The average ASX stock returned 13 per cent last financial year but the 100 best performing stocks returned an average of 394 per cent.

Stockhead has compiled a list (see below) of the 100 best performing ASX stocks based on share price returns for the year to June 30, 2020.

We have not used a market cap cut off because it would exclude many of the year’s success stories which saw former small caps go big.

During the year, the ASX broadly copped a big hit due to COVID-19, particularly during February and March. But many of the best performing stocks thrived despite the pandemic or in some cases because of it.

Here are FY20’s 100 best performing ASX small caps:

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Code Name Price 1 July 2019 Price 30 June 2020 % Return Sector (GICS) Market Cap
MSM MSM CORPORATION INTERNATIONA 0.006 0.042 600.00 Communications $35.3M
NCL NETCCENTRIC LTD 0.007 0.039 457.14 Communications $10.2M
ICU ISENTRIC LTD 0.006 0.020 233.33 Communications $4.1M
XTD XTD LTD 0.021 0.056 166.67 Communications $7.7M
BET BETMAKERS TECHNOLOGY GROUP L 0.047 0.425 804.26 Consumer Discretionary $241.6M
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER GROUP LTD 1.380 6.310 357.25 Consumer Discretionary $715.6M
TRS REJECT SHOP LTD/THE 1.909 7.040 268.80 Consumer Discretionary $268.8M
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD 4.960 14.720 205.66 Consumer Discretionary $1.5B
VVA VIVA LEISURE LTD 0.880 2.620 197.65 Consumer Discretionary $187.4M
VMT VMOTO LTD 0.100 0.290 190.00 Consumer Discretionary $73.4M
HT8 HARRIS TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD 0.012 0.032 166.67 Consumer Discretionary $6.2M
WOA WIDE OPEN AGRICULTURE LTD 0.120 0.400 233.33 Consumer Staples $32.9M
HCT HOLISTA COLLTECH LTD 0.042 0.135 221.43 Consumer Staples $37.2M
MHC MANHATTAN CORP LTD 0.003 0.018 500.00 Resources $20.3M
BUY BOUNTY OIL & GAS NL 0.003 0.018 500.00 Energy $17.2M
MEU MARMOTA LTD 0.016 0.058 262.50 Energy $49.1M
EPM ECLIPSE METALS LTD 0.002 0.007 250.00 Energy $9.9M
STX STRIKE ENERGY LTD 0.064 0.210 228.12 Energy $358.3M
AEF AUSTRALIAN ETHICAL INVT LTD 1.780 6.660 281.89 Financials $748.5M
SWF SELFWEALTH LTD 0.135 0.460 240.74 Financials $90.1M
RAC RACE ONCOLOGY LTD 0.056 0.700 1150.00 Health $81.5M
PYC PYC THERAPEUTICS LTD 0.028 0.115 310.71 Health $337.1M
DXB DIMERIX LTD 0.090 0.350 288.89 Health $69.2M
PAA PHARMAUST LTD 0.040 0.155 287.50 Health $46.8M
EMV EMVISION MEDICAL DEVICES LTD 0.380 1.340 252.63 Health $85.4M
OPT OPTHEA LTD 0.670 2.360 252.24 Health $635.2M
RCE RECCE PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.205 0.670 226.83 Health $91.2M
CTE CRYOSITE LTD 0.050 0.130 160.00 Health $6.1M
OEC ORBITAL CORP LTD 0.285 0.745 161.40 Industrials $57.8M
AUT AUTECO MINERALS LTD 0.005 0.160 3100.00 Resources $213.7M
ZNO ZOONO GROUP LTD 0.091 2.600 2757.14 Health $425.4M
MAG MAGMATIC RESOURCES LTD 0.018 0.270 1400.00 Resources $46.7M
DEG DE GREY MINING LTD 0.069 0.905 1206.32 Resources $1.0B
SCN SCORPION MINERALS LTD 0.004 0.045 1025.00 Resources $9.2M
NME NEX METALS EXPLORATION LTD 0.013 0.125 861.54 Resources $24.1M
MTC METALSTECH LTD 0.015 0.135 800.00 Resources $17.1M
MGV MUSGRAVE MINERALS LTD 0.053 0.465 777.36 Resources $216.1M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES LTD 0.120 0.995 729.17 Resources $302.1M
SDV SCIDEV LTD 0.086 0.580 574.42 Resources $81.7M
MCT METALICITY LTD 0.006 0.037 509.89 Resources $51.7M
SKY SKY METALS LTD 0.045 0.260 477.78 Resources $79.3M
RXL ROX RESOURCES LTD 0.015 0.084 460.00 Resources $167.1M
DGO DGO GOLD LTD 0.645 3.610 459.69 Resources $187.2M
PDI PREDICTIVE DISCOVERY LTD 0.016 0.088 457.62 Resources $72.5M
