> YTD Gain: 37%
Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK) may have performed poorly after its initial public. It appears as though the competition from Microsoft Teams was real, but there also seems to be ample business to go around to fund future growth. Big businesses, midsize ones and small companies were using slack long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more companies have had to rely on their communications and collaborations with their workforce is less centralized.
> YTD Gain: 47%
Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRT) has thrived throughout the market volatility in 2020. In fact, the company is a market maker and high-frequency trading firm that trades U.S. markets and international markets in stocks, options and other instruments. Its first-quarter 2020 revenues were up over 170%, and net trading income was up more than 200% to $802 million. The trading firm now has proven it can operate profitably in good times and bad, despite the volatility. Unlike the public, its trading machines don’t feel panic when the market is falling. It comes with a 4% dividend yield to boot.
> YTD Gain: 4%
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) actuallyhas been one of the biggest winners in the Dow since the pandemic hit. While this mega-chain has been the go-to for many consumers looking to stock up during this time, shares hit an all-time high in mid-April. What separates Walmart from the rest of retailers in the United States, and why it has been able to succeed, is simply its incredible supply chain. Walmart was deemed as a critical business from the start of the coronavirus shutdowns and it has made thousands of job openings when other businesses were furloughing workers. Having a strong balance sheet doesn’t hurt either. The point is that Walmart may have been one of the best-positioned retailers going into this pandemic, but it will for sure come out of this as the top dog in the retail space.
> YTD Gain: 100%
Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) found itself in a unique position going into this whole coronavirus crisis. It was riding high on the e-commerce wave that has been building for years, and the pandemic only seems to have accelerated this trend. As it stands, Wayfair provides over 14 million products for consumers for the home sector under various brands, including furniture, housewares, decorative accents and more. With more people stuck at home, it seems to reason that they would like their house looking better for the more time they are now spending in it. The most recent quarterly report only seems to prove this, with revenues up about 20% year over year, and active customers increasing 29% to 21.1 million in the same time.
> YTD Gain: 40%
Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) has seen its business take off during the coronavirus crisis. Its international business has suffered, according to its latest update, but it is still adding stores. The company announced almost 20% sales growth in the first quarter, with domestic same-store sales up almost 10%. The company’s digital sales were up 47% in the first quarter alone. It turns out that buffalo wings to go are probably going to stay popular long after the economies are reopened.
> YTD Gain: 130%
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) should have a slogan for its video conferencing solutions that says, “So easy that your little kids can use it!” On top of having major business growth, Zoom is powering countless numbers of schools during the stay at home period, and it is acting like a virtual classroom. Businesses were already being attracted to Zoom, but it is being used by everyone now. Even after the coronavirus panic has passed, this is a simple way for people to stay in touch by video. It has endless upgrade features that it can work on for upsells ahead, including better security within its services.
Due to the vast number of companies covered, there was a break in the year-to-date gains between May 11 and May 12. We also screened out companies that generally lost more than half of their value during the panic and have managed to come roaring back up due to unrelated events.
Our goal was to keep the focus on the stay-at-home and work-at-home winners, along with the so-called new defensive stocks that did perform the way they were supposed to. Companies with difficult business models or that were just coincidental gainers were also screened out.