Stockhead’s resident data guru Nick Sundich runs through five ASX small caps that have gained more than 300 per cent this calendar year 

Baraka Energy & Resources (ASX:BKP) – up 450 per cent

Baraka has had an action-packed year culminating in a recent boardroom clean-out and a promise to “long suffering BKP shareholders, we have heard your call for change”.

It’s nonetheless been a rewarding year for shareholders who hung in there with the stock moving from 0.1c as high as 0.9c.

Baraka owns a permit to drill for petroleum in an attractive basin (Southern Georgina) in the Northern Territory. A moratorium on fracking meant it remained idle but regulatory changes in April look set to change that.

Baraka’s control over an iron sands project in the Philippines was contested by its original ower. But at the end of last year Baraka won a favourable court ruling, making the stock more more attractive without legal clouds hanging over it.

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Animoca Brands Corp (ASX:AB1) — up 412 per cent

The mobile game developer went through some cost-cutting last year as revenue fell, staff were reduced from 110 to 70 and non-core assets were offloaded — including 318 games sold to fellow ASX-listed gamer iCandy.

But the stock has been a top performer this year — especially since June.

Investors were impressed by Animoca’s efforts to streamline its library and focus on a few key game franchises such as Crazy Kings and Crazy Defense Heroes.

And a string of blockchain and even Artificial Intelligence announcements have recently propelled the share price upwards.

Animoca just reported “the strongest result in the company’s history” with first-half revenue of $5.7m and a profit of $1.5m.

MGM Wireless (ASX:MWR) — up 385 per cent

One of the ASX’s few true “wearable technology” stocks, MGM is yet another small cap that has been through the wobbles — and come out the other side.

A year ago when the business was focused on mobile messaging and schoool management software, the stock was languishing around 45c.

Since launching its Spacetalk kids smartwatch in October 2017 the shares have increased six-fold.

Spacetalk is a smart watch for kids offering mobile phone and GPS capabilities along with parental controls over social media and internet access.

In the last financial year MGM recorded $671,000 in EBITDA earnings.

Although it primarily sells online it has signed trading agreements with retailers JB Hi-Fi and the Leading Edge Group. This year it has also raised capital through a placement and a rights issue that was 3.5 times over-subscribed.

While other smart watches have had privacy and security flaws, an independent security audit found it to be the ‘most secure family smartwatch phone reviewed’.

Galilee Energy (ASX:GLL) – up 371 per cent

Galilee — which has gas projects in Queensland’s Galilee basin along with Chile and the US — has benefited from uncertainty over gas supply in eastern Australia.

“The structurally short east coast gas market presents an enormous opportunity for the company’s gas assets,” Galilee told investors in July. “With very few other projects in the appraisal or development stage currently capable of meeting this shortfall, Galilee Energy is well-placed to capitalise on this large potential given the size of our resource.”

There’s no doubt investors have been impressed. The stock is up almost five-fold since June.

Galilee started production in Queensland in mid-August and environmental approval assessments are underway in Chile.

At the end of June it had $4.9m in the kitty and in July undertook a $5.7m placement.

However the stock has fallen from a high of 79c since September 13 amid power supply problems and a dodgy pump.

Golden Cross Resources (ASX:GCR) — up 366 per cent

Explorer Golden Cross operates sites across Australia with a focus on copper and gold.

In particular it owns one of Australia’s largest producing gold mines at Cooper Hill in NSW.

The stock has been on a steep upwards trajectory since July despite a lack of activity at Copper Hill — and a lack of newsflow.

That attracted an ASX query in July.

“Pending a significant capital raising, activity on the company’s project portfolio was limited to review of existing data and research of new exploration and development approaches,” the company said in July.