Here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.


1. Money Talks: 3 payment stocks that will profit as more consumers choose card over cash

Of course we have another Money Talks piece in our top 10 – our readers just can’t get enough of them!

Listed fintechs have enjoyed a strong 2019, driven by scorching growth in the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space.

But let’s not forget about the payments sector; because who uses cash anymore?

Card is now the most frequently used payment method in Australia.

In 2018-19, we made 10 billion debit and credit card payments for a total value of $678 billion – that averages out to $26,800 over 395 payments for each Aussie resident.

Ron Shamgar, head of Australian equity strategies at TAMIM Asset Management, runs through his top picks in the payments space.


2. These are the top 25 standout ASX small cap energy stocks in 2019

Well apart from the fact this story is accompanied by a Top Gun pic (yes, we are fans and will be checking out the new movie), it runs through just who has made some really good share price gains in 2019.

Energy stocks made modest gains this year with the S&P ASX200 Energy index rising 13.8 per cent over the past year to 11,546.1 points.

But there have been a few stellar performers in the energy space this year, and it’s probably no surprise that Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) and Strike Energy (ASX:STX) took out first and fifth spots, respectively.

Warrego’s West Erregulla-2 well, which it shares equally with Strike Energy, has been a stunning success for both companies.

See who else has outperformed in the energy space.


3. Check out these 5 exciting ASX microcaps solving the world’s biggest health issues

Cancer is a crowded market, pot has sleep and pain issues covered — or so they say — and companies dip in and out of respiratory diseases all the time.

But there are a few ASX-listed stocks that are tackling health issues that still rate as the ‘world’s biggest’ — even if they’re no longer sexy, or never were.

Alzheimer’s, mosquito-borne disease, HIV, short sightedness, and poo are five areas that five microcap stocks are deeply involved with in order to try to change the world.

Check out who these five are.


4. African cannabis is overlooked, but it’s a multi-billion-dollar-market

Cannabis stocks may not have been feeling the investor love in the past few months, but this story certainly felt the Stockhead reader love.

Everyone still loves cannabis, it’s just those gosh darn annoying regulations holding back investment.

But here’s one market that is overlooked but promising to be quite lucrative: Africa.

The UN estimates Africa sits only behind North America as a cannabis producer and consumer.

Over 38,000 tonnes of cannabis is produced annually in Africa despite it being illegal in most countries.

And according to cannabis research firm Prohibition Partners the African cannabis market could be worth $7.1 billion by 2023.

Check out just who is realising Africa’s potential early on.


5. Bargain Barrel: These resource juniors are taking the low-cost route to production

Another popular regular of Stockhead readers is our Bargain Barrel feature.

We send you off on Christmas break with a look at two junior resource companies – one focused on gold and the other on rare earths – that have established resources and clear, low-cost paths towards production.

Bevis Yeo lists off the finer points of Alt Resources’ and RareX’s exploration efforts in Western Australia.


6. Health: Is this the big news from Germany Pharmaxis was waiting for?

Investors were eagerly awaiting a decision by German pharmaceutical major Boehringer Ingelheim on whether it wanted to go ahead and further develop BI1467335, a drug for NASH (non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease) which Pharmaxis sold in 2015.

This was edge-of-the-seat stuff for investors, which is why it is in this week’s top 10.

The outcome may not have been what investors were hoping for, but if you missed the prelude you can catch it here.


7. The CEO and the investor; two expert views on ASX fintech stocks, which galloped ahead in 2019

The numbers are in, and 2019 has been a pretty good year for listed fintechs.

Of the 18 ASX stocks tracked by Stockhead, 13 have posted a 12-month gain while just five were in the red. And of those 13 winners, seven companies have posted triple-digit percentage returns over that timeframe.

As market watchers would know, a lot of those gains have been driven by the red hot buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector.

With BNPL stocks placed at an interesting juncture, and returns book-ended by a consumer lending company (Wisr) and a business lending company (Prospa), Sam Jacobs thought it was an interesting time to get the expert view.

To get an insight on the sector, he spoke with Wisr CEO Anthony Nantes, and Dean Fergie from small-cap investment fund Cyan Investments.


8. IPO Watch: American employee experience tech Limeade lists on the ASX today

There is an insane amount of companies listing in the run-up to Christmas, which is a really good indicator the market is doing a s*#t load better than this time last year.

As they say, ‘the proof is in the pudding’ and this Christmas pudding has the ASX Small Ords and ASX 200 indices gaining 22 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively, this year.

So it’s no surprise there are a flurry of listings. Enter American workplace experience software provider Limeade, which lit up the boards today.

Limeade was one of the foreign companies the ASX was wooing during its trek to San Francisco earlier this year.


9. High Voltage: Patience … lithium prices could be in the toilet for a while

Our readers still love everything battery metals… even if we are telling you prices are still going to be in the crapper for a while.

All long-suffering battery metals investors want to know when lithium prices are going to recover. The real answer is that no one knows, and even the best estimates are just educated guesses.

S&P Global reckons that the “oversupply of lithium chemical compounds that forced prices down in 2019 should persist in 2020 as the electric vehicle revolution will not accelerate in tandem with recent — and upcoming — increases in supply”.

According to forecasts from September, the world’s total output should reach 560,000 tonnes of LCE in 2019 and exceed 800,000 tonnes in 2020, S&P says.

Fear not though, there is light at the end of the tunnel.


10. The Secret Broker: Why rob a bank when you can buy shares in it?

Stockhead’s resident “Secret Broker” never fails to bring our readers an interesting yarn and this week’s Christmas broker tale is no exception.

The latest instalment involves a lot more drinking than your doctor would recommend, spending commission money before it has been made and multiple bank robberies that eventually led one broker to a jail cell after 40 years (and several tech advancements).

It’s a cracker.

And that’s all folks – the last edition of Kick Back until the new year.

Don’t fret though, we will still be giving you your twice-daily dose of Stockhead straight to your inbox each day (except the holidays of course) over the next two weeks.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year!