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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted ASX stocks in different ways. While most Australian stocks were crushed in the March 2020 bear market, the next 12-18 months have been interesting to watch.
Almost all businesses have had to adapt to changing circumstances. Border restrictions, reduced site capacity and changing demand for products and services have forced a global overhaul.
Here are 3 ASX stocks that rose in 2021 due to changing Australian lifestyle trends.
It’s no surprise that Afterpay stocks have performed well in recent months. Shares of the buy now, pay later (BNPL) leader have climbed more than 10% in 2021 and have risen nearly 80% in the past 12 months.
The stock price surge was driven by a number of factors, including the proposed takeover of Afterpay by Square Inc (NYSE: SQ). However, Afterpay’s underlying sales figures have also been very strong, driven by a continued shift of consumers towards digital retail.
Afterpay customers spend a lot with the company’s merchant partners. This resulted in a 90% increase in underlying FY21 sales to $ 21.1 billion and pushed ASX stock higher.
Investors hope the trend of online shopping continues long after COVID-19 restrictions end.
ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB)
ARB designs, manufactures, distributes and sells automotive accessories and other light engineering products. This means that ASX stock has a significant presence in the Australian automotive accessories market.
Many investors know how hot the Australian vehicle market is at the moment. COVID-19 restrictions have reduced supply while many Australians have additional disposable income due to restrictions on movement where they would otherwise spend their money, such as travel.
ARB announced a 34% increase in sales for fiscal year 21 to $ 623.1 million with earnings per share up 95% to 140 cents per share. This is a pretty good indication of the demand-driven gains, with ARB benefiting from this recent Australian lifestyle change.
James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX)
James Hardie is an Irish headquartered cement manufacturing company that is double listed in Australia and the United States. It might surprise some to see this multinational group on the list of those benefiting from Australian lifestyle changes.
However, there has been a huge lifestyle change over the past 12-18 months – house building. Cashed Australians are turning to home renovations and new construction to capitalize on greater disposable income as well as government stimulus programs like HomeBuilder.
This was good news for this ASX stock which is up over 35% since the start of the year.
These are just a few ASX stocks that have benefited from the Australian lifestyle changes in recent months.
Investors in these listed companies saw strong investment gains in 2021 as sustained demand propelled earnings and growth up.