Which FTSE shares have gone up the most over the last year? Well, the FTSE 100 is back above 7,000 points after sinking to just below 5,000 points during the coronavirus market crash. That is a 40% gain in a little over a year. The FTSE 250 has performed better, rising 74% since March 2020, but the FTSE SmallCap has moved even higher with a 101% rise.
But there are individual FTSE stocks that have performed even better than their indexes. For example, according to my search, Argo Blockchain and Luceco have performed the best over one year of all the FTSE stocks.
Argo Blockchain (LSE:ARB) shares are worth 2,957% more now than a year ago. The price of Bitcoin is also impressively up over the year. In fact, the Argo Blockchain share price and the price of Bitcoin move in step with one another (they have a correlation of 0.95 over the last year based on weekly prices). None of this should be surprising as Argo mines Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The price of Bitcoin determines how much Argo’s already mined coins are worth.
I am not one for speculating on the price of cryptocurrencies. However, I would not mind getting exposure to the burgeoning asset class through a well-run cryptocurrency miner like Argo, assuming the price is right. Crypto miners make the blockchain that underlies cryptocurrencies work. They verify transactions and add new blocks to the digital ledger. As compensation, they receive coins and a share of the transaction fees that network users pay. If cryptocurrencies continue to be increasingly used for transactions rather than speculation, then large scale and efficient miners like Argo should have a business. However, I still believe the Argo share price is too high for me right now.
The Luceco (LSE:LUCE) share price is up 290% for the year to date. The company is a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality and innovative wiring accessories, LED lighting, and portable power products. During the pandemic, an increase in home improvement purchases offset a fall in commercial orders. As a result full-year, 2020 (year-end 31 December) revenues came in at £176m, which was marginally better than the £172m recorded in the previous year.
Now, marginally increasing revenues, even during a pandemic, might not seem enough to justify a 290% share price rise. But Luceco also increased its operating and net profit margins during 2020. Then there are the first quarter of 2021 results which are better than 2020 numbers (not surprising given the pandemic), but more importantly, 22% ahead of the first quarter of 2019. That suggests that revenue growth for 2021 will be impressive.
I can see revenue growth at Luceco continuing to dazzle as it will benefit from the UK government’s plan to force a shift to LED bulb usage. Luceco shares are trading at around 21 times earnings, which seems reasonable if that first quarter 2021 revenue growth holds for the full year and beyond. Luceco has also been profitable for the last five years. I think Luceco is a quality company, and I am tempted to buy this FTSE share.
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James J. McCombie has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Motley Fool UK 2021