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>>>

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TICKER NAME PRICE DEC 31, 2017 2017 TOTAL RETURN % PRICE JUL 21, 2020 TOTAL RETURN % SINCE JAN 01 2018 MARKET CAP
ZNO ZOONO GROUP 0.395 370.24 2.140 441.77 $ 389,398,240.00
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD 0.265 1104.55 1.035 290.57 $ 823,826,560.00
KGN KOGAN.COM 6.750 421.68 16.990 166.62 $1,789,733,504.00
BCN BEACON MINERALS 0.016 392.31 0.037 135.38 $ 105,978,336.00
A4N ALPHA HPA 0.126 1081.82 0.245 94.35 $ 170,093,968.00
AAR ANGLO AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES 0.105 600.00 0.160 52.38 $ 72,351,856.00
BUB BUBS AUSTRALIA 0.770 1055.00 1.020 32.47 $ 568,699,776.00
ZEN ZENITH ENERGY 0.750 1566.67 0.950 26.67 $ 141,996,112.00
BBX BBX MINERALS 0.200 400.00 0.180 -10.00 $ 75,121,504.00
3DP POINTERRA 0.150 500.00 0.115 -23.33 $ 82,902,888.00
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER 0.060 361.54 0.040 -33.33 $ 37,162,256.00
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES 0.059 391.67 0.035 -40.68 $ 43,096,004.00
JAT JATENERGY 0.070 449.02 0.034 -51.27 $ 33,457,636.00
OMH OM HOLDINGS 0.870 480.00 0.340 -57.39 $ 236,359,472.00
INR IONEER 0.350 430.30 0.120 -65.71 $ 210,239,136.00
YOJ YOJEE 0.300 650.00 0.100 -66.83 $ 92,746,144.00
HAS HASTINGS TECHNOLOGY METALS 0.357 393.15 0.115 -67.77 $ 113,785,328.00
ARV ARTEMIS RESOURCES 0.265 562.50 0.078 -70.57 $ 83,739,376.00
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT 0.155 868.75 0.042 -72.90 $ 31,229,590.00
JRV JERVOIS MINING 0.650 1232.82 0.170 -73.85 $ 109,182,936.00
GME GME RESOURCES 0.136 418.52 0.034 -74.92 $ 17,262,884.00
AVZ AVZ MINERALS 0.230 1542.86 0.057 -75.22 $ 161,794,416.00
KFE KOGI IRON 0.135 610.53 0.032 -76.30 $ 23,233,870.00
MYQ MYFIZIQ 1.205 2577.78 0.280 -76.76 $ 32,030,018.00
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MINING 0.130 333.33 0.030 -76.92 $ 3,259,196.75
RMI RESOURCE MINING 0.026 550.00 0.006 -76.92 $ 1,777,604.13
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES 0.035 400.00 0.008 -77.14 $ 13,766,828.00
ORM ORION METALS 0.097 592.86 0.022 -77.32 $ 11,314,544.00
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS 0.259 796.55 0.052 -79.94 $ 53,014,112.00
SHO SPORTSHERO 0.100 354.55 0.020 -80.00 $ 6,564,121.50
GSW GETSWIFT 3.700 1133.33 0.660 -82.16 $ 123,952,432.00
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES 0.125 495.24 0.022 -82.40 $ 16,384,580.00
ODM ODIN METALS 0.270 390.91 0.046 -82.96 $ 11,947,089.00
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES 1.285 576.92 0.190 -85.22 $ 195,719,744.00
GED GOLDEN DEEPS 0.065 712.50 0.009 -85.38 $ 3,156,846.50
GEV GLOBAL ENERGY VENTURES 0.445 394.44 0.065 -85.39 $ 24,363,878.00
PUA PURE ALUMINA 0.139 600.00 0.020 -85.60 $ 8,160,798.50
LKE LAKE RESOURCES 0.265 349.15 0.037 -86.04 $ 26,187,016.00
ASN ANSON RESOURCES 0.170 507.14 0.023 -86.47 $ 15,236,621.00
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES 0.120 1400.00 0.016 -86.67 $ 58,015,880.00
LPD LEPIDICO 0.058 474.51 0.007 -87.84 $ 36,300,144.00
BXN BIOXYNE 0.092 630.16 0.011 -88.04 $ 7,041,599.50
KNM KNEOMEDIA 0.120 650.00 0.013 -89.17 $ 13,596,661.00
CGB CANN GLOBAL 0.057 850.00 0.005 -91.23 $ 16,949,946.00
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES 0.086 1034.72 0.007 -91.86 $ 2,926,488.00
DCC DIGITALX 0.350 644.68 0.023 -93.43 $ 13,929,457.00
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES 0.300 400.00 0.013 -95.67 $ 33,661,304.00
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES 0.068 423.08 0.002 -97.06 $ 3,473,963.25
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM 0.078 399.58 0.001 -98.72 $ 2,439,977.00
OOK OOKAMI 0.140 382.76 SUSP

 

WHO KEPT WINNING?

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.

The former penny stock was up +1100 per cent to 26.5c per share that year on a massive, high-grade discovery at its namesake project in WA.

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).

 

WHO DROPPED THE BALL?

Battery metals explorers and miners — comprising 20 of the year’s Top 50 stocks — have been pounded since the 2017 peak.

These include AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ), Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ), Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA), PepinNini Lithium (ASX:PNN), and Lepidico (ASX:LPD), just to name few.

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.