Here it is – the 15 biggest stories about ASX small caps that you read in 2018
Christmas is here and nobody cares about anything else and that’s exactly how we know all is right in the world.
Eat all the food. Go and buy even more AA batteries. Don’t make any other plans for Boxing Day other than watching the cricket and the yachts, opening the B-list presents and wondering if a whole Christmas lunch can fit into a baguette with cranberry sauce.
Most importantly, don’t charge into the new year without first reflecting on 2018. What you plan to take from it, and what you’ll leave behind.
We’ve done some of the hard work for you by pulling up the 15 stories you tuned into the most on Stockhead in the past 12 months, just as a reminder.
It’s a very solid list, and surprisingly, not a lot of gold talk in it. And just one blockchain story, promise.
Drones, pot, lithium, AI – even our old friends coal and uranium can still drag a click out of you lot.
Here we go.
Arthritis is devastating, scary and painful. And by 2050, 7 million Australians will be suffering from it. Fortunately, our brightest minds are working on making the pain more bearable, and these five small caps reckon they’re onto something.
Yes, IPOs were the story of the year on the ASX, mainly for being rubbish, and this is the wrap you’d been looking. But let’s not pretend we don’t love pictures of wounded flies being stretchered to Fly Hospital by fly paramedics.
By Angela East
Uranium went on a bit of a run in May and June. After a three-year downtrend, it seemed investors were gagging for a chance to jump back in everything nuclear.
By Angela East
Woo, graphite. The wonder material coming to save us all, any decade now. Historically, it’s time actually has come, seeing as it started being useful about 6000 years ago in ceramic paint. Pretty soon, it will be stopping bullets and making our wallpaper generate electricity. Here’s who’s set to cash in on that.
Tech stocks were losing their lustre by the end of the financial year, with battery metals, cannabis and Pilbara gold stealing back the spotlight. But readers were still looking for the next big thing, and the best place to start looking is always in a big table.
By Reuben Adams
Coking coal prices were steady and strong through August and September. That’s because coking coal – as opposed to energy making thermal coal – is the coal you need to make steel, and global growth, which supports steel production, was humming. This list of 15 ASX-listed coking coal stocks and their recent performance squeezed into the top 10.
AI taking all of our jobs was a dominant theme in 2018, and every research agency at some stage had a spin on just how many jobs the bots will take. McKinsey played it straight in September, focusing instead on how many businesses would be using AI and why it could deliver $13 trillion in benefits by 2030. For ASX small cap BidEnergy, an automated system that monitors a business’s energy spending had already delivered a whopping 504 per cent share price rise in 2018 alone.
2018 wasn’t a great year to be a big, traditional bank in Australia, thanks to a royal commission that cost financial institutions more than $7 billion. Dancing on their ashes was a swathe of fintechs reporting huge increases in interest from people looking for alternatives. But even fintechs had had their share of car crashes by November.
Dan Paproth was on escrow watch in 2018. Escrow refers to shares held by early investors or directors who are restricted from selling for a period of one to two years. When that time is up, true value can follow. Will they sell, or hold? And when there’s 316 million shares under a cloud on a single day, Stockhead readers be all like:
By Reuben Adams
Lithium stocks took a beating as investors slowly learned the basics of batteries metals – including the fact that actually, lithium is kind of prevalent. But it’s also waiting in the wings for the day when we all make the final switch to electric vehicles, so when Roskill analyst Jose Lazuen said he knew “exactly the year” when that will happen, EV news broke highly into our top 10.
By Angela East
Months before that, everyone wanted to know why the $#%! lithium stocks were going down while demand is going up. Good question – but it was July and Goldman Sachs was saying hold and be rewarded handsomely.
At the start of the year there were 35-odd blockchain and crypto stocks on the ASX. By July, almost every single one of them had lost ground, yet the likes of McKinsey and Deloitte continued talking up blockchain as a potential game-changer. Here’s a few who actually got it right.
Kicking off our top three most popular stories of 2018 was the growth of pot. Pot stocks, which in Australia started to actually make some money, despite legislation in Australia lagging ever further behind. The top 19 ASX pot stocks were paid $15.6m, according to customer receipts. In contrast, the top 13 stocks in Canada, where recreational pot had been legalised, raked in $125 million.
We’ll get there eventually.
Everyone just wants their airdropped burritos now dagnabbit, but concerns are creeping in that such things will be confined to the “Where is my hoverboard?” closet. And okay, so the guy who gave us four reasons why it will happen soon is the cofounder of a company that makes comms gear for drones, the four reasons actually make a lot of sense. Unless clowns like this keep shutting down major global airports for days on end, that is.
“Small cap investors are experts on bleeding edge trends.” And Ernst & Young are one of the world’s largest professional services firms. So when EY put out its Megatrends report after a two-year wait, Stockhead‘s army descended. Behavioural design, urban remapping, molecular economies –
It was all the modern small cap investor needed to know. Jump back in if you missed it – this is the stuff your future will be made of.
If anything, this wildly varied list just goes to show what a curious bunch you all are, and brave. Thanks for making bringing it to you in 2018 all worthwhile, and more so for supporting Australia’s most innovative and daring companies.
Enjoy your break. We’ll be back in 2019.