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5 Stocks That Are Already up More Than 25% in 2018

It may be early in the year, but these five stocks are already up more than 25% in 2018. What’s most surprising about these stocks: only two are from the cannabis industry.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB) was one of the best-performing stocks on the TSX in 2017, and it wasn’t even listed on the exchange for a full year. The cannabis company only started trading on the TSX in late July, but that didn’t stop Aurora from more than quadrupling its price during the second half of the year.

The share price hasn’t slowed down in 2018, with year-to-date returns already north of 35% after just the first four trading days of the year. Marijuana stocks have been flying high for a while now, and there’s certainly a bubble that’s been forming in the industry, but that hasn’t stopped Aurora and other pot stocks from rising in value.

MedReleaf Corp. (TSX:LEAF) is probably a surprise to some investors that it is the other top-performing pot stock on this list. However, MedReleaf has seen its share price rise more than 28% to start the year, and it too is building off a strong 2017, where it wasn’t listed on the TSX for a full year and still nearly tripled in price.

One reason why investors might prefer MedReleaf to the other big pot stocks is that medical marijuana might have better growth prospects than recreational cannabis.

Katanga Mining Ltd. (TSX:KAT) is up more than 36% in the first week of the new year, but that’s a drop in the bucket for a stock that has seen Bitcoin-like returns. It was only a year ago that Katanga was a penny stock, and returns of 1,475% have made many investors very rich.

The danger with mining stocks is the inherent risk that is present with fluctuating commodity prices. Commodity values will have a significant impact on a company’s financials, which in turn will influence share prices.

Katanga is no exception, and it’s no surprise that the share price has taken off amid skyrocketing cobalt prices. The company has a large copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

North American Palladium Ltd. (TSX:PDL) is another mining stock that is also cashing in on a rising commodity price. The price of palladium has been growing significantly the past year, and that resulted in North American Palladium’s share price rising more than 37% in 2017.

However, the stock is up another 27% already in 2018, as the commodity that is found in car exhausts is approaching all-time highs, as demand from the auto industry is continuing to push prices up.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) is the only stock in this list that didn’t have a great 2017. The biopharmaceutical stock was down more than 40% last year, and in the latter half of the year it was staging a bit of a recovery. Ultimately, the stock ended up dropping back down in price, but early in 2018 the share price is up nearly 30%.

The company has not published any releases recently, so the increase could be due to speculators or investors looking to give the stock another try after a miserable 2017.

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Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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