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These 2 FTSE 100 shares have leapt over 20% in 30 days. Which would I buy?

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Screen of various price trends, possibly in FTSE 100
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The first month of 2021 has seen the FTSE 100 leap and then slide as share prices fell back. Eight days into the year, the Footsie had gained almost 415 points (6.4%), one of its strongest starts in decades. However, it has since slipped back and is now under 45 points ahead (0.7%) for 2021. But some FTSE 100 shares have had a cracking month, with these two in particular surging over the past 30 days.

FTSE 100 winner #1: Ocado

The biggest riser in the FTSE 100 so far in 2021 is online grocer Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO). The Ocado share price has soared by more than a quarter (28.8%) in 30 days. What’s more, Ocado has been an outstanding share to own since 2016. Its shares are up 125.1% over one year, 455.5% over three years and 956.8% over five years. As a result, Ocado has also been the best-performing FTSE 100 share over all three of these time periods.

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Of course, the Ocado share price may continue to thrash the Footsie, but I am sceptical. Since floating in mid-2010, Ocado has released a decade of results as a public company. As it gets larger, Ocado burns through yet more cash and generates greater losses, including a pre-tax loss of £214.5m in 2019. At the current share price of 2,854p, Ocado is valued at £21.4bn. That’s over 12 times its 2019 revenues. Even though Ocado’s revenues are growing fast, this makes its shares among the most highly priced in the FTSE 100. Also, loss-making Ocado has never paid a dividend. Hence, as a value investor looking for cheap shares and decent dividends, I would not buy this FTSE 100 share today. For me, Ocado looks like a bubble waiting to burst.

Johnson Matthey is up 21%

My second surging FTSE 100 share is Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT). Although not a household name like Ocado, Johnson Matthey has been around since 1817 and has a 204-year pedigree. Matthey is a world leader in the production of specialist chemicals and precious metals. Its products are used in the production of industrial chemicals, emissions controls, batteries, medical products, and and pharmaceuticals.

Over the past 30 days, the Johnson Matthey share price has leapt by more than a fifth (20.8%). For the record, its shares are up 13.2% over one year, down 6.7% over three years and ahead 22.3% over five years. To me, this is no bubble stock and, indeed, may be one FTSE 100 share ripe for re-rating. At the current share price of 2,985p, Matthey is valued at £5.8bn. That’s almost double its valuation during the March market meltdown of 10 months ago. Matthey’s earnings per share took a hit in 2020, but are expected to bounce back this year on rising revenues. For now, they pay a dividend of 1.7% a year. As a precaution, the dividend was cut in 2021, but may be restored to previous levels this year.

Last April, I saw a once-in-a-decade opportunity to buy into this British success story at 1,972p. The shares have since soared by over £10, leaping by more than half (51.4%). But with exposure to the coming electric-vehicle boom, I see a solid future for Matthey. Of course, I could be wrong. After all, Matthey had a difficult 2020, cancelling its dividend as its first-half underlying earnings per share halved. If earnings don’t return to growth, then this could be painful for its shareholders. Even so, I would choose this high-quality FTSE 100 share over frothy Ocado any day!

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Cliffdarcy 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.

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