Technology said it sold 30,000 face masks in March, while another shipment of 200,000 face masks (approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration) had just arrived.