Online wine and seafood businesses, IT hygiene product providers and three gold companies are among the top performing penny stocks for the first half of this year.

Penny stocks or small cap stocks is a popular term in US share markets for companies with a share price trading under $1, and there are a good many in the ASX market.

Many share trading platforms like Robinhood in the US allow traders to buy and sell penny stocks that they see as having the potential to take off and soar.

It is an investor’s dream to buy some penny stocks and see their prices rocket skywards.

Some investors had their dream realised in the first half of 2020 when around 30 ASX stocks initially trading at under $1 a share jumped in value by 300 per cent or more. These stocks have a market value of less than $100m.


Gold explorer Stone Resources tops the penny stocks gainers list

Top of the list in terms of share price gains is Stone Resources (ASX:SHK), which ran up 1,750 per cent between January and June, and now has a market cap of $31m.

Stone Resources started out in January trading at less than 1c per share, and hit a high of 3.7c.

Stone Resources (ASX:SHK) share price chart


The gold explorer’s Brightstar project near Laverton in WA is being developed after it raised cash from selling its Ben Hur gold project to Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) for $10m.

Regis will pay Stone a 1 per cent net smelter royalty on gold produced from Ben Hur, capped at $5m and starting after the first 100,000oz. After $5m the royalty falls to 0.0025 per cent.

Ben Hur has a JORC resource of 5.8 million tonnes at 1.6 grams per tonne (g/t) for 290,000oz of contained gold and will extend the life of Regis’ Duketon operations including its Garden Well operation that lies 30km south.

Second on the list for share price gains is Ultima United (ASX:UUL), which has witnessed a 1,400 per cent gain in the first half.

The property developer with projects in Australia and Japan is looking at developing special disability accommodation under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


WFH boom fires up ASX tech stocks

Harris Technology (ASX:HT8) started out trading at 1c per share in January before it caught fire and gained 1,350 per cent, pushing its market cap to $33m.

The electronic products and IT group has seen business blossom for its security and online hygiene products from the rapid acceleration of the work-from-home trend.

Harris Technology (ASX:HT8) share price chart


Alderan Resources (ASX:AL8), meanwhile, has leapt 929 per cent to a market cap of $44m since January.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) subsidiary Kennecott Exploration has spent $US30m ($41.7m) on drilling at Alderan’s Frisco copper-gold-silver project in Utah, where it has discovered a ‘tier one’ 3km strike length mineralised copper-gold system.

Rounding out the top five is Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI), up from less than 1c in January to now trading at 7.5c and growing to a market cap of $62m.

The West African gold company is exploring in Guinea’s Siguiri Basin and has gold projects in Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

Predictive’s share price ‘shook the ASX’ with a 733 per cent one day gain on April 15, the largest for three years, with 1 billion of its shares changing hands in 48 hours, the company said in a presentation.

The gold company’s share price showed the impressive gain on ‘outstanding drill results’ for its New Gold discovery in Guinea.

Here’s a list of ASX penny stocks that made big moves in the first half of 2020:

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Other large gaining stocks this first half

Some small cap gold companies logged large rises, Metalicity (ASX:MCT) was up 737 per cent in the half year, Tesoro Resources (ASX:TSO) rose 631 per cent, while Auris Minerals (ASX:SUR) climbed 576 per cent higher.

Metalicity said drilling had delivered high-grade results at its Kookynie gold project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields, and Tesoro has achieved drilling success at its El Zorro project in Chile.

New Zealand Coastal Seafoods (ASX:NZS) grew 505 per cent to a market cap of $41m, and Digital Wine Ventures (ASX:DW8) soared 450 per cent to a valuation of $46m.

New Zealand Coastal Seafoods company processes and exports products, including some in powder form from New Zealand, for the neutraceutical and seafoods markets, and it has an online presence.

Digital Wine Ventures invests in new innovative products for the $300bn global wine market such as digital marketing and e-commerce distribution channels.

Both businesses have avoided disruption from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Metalicity is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.