24/7 Wall St. has decided to feature its Top 6 Large-Cap Stocks of 2014 ahead of Christmas this year. These stocks have been stellar performers, but they have obviously gone above and beyond the performance of the market. They also exceeded prior expectations handily.
In compiling the “top stocks of the year” list, simply gathering the top performing stock in each sector was not the goal. This was meant to be a review of large companies with market values in excess of $10 billion, as well as companies that have either turned around or that have gone above and beyond larger companies or forces that were working against them. We have already featured 9 large stocks that doubled so far this year.
24/7 Wall St. has identified why each of the six stocks was our top pick of 2014. They include Electronic Arts, Intel, Kinder Morgan, Palo Alto Networks, Southwest Air and Under Armour.
This limitation to six companies may seem as though it left out many great stocks, but those will be featured for industry picks in the coming days and weeks. We also took a look at the performance, where shares have been and what analysts are looking for head.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) had been written off for dead when the recession and explosion of smartphone and tablet freemium games took off. One concern may be around the stock being slightly above the consensus analyst price target, but the reality is that analysts were behind on the rally much of the time it doubled. The new PS4 and Xbox One refresh cycle has helped handily, but so have new launches like Titanfall and existing franchises like Madden NFL, Battlefield, Dragon Age, Sims, Star Wars and so on. EA is also valued at about 20 times next year’s earnings expectations, and its stock just hit a 52-week high — make that a high not seen since 2008.
Shares of Electronic Arts were up 107% year-to-date in 2014. At $47.46, the stock has a consensus analyst price target of $45.24 and a 52-week trading range of $21.25 to $47.68. EA now has a market cap of over $14 billion again.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is not technically the best performing chip stock of 2014, but its turnaround and raw size make the move the most impressive of the bunch. Intel was supposed to be the old world PC processor giant that was getting left behind by the smartphone and tablet revolution. The death of the PC was overblown, and not winning the Xbox One and PS4 processor was overcome by its core business. Intel closed out 2013 at $25.96, and at the start of this year analysts were saying that Intel was overvalued and should drop about 5%. Guess which stock is the best performing of the 30 Dow stocks and is only just now getting the recognition it should have been given? The company even delivered on a dividend hike that was not widely expected by dividend investors.
Shares of Intel were last seen up 44.5% at $36.37 year-to-date. The consensus analyst price target is $35.65, and the 52-week trading range is $23.50 to $37.90. The market cap is about $176 billion.
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