The S&P 500 index is up slightly less than 2% this year, after a spring collapse and remarkable rebound. Among the companies in the index, 10 are up more than 50%. Of these, two are over 100% higher. These are the 10 best-performing stocks of the year. Incidentally, business due to the spread of COVID-19 has helped almost all of them.
1. Shares of Carrier Global Corp. (NYSE: CARR) are up 145.9%. The company provides heating and cooling systems for homes and businesses. Its revenue and earnings beat consensus estimates in the second quarter.
2. Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) shares are up 112.8%. It recently bought rival Arm Holdings. Barron’s said the deal could make it the most important maker of computer chips in the world.
3. West Pharmaceuticals Services Inc. (NYSE: WST) has posted a share increase of 84.2% this year. Its earnings handily beat forecasts in the second quarter. The company makes medical products, the sales of which have been helped by the spread of COVID-19.
4. DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) shares are up 79.1% this year. Among the company’s primary businesses are services for diabetes. It topped earnings forecasts by 76% last quarter.
5. Advanced Micro Devices Corp. (NASDAQ: AMD) shares are higher by 70.0% in 2020. Another chip company, it has been helped by the “work at home” environment, which has driven both computer sales and server sales for cloud computing applications.
6. PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) shares are higher by 69.4%. It has been a challenger to traditional credit card payment systems for over a decade. Digital payment volume has spiked due to the pandemic. PayPal also helps people transfer money.
7. ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW) has risen by 63.6%. The workflow software provider’s automation systems have been in great demand since offices emptied out earlier in the year. Its products are also used in contract tracing of COVID-19. Revenue rose in the most recent quarter, and the bottom line swung from a loss last year to a profit.
8. L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) is up 