These were the best performing ASX 200 shares in July

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the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was back on form at last in July. During the month, the benchmark index rose 5.7% to end at 6,945.2 points.

While a good number of shares rose with the market, some climbed more than most. Here’s why these were the best performing ASX 200 shares in July:

The Zip share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last month with a massive 159% gain. Investors were buying this buy now pay later provider’s shares after it scrapped its merger with rival Sezzle Ltd. (ASX: SZL). Management believes that it will help the company become profitable sooner. This went down well with investors who were scrambling to buy its beaten down shares. Though, it is worth noting that the Zip share price is still down 83% over the last 12 months even after this gain.

The Megaport share price was some way behind as the next best performer despite recording a very strong gain of 78%. As well as getting a lift from a rebounding tech sector, the release of a strong quarterly updates got investors excited. Megaport reported a 13% increase in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to $10.7 million and its first quarterly operating profit of $1 million.

The St Barbara share price was on form and stormed 50% higher last month. This followed a decent quarterly update from the gold miner and news that it could be looking to bolster its business with M&A activity. St Barbara confirmed that it is in talks with gold explorer Genesis Minerals Ltd. (ASX: GMD) about a potential merger. The gold miner sees possible synergies in the Leonora region of Western Australia.

The Austal share price was a strong performer and sailed 49% higher during July. A good portion of this gain came at the start of the month following the release of a very positive announcement relating to a major contract win in the United States. According to the release, the shipbuilder has been awarded a contract with a potential value of US$3.3 billion (A$4.35 billion) for the detail design and construction of up to 11 Offshore Patrol Cutters for the United States Coast Guard.

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