These were the 5 best performing ASX 200 shares in 2021

Vanadium Resources share price person riding rocket indicating share price increase

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was in fine form in 2021. The benchmark index delivered investors an impressive 13% return over the 12 months.

While that was strong, some ASX 200 shares managed to generate even better returns. Here’s why these were the best performers on the index in 2021:

Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

The Pilbara Minerals share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 in 2021 with a massive 268% gain. Investors were fighting to get hold of this lithium miner’s shares amid an increasingly positive outlook for the battery making ingredient due to its use in electric vehicles and renewable energy. Interestingly, despite its strong gain in 2021, the team at Macquarie still see scope for Pilbara Minerals’ shares to rise further. In December the broker put an outperform rating and $3.70 price target on its shares.

Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC)

The Lynas share price was a strong performer over the 12 months with a gain of 156%. This rare earths producer’s shares were in demand with investors following a strong increase in its neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) production and an even stronger increase in its average realised price. This led to a big jump in its sales and profits in FY 2021.

GrainCorp Ltd (ASX: GNC)

The GrainCorp share price almost doubled in value in 2021 with its 97% gain. Investors were buying this integrated grain and edible oils company’s shares after it returned to form in FY 2021. For the 12 months ended 30 June, GrainCorp reported underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $331 million. This was more than triple the $108 million it recorded a year earlier. Things were equally impressive on the bottom line with GrainCorp swinging from a $16 million loss in FY 2020 to a profit of $139 million in FY 2021.

WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC)

The WiseTech share price wasn’t far behind with a gain of 90.5% in 2021. The main driver of this gain was the release of a stronger than expected full year result for FY 2021. The logistics solutions company reported an 18% increase in revenue to $507.5 million and a 63% jump in EBITDA to $206.7 million. This was in line with its revenue guidance of $470 million to $510 million and well ahead of its EBITDA guidance of $165 million to $190 million. More of the same is expected in FY 2022, with management guiding to EBITDA growth of 26% to 38%.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

The Pro Medicus share price was a strong performer and charged 83% higher last year. This was driven by a series of large contract wins and the release of an impressive full year result from the health imaging technology company. In respect to the latter, Pro Medicus reported a 19.5% increase in revenue to $67.9 million and a 33.7% jump in net profit after tax to $30.9 million. Strong demand for its technology from major healthcare institutions drove its growth.

The post These were the 5 best performing ASX 200 shares in 2021 appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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