The ASX 200 benchmark index finished the year up by 13%.

Stockhead has covered the 100 best performers gaining 190% or more in 2021, as well the worst performing ones.

In this column, we’ll cover those stocks that are trading at or near their 52-week highs and lows.

4 stocks near 52-week high

Cronos Australia (ASX:CAU)

The Cronos stock price has surged nearly 40% on Wednesday on no specific news.

The cannabis company has been rising since announcing a merger with unlisted CDA Health.

CEO Rodney Cocks said the merger will leverage the synergies from the business, with Cronos providing medical products, clinical services (via Cannadoc Health) and consumer export operations in Asia.

CDA Health meanwhile, would provide retail-ready food and nutraceutical products and doctor-led medical cannabis clinics.


Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT)

Tanzanian graphite developer Black Rock has been on the rise since signing an offtake agreement with POSCO.

The deal covers 100% of its planned production from its high purity Mahenge Graphite Mine.

The deal outlines an indicative termsfor a US$10m prepayment, repayable via delivery of product over an eight year period.


Ridley Corp (ASX:RIC)

The stock feed specialist has had a good year, delivering a 16% increase in EBITDA in the first half of FY22.

The company has a strong balance sheet, boosted by the sale of its Westbury extrusion facility in Tasmania in May 2021 for $55m.

Ridley says it will use around $15m in capital over the next 18 months on projects within its core businesses which will generate a payback within 3 years.


Duxton Water (ASX:D2O)

Duxton owns and manages a portfolio of water rights in Australia, providing the irrigation community with a broad range of water supply solutions.

The company generates revenue by offering irrigators a range of water supply solutions, including long-term entitlement leases, forward allocation contracts and spot allocation sales.

Its portfolio is mainly located along the South Murray Darling Basin, which makes up 80 per cent of water trade in Australia.

Its NAV (net asset value) has been increasing strongly since 2017, and the company has been paying increased dividends since.

4 stocks near 52-week low

McPherson’s (ASX:MCP)

The health and beauty company has been falling since a takeover proposal from Arrotex Australia was taken off the table in June.

Throughout the year, MCP has been struggling to meet forecast due to the decline in sales of its Dr LeWinn’s products to China, which resulted in a 10% decrease in revenue.

Prior to COVID, McPherson’s had been relying on the daigou phenonomenon, an informal sales channel that created significant demand from Chinese consumers, and generated substantial growth in turnover for the company from fiscal 2017 to 2020.


Avita Medical (ASX:AVH)

Shares in the regenerative medicine company has been falling despite delivering a 39% increase in revenue during the first quarter of FY22.

Avita also announced a pivotal trial for the use of its RECELL system for repigmentation of stable vitiligo.

However investors have been dumping the stock. The share price was trading at around $1.50 in 2019, before surging to above $16 at its peak in 2020. It’s currently trading at $3.30.


Step One Clothing (ASX:STP)

The direct to consumer men’s fashion company plummeted more than 30% just before Christmas, after telling shareholders it had identified a possible overclaim of GST credits on an Australian supply made by a foreign corporation.

The company said the impact would be $1.6 million pre-tax. Step One started listing on the ASX in early November 2021.


Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL)

The heavy equipment rental company has been on a downward trajectory after reporting a full year FY21 EBITDA that was 7% lower than the previous year.

The company said that COVID-19 disruptions had played a major part, as well as falling coal prices in the latter part of the year.