KZR KALAMAZOO RESOURCES LIMITED 0.150 0.820 446.67 Resources $104.8M
LEG LEGEND MINING LTD 0.027 0.140 418.52 Resources $353.5M
BNR BULLETIN RESOURCES LTD 0.015 0.077 413.33 Resources $13.8M
AXE ARCHER MATERIALS LTD 0.125 0.600 380.00 Resources $134.6M
MDI MIDDLE ISLAND RESOURCES LTD 0.004 0.019 375.00 Resources $40.7M
IXR IONIC RARE EARTHS LTD 0.002 0.009 350.00 Resources $19.5M
RGL RIVERSGOLD LTD 0.018 0.078 340.87 Resources $24.4M
CEL CHALLENGER EXPLORATION LTD 0.055 0.230 318.18 Resources $126.2M
CMM CAPRICORN METALS LTD 0.440 1.795 307.95 Resources $586.6M
GSN GREAT SOUTHERN MINING LTD 0.032 0.130 306.25 Resources $53.1M
FHS FREEHILL MINING LTD 0.014 0.054 285.71 Resources $78.5M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES LTD 0.006 0.023 283.33 Resources $38.3M
REE RAREX LTD 0.025 0.092 268.00 Resources $32.6M
WWI WEST WITS MINING LTD 0.006 0.021 250.00 Resources $21.5M
AL8 ALDERAN RESOURCES LTD 0.044 0.145 229.55 Resources $37.6M
CTM CENTAURUS METALS LTD 0.135 0.440 225.93 Resources $115.8M
VUL VULCAN ENERGY RESOURCES LTD 0.175 0.565 222.86 Resources $37.9M
TNR TORIAN RESOURCES LTD 0.009 0.029 222.22 Resources $12.9M
GUL GULLEWA LTD 0.028 0.090 221.43 Resources $14.6M
GES GENESIS RESOURCES LTD 0.005 0.016 220.00 Resources $12.5M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS LTD 0.016 0.051 209.09 Resources $78.2M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS LTD 0.014 0.043 206.87 Resources $58.6M
TIE TIETTO MINERALS LTD 0.160 0.490 206.25 Resources $174.6M
PGI PANTERRA GOLD LTD 0.017 0.052 205.88 Resources $10.1M
BC8 BLACK CAT SYNDICATE LTD 0.265 0.810 205.66 Resources $71.2M
TMX TERRAIN MINERALS LTD 0.002 0.006 200.00 Resources $4.3M
AUR AURIS MINERALS LTD 0.016 0.048 200.00 Resources $19.6M
AUC AUSGOLD LTD 0.014 0.042 200.00 Resources $46.4M
MAU MAGNETIC RESOURCES NL 0.430 1.280 197.67 Resources $270.0M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.310 0.910 193.55 Resources $796.1M
FRN FRASER RANGE METALS GROUP LT 0.014 0.041 192.86 Resources $20.6M
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.415 1.205 190.65 Resources $698.9M
TSL TITANIUM SANDS LTD 0.017 0.049 188.24 Resources $38.2M
CY5 CYGNUS GOLD LTD 0.025 0.071 184.00 Resources $4.8M
LMG LATROBE MAGNESIUM LTD 0.006 0.017 183.33 Resources $22.0M
RMS RAMELIUS RESOURCES LTD 0.720 1.990 178.47 Resources $1.6B
EHX EHR RESOURCES LTD 0.035 0.096 174.29 Resources $17.6M
ARS ALT RESOURCES LTD 0.017 0.046 170.59 Resources $28.0M
SVD SCANDIVANADIUM LTD 0.010 0.027 170.00 Resources $11.8M
SVY STAVELY MINERALS LTD 0.225 0.595 164.44 Resources $127.2M
HAW HAWTHORN RESOURCES LTD 0.053 0.140 164.15 Resources $46.7M
HRN HORIZON GOLD LIMITED 0.175 0.460 162.86 Resources $35.2M
PTR PETRATHERM LTD 0.034 0.089 161.76 Resources $15.3M
AQX ALICE QUEEN LTD 0.013 0.034 161.54 Resources $31.7M
RML RESOLUTION MINERALS LTD 0.033 0.086 160.61 Resources $17.8M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES LTD 0.023 0.028 159.36 Resources $9.7M
GSM GOLDEN STATE MINING LTD 0.079 0.570 621.52 Resources $26.6M
HTG HARVEST TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD 0.021 0.185 775.95 Tech $80.7M
ESK ETHERSTACK PLC-CDI 0.220 1.750 695.45 Tech $198.6M
GSW GETSWIFT LTD 0.180 0.680 277.78 Tech $130.5M
IOD IODM LTD 0.055 0.170 209.09 Tech $95.1M
SGO STREAM GROUP LTD 0.014 0.022 200.00 Tech $33.6M
NVX NOVONIX LTD 0.324 0.870 168.63 Tech $302.9M
OCL OBJECTIVE CORPORATION LTD 2.800 7.380 167.46 Tech $688.0M
CT1 CONSTELLATION TECHNOLOGIES L 0.012 0.032 166.67 Tech $43.1M
PRO PROPHECY INTERNATIONAL HLDGS 0.300 0.790 165.07 Tech $50.6M
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The best performing sectors

