The S&P 500 index has gained just over 12% in the past 52-weeks, a good effort, but far below the 32% return in 2013 and not quite up there with the 16% return in 2012. There are, of course, stocks that perform much better than average and some that perform much worse. We wanted to take a look at the top performers for the current year, so we ran a screen for stocks that have doubled and have a current market cap of at least $5 billion.
The list of nine stocks that meet these criteria includes Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN), which saw its stock price pop in April on a takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: VRX) and activist investor Bill Ackman. By the time Allergan had agreed in November to a buyout by Actavis PLC (NYSE: ACT), shares had already doubled for the previous 12 months.
Shares of Allergan were up 87% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $208.03. The stock has a consensus price target of $218.47 and a 52-week range of $100.46 to $214.66. The company has a market cap of $63 billion.
Another big winner in 2014 was Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: VIPS), a Chinese online discount retailer that had actually jumped more than 200% by early November and has since fallen back to a 12-month gain of around 146%. The company specializes in flash sales of cosmetics and clothing at steep discounts, and it targets consumers in China’s lower tier cities.
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Shares of Vipshop were up 127% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $19.05. The consensus price target is $26.31, and the 52-week range is $7.46 to $24.80. The company has a market cap of $11 billion. The potential upside here is a whopping 38%.
Radio frequency (RF) chipmaker Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS) is riding the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh estimated that every iPhone 6 contains about $4 worth of Skyworks chips, an increase from the $3 component total in the iPhone 5. On Monday JMP Securities raised its price target on the stock from $75 to $95.
Shares of Skyworks were up 149% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $70.82. The consensus price target is $75.58, and the 52-week range is $27.20 to $73.08. The market cap is nearly $14 billion. At Wednesday’s closing price, the potential upside on the stock was 6.7%.
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), like all the other air carriers, is getting an unexpected lift from falling fuel costs. The company’s CEO said last week that its fuel costs for next year could drop by $1 billion, and the airline could begin flying international routes next year as well. Earlier this month, a Goldman Sachs analyst raised his rating on Southwest from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $44 to $55 a share.
Shares of Southwest were up 114% year-to-date at Wednesday’s $40.71 close, with a consensus price target of $48.19. The stock has a 52-week range of $18.36 to $42.94 and a market cap of $27 billion. The potential upside is 18.3%.
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