The 20 best and worst ASX shares in COVID-hit 2020 so far
It’s been an unforgettable year so far for equities investors and that’s triply true for shareholders in three emerging gold miners.
With the first three quarters of 2020 just about wrapped up, Pilbara-focused gold miner De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG); Canadian-based Auteco Minerals (ASX:AUT) and Pilbara and Nevada-focused lithium, nickel and gold explorer Caeneus Minerals (ASX:CAD) have been the top performers year-to-date. Their shares are up 25, 15 and 14-fold, respectively.
It’s also been a great year for Marley Spoon (ASX:MMM), which is up nearly tenfold since the start of the year as the coronavirus crisis boosted both e-commerce and homecooked meals.
On the flip side, furnished office and coworking space provider Victory Offices (ASX:VOL) has had a miserable 2020. Its shares were trading on Monday at 26c, about one-sixth of their value from the start of the year.
The company listed on the ASX in June 2019 after a $30 million float at $2 a share.
Victory chief financial officer Geoff Hollis told Stockhead that Covid-19 had had a significant impact on the company, but it had taken several measures to preserve cash and strengthen its balance sheet.
“As we move into Fy2021 the company is forecasting a gradual recovery in trading with a return to profitability in fy2022,” he wrote.
“We are of the view that flexible workspaces will become more strategically important to the way the world does business.”
Another company with a dismal 2020 is women’s fashion retailer Mosaic Brands (ASX:MOZ), which was struggling even before the pandemic. It has since closed hundreds of its stores, which include Autograph, Beme, Crossroads, Katies, Noni B and Rockmans.
Proving that large caps aren’t necessarily safer than small caps, ASX200 component Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) was the sixth-worst performer for the year of all ASX-listed companies when Stockhead compiled our list on Monday.
Its shares are down from $11.25 at the end of 2020 to $2.60. The $600m company owns shopping centres across Europe and the United States, mostly under the Westfield brand it shares with Scentre Group (ASX:SCG).
Shares in cannabis company Elixinol Global (ASX:EXL), recycling company M8 Sustainable (ASX:M8S) and embattled drill services company Boart Longyear (ASX:BLY) are all down between 70 and 80 per cent in 2020.
Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir expected October to be pretty volatile.
“I think it’s going to be bumpy with the election,” she said.
Election Day in America is November 3, but analysts are warning a final outcome between the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden might not be known for weeks.
With Brazilian iron ore giant Vale boosting product, “I think the miners will probably be facing some headwinds,” Amir said.
Amir said she saw stocks in the consumer staples, technology and health care doing well.
In the consumer staples sector, Amir sees value in fruit grower Costa Group (ASX:CGC) and almond grower Select Harvest (ASX:SHV) with the country’s weather returning to normal and the drought easing.