Resources stocks made up 62 per cent of the top performers. This is up from 40 per cent in FY19 but lower than its FY18 proportion of 78 per cent.

The health and tech sectors had less winners this year. While last year they accounted for 31 and 19 spots respectively, this year they accounted for just 10 and 8 respectively.

Rounding out the list were four in the communications sector, two in consumer staples, seven in consumer discretionary goods, four in energy, two in financials and one in industrial.


The 10+ baggers

The top six best performing stocks all made gains of over 1,000 per cent. Four of these were in resources and the other two were in health. This is better than the previous two fiscal years, with FY18 only producing three 10+ baggers, while FY19 had none.

Taking top spot was former vanadium play Auteco Minerals (ASX:AUT), which has never looked back since buying a 1.5-million-ounce Canadian gold project called Pickle Crow in January.

If you invested $2,000 into this stock at the start of the financial year and sold at the end you would now have $64,000.

Second is Zoono Group (ASX:ZNO), which makes bug killing substances. While COVID-19 did indeed cause a spectacular lift in its sales, the run began the previous year with its work in the poultry industry as it battles swine flu.

Taking bronze place is Magmatic Resources (ASX:MAG), which has been the biggest winner of the East Lachlan porphyry copper-gold rush.

While it had been selling the story of its project for several months prior, it took a monster discovery from neighbouring Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) to get investors excited.

But while Alkane has made the top 100, it is only in 77th spot while Magmatic is third. Even though many other neighbouring explorers also rallied, the only other to sustain momentum to make the top 100 is Alice Queen (ASX:AQX) at #96.

Rounding out the 10 baggers are:


Resources winners

Australian investors have been particularly excited about gold stocks since the gold price surpassed $2,000 in June last year. While gold had seen bull runs previously, such as in 2011, the prices in Aussie dollar terms this time around hit new records because of the weak Aussie dollar against the greenback.

While prices have been fluctuating in AUD terms –surpassing $2,700 when the AUD crashed to 57 US cents — they have been consistently rising in USD terms and are over 25 per cent higher in 12 months.

Gold prices in the last year — USD in yellow and AUD in orange (Graph: Bloomberg)

Plenty of other gold stocks made big discoveries, such as Africa-focused Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI) and Musgrave Minerals (ASX:MGV).

Others have simply risen after notable investors bought in such as Riversgold (ASX:RGL) which took off when Tolga Kumova bought in.

But gold did not have a monopoly of the best performing resources ASX stocks. In 12th spot is Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN), which does have gold projects, but its share price run was inspired by its Julimar nickel discovery.

Meanwhile, copper explorer Stavely Minerals (ASX:SVY) rocketed off the back of massive hits at its Victorian project, beginning with a 40 per cent hit last September which caused its share price to take off.


Health stock success stories

While Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) was the best performing ASX health stock and the only 10-bagger, others witnessed share price gains on clinical success.

One was Recce Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE) which targets so-called superbugs — bacteria strong enough to resist conventional antibiotics. Its successes this year included against gonorrhoea and Staphylococcus aureus — albeit at the pre-clinical stage.

The latter bacteria can cause sepsis, a common inflammation which can be life threatening and accounts for 2 per cent of hospitalisations and 17 per cent of hospital deaths.

