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10 Best Performing FTSE 350 Companies Of 2018

Published 23/12/2018, 09:31
Updated 21/10/2020, 09:15

For all the years doom and gloom, some stocks have still – just about – found a way to shine. But what exactly were the FTSE 350’s best performers in 2018?

10. Auto Trader Group Plc (LON:AUTOA)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £3.60
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £4.48
  • Percentage Change: +24.4%

Auto Trader’s big moment came in early June, as a 10% rise in full year pre-tax profits to £210 million countered its warnings about the UK new and used car markets.

9. EI Group PLC (LON:EIGE)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £1.46
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £1.84
  • Percentage Change: +26.0%

The UK’s largest pub company capped off a strong 2018 with November’s full year results, which saw the firm announce it was putting its commercial property estate up for sale.

8. Pearson (LON:PSON) PLC

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £7.42
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £9.40
  • Percentage Change: +26.7%

The former FT-owner saw most of its growth in the first half of the year, as it reassured investors its turnaround was on track.

7. Qinetiq Group (LON:QQ) Plc (OTC:QNTQY)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £2.31
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £2.93
  • Percentage Change: +26.8%

The turning point for QinetiQ’s 2018 came in late-May, with a 3% rise in annual organic revenue to £833 million, its consecutive year of growth.

6. Syncona Ltd (LON:SYNCS)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £2.02
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £2.63
  • Percentage Change: +30.2%

Life science investment trust Syncona really built up a head of steam over the summer, in large part thanks to the successful IPO of Autolus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AUTL), of which the firm is a major shareholder.

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5. Drax Group (LON:DRX)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £2.69
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £3.63
  • Percentage Change: +34.9%

An already strong year was made all the better for Drax in October, as it confirmed the acquisition of Scottish Power’s portfolio of pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation from Iberdrola (MC:IBE).

4. Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (LON:JLT)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £14.04
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £18.97
  • Percentage Change: 35.1%

There is no way Jardine would have been on this list if it weren’t for September’s announcement it had accepted a takeover bid, worth £4.9 billion, from Marsh & McLennan (NYSE:MMC).

3. Evraz PLC

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £3.44
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £4.80
  • Percentage Change: 39.5%

Though there were plenty of mining wobbles in 2018, as the sector tracked China’s economic slowdown, Evraz managed to beat its peers with a near 40% climb.

2. Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK) PLC

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £11.49
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £18.45
  • Percentage Change: +60.6%

While Hikma’s 2018 rise has to be put in the context of 2017’s slide, a comeback is a comeback, one fuelled here by ‘improved profitability’ in its Generics and Injectables divisions.

1. Ocado (LON:OCDO)

  • 2nd January 2018 Opening Price: £3.98
  • 19th December 2018 Closing Price: £7.79
  • Percentage Change: +95.7%

Ocado’s spot at No. 1 is all the more remarkable because, at under £8, it is well off July’s £11.50 all-time highs. Still, that’s nearly double where it began 2018, the stock transformed by the announcement of a deal with American grocery giant Kroger (NYSE:KR).

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