What happened to the 50 hottest ASX small cap stocks of 2017?
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These 50 small caps were the biggest gainers of 2017 – a year when battery metals, conglomerate gold, infant formula, and anything blockchain were the rage. Where are they now?
In 2017, ‘The Trump Era’ had just begun and investors were expecting volatility. But there was a clear absence of surprises that year.
The global economy strengthened, up by ~3.6 per cent to exceed the 40-year average of 3.5 per cent.
No one really understood what the hell blockchain was, but it was an investor favourite, as was infant formula.
On the resources side, punters couldn’t get enough of battery metals like lithium and cobalt, or the Pilbara conglomerate gold story.
But one stat shows how difficult it is for ‘buy and hold the hype’ small cap investors to succeed — of 2017’s top 50 small caps, just eight have continued to make gains.
Forty-one have fallen back and one has been suspended or delisted.
Here’s the current performance of our Top 50 ASX small cap stocks for 2017>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop
Sanitiser maker Zoono Group (ASX:ZNO) IPO’ed in 2017 and enjoyed a strong, +370 per cent gain for the year.
The company subsequently lost that momentum across 2018 and much of 2019, falling from a peak of +50c to sub 8c per share.
In late 2019, Zoono was slowly getting it’s mojo back when COVID-19 lit a proverbial rocket underneath the company’s share price.
The rest is history.
2017 also represents the rebirth of Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL), now one of Australia’s most beloved gold explorers.
Since then, the stock has run another 290 per cent and currently sits at about $1 per share.
Rounding out the winners list are online retailer Kogan (ASX:KGN), small cap gold players Beacon Minerals (ASX:BCN) and Anglo Australian Resources (ASX:AAR), infant formula company Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB), and battery metals stalwart Alpha HPA (ASX:A4N).
Battery metals explorers and miners — comprising 20 of the year’s Top 50 stocks — have been pounded since the 2017 peak.
The long-term outlook may be good, but weaker than expected demand for battery metals from the nascent electric vehicle sector have made these former market darlings an abysmal investment, so far.
In 2017, investor money was swarming all over conglomerate gold explorers in the Pilbara and companies like Artemis (ASX:ARV) were much-loved by the market.
In fact, it was Artemis and Canadian partner Novo Resources which probably sparked the Pilbara gold rush after uncovering “watermelon seed nuggets” south of Karratha in July 2017.
Conglomerate gold has proved a complete fizzer so far, because drilling the nuggs and delineating resources is proving tougher than originally thought.
The share prices of former conglomerate darlings Artemis and Southern Hemisphere Mining (ASX:SUH) have fallen 70 per cent and 77 per cent respectively since 2017.