February ASX Winners: A commodities boom, BNPL mania, and one tiny 10-bagger casino
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In February, ASX fintech stocks were winners, losers and winners again.
The benchmark ASX 200 index made a 1 per cent gain for month – despite a late month drop — driven largely by favourite fintech Zip (ASX:Z1P) +43%, as well as Virgin Money (ASX:VUK) +39.5%, and EML Payments (ASX:EML) +29%.
Meanwhile, the broad based commodities boom – sans gold and silver — continued to gather steam.
The copper price hit nine-and-a-half year highs. Nickel punched through six-and-a-half year highs.
Long-suffering battery metals lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths all moved higher on increased demand.
Iron ore defied the naysayers, again, gaining 10 per cent to ~$US172/t.
Hydrogen jumped into mainstream consciousness and uranium remained poised, perpetually, for a breakout.
BNPL dominated the news cycle, but there was no overriding sector or theme in February’s top stocks, unlike previous months.
This is a ‘grab bag’ of winners in the purest sense.
Here’s the top 50 small caps for the month of February>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop
Aquis, which acquired the Canberra Casino in 2014, is a $56 million market cap gambling stock that has traded in a narrow range beneath 10c since 2015.
Out of nowhere the perpetually loss-making company exploded in a monumental rally from less than 4c to briefly more than 50c.
Why? Dunno, but big fish Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) is in all sorts of trouble at the moment – not that you could call the $6.72 billion casino giant a competitor.
AQS has also been undertaking a multi-year application process with the ACT government for a $300m project development that would expand the casino into a broader entertainment precinct.
“Obviously we’ve accomplished a lot in a week,” Bard1 chief executive Dr Learnne Hinch joked to Stockhead.
In late February two company founders sued Bard1 over their performance rights which dulled the shine, ever so slightly.
Sleepy, tightly held gold-iron ore explorer Accent has done sweet FA for quite some time.
Accent is essentially a shell which “continues to assess investment opportunities and projects for acquisition or development” in conjunction with majority Chinese shareholders Rich Mark Development Group (+67 per cent) and Xingang Resources (21 per cent).
Important addendum: some legend called ‘Grandmaster Fortune’ also holds a +4 per cent stake in the company.
RNT, which operates real estate websites focussing on the rental market, soared after tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery invested $2m.
Slattery, who has a history of sending stocks into the stratosphere, bought his shares a 5c each, which means he had made about $5 million clear profit by the end of the month.
Investors love hydrogen right now.
Green hydrogen – which burns cleanly and emits water — is the ‘holy grail’ of a net zero emissions future.
Which is why struggling exploration stock Province was able to reverse its fortunes by acquiring an industrial minerals and green hydrogen project in WA’s northwest.
“Green hydrogen will be an increasingly important future energy source, developing alongside the lithium industry,” says project advisor Gavin Rezos.
“Rapid advances in hydrogen fuel cells are now demonstrating that green hydrogen will have a major role to play in the areas of mass transport, shipping, trucking, and eventually in homes, helping the world reach targets of being net zero carbon by 2050.”
Malaysia-based, former ‘bottom of the sock drawer’ minnow Netccentric “turns the engagement between social media influencers and followers into revenue and sales”.
In 2020, the company influenced enough punters to make a small profit for the first time since listing in 2015.
High-flying fintech play IOUPay took advantage of the BNPL mania by completing a $50 million placement — the largest single raising in the company’s history.
A total of 100 million shares were placed at 50c a share, with both new and existing institutional investors quickly snapping up the offer within 48 hours.
The $50m will fund growth initiatives including digital payments, and support an expansion into Southeast Asian markets.
The “international venture and development firm” eked out a net profit of $190,852 in 2020 – its first since 2017.
Small wins, but a damn sight better than the $14.1 million loss suffered in 2019.
The outlook is promising, it says. While a move into the BNPL space attracted attention, Abelco Investment Group — a Swedish company that Fatfish holds a 50.1 per cent stake in – also swung to a record full-year profit following a loss in 2019.
This industrious gold explorer has been working its collection of Kalgoorlie projects for a few years now.
Lefroy’s 22-hole drilling program, designed to test both strike and depth extensions to the ‘Burns’ system, now appears to have hit the motherlode.
The highlight intercept was:
Huge. The hole also ended in mineralisation, which remains ‘open’ on all sides.
Clothing maker GLG diversified into masks during the pandemic, which turned out to be a decent money maker.
The stock announced a 32.3 per cent revenue increase, from $US75 to $US100m, in 2020.
Net profit was $US1.3m, up from $400,000 in 2019.
The margins may be slim, but the company still declared a dividend for the year ending 31 December 2020 of US1c per share.
At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Fatfish Group is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.