Opthea (ASX:OPT) passed two separate stage II clinical trials against wet-aged related macular degeneration (wet-AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Both eye diseases cause blindness as a consequence of fluid leakage at the back of the eye.

While wet-AMD is a far larger market, the company wants to proceed to stage III for both of the treatments and may even target other eye diseases.

Dimerix (ASX: DXB) is expecting results for two studies of its drug against diabetic kidney disease and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in July.

But investors have also been excited about the use of its drug in a global COVID-19 treatment study.


Best performing tech plays

Once upon a time communications tech stock Harvest Technology Group (ASX:HTG) was focused purely on shark detection.

But it expanded its sphere into remote communications more broadly and it has paid off with contract wins and rising revenue. Harvest is the best performing ASX stock in this sector having surged over 700 per cent.

Just nudging into the “best performing ASX stocks” list on the last day was wireless technology company Etherstack (ASX:ESK) off the back of a solid rise on June 30. The catalyst was a network partnership deal with global communications giant Samsung.

Another latecomer is battery play Novonix (ASX:NVX). Its tech could reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries and it has edged closer to commercialisation in recent weeks.

Other winners include logistics software stock Getswift (ASX:GSW) and accounts receivable software IODM (ASX:IOD).


Energy winners

The majority of ASX energy stocks are focused on oil and gas and they have witnessed a tough 2020 due to the collapse of oil prices.

But while Strike Energy (ASX:STX) is off highs seen late last year it has still more than tripled in 12 months following its discovery at West Erregulla with Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO).

This project shattered expectations when it flowed a stunning 69 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMcfd) from its primary target Kingia Sandstone.

The best performing ASX energy stock was Queensland-focused micro-cap Bounty Oil & Gas (ASX:BUY), which is now up 325 per cent to 1.7c.

The company has a 2 per cent stake in the Naccowlah Block in Queensland, where operator Santos (ASX:STO) has drilled eight wells in 2020, six of which have been cased for oil production and are awaiting tie-in to the production system.

While Bounty only has a small stake in Naccowlah, it still generated $594,000 in revenue in the March 2020 quarter.


Financial winners

Only two of the 100 best performing ASX stocks were financial stocks but both have their own unique stories.

One is Australian Ethical Investment (ASX:AEF), which was one of the first movers into ethical investing. The last 12 months were particularly successful as members and funds under management both increased.

Low-cost broker SelfWealth (ASX:SFW) had a good year too, first because of increasing awareness of alternatives to expensive retail brokers and second, COVID-19 causing cash-hungry people to give share trading a go.


Communications winners

There were four communications stocks on the best performing ASX stocks list.

The best performing is esports play MSM Corporation (ASX:MSM). It has rocketed 600 per cent over the financial year because of partnership wins and COVID-19 lockdown boredom.

Digital tech agency Neccentric (ASX:NCL) is another top performer, up 457 per cent.

The major catalyst has been prominent Malaysian entrepreneur Ganesh Kumar Bangah’s purchase of an 84 per cent stake in the company.

The other two winners were mobile entertainment play iSentric (ASX:ICU) and advertising platform XTD (ASX:XTD).


The winners with consumers

Most of the remaining winners were consumer-focused.

Retailers made up a high proportion of these and included Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW), The Reject Shop (ASX:TRS) and Kogan (ASX:KGN).

Niche product companies like electric scooter seller VMoto (ASX:VMT) and health supplements play Holista Colltech (ASX:HCT) have also done well.

Holista’s rise only happened as COVID-19 broke out across China because it sold a hand sanitiser that had been shown to work against other coronaviruses. Like Zoono, it saw exponential demand for its product.

The top performing ASX consumer stock was Betmakers (ASX:BET) as it rolled out its betting technologies across the US market.

The catalyst for the opportunity was the liberalisation of US state laws preventing online betting.


The best performing industrials stock

Among industrials only Orbital Corp (ASX:OBL) made the 100 best performing ASX stocks.

Orbital is a drone propulsion system designer and manufacturer, specifically for military tactical drones which undertake surveillance and intelligence work.

It rose over 160 per cent because of market demand in the defence sector.

Orbital began the last financial year already counting Boeing subsidiary Insitu a client and in recent months it won contracts with the Singapore defence forces and is anticipating an additional customer by years’ end.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Dimerix, De Grey Mining and Orbital are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article. 
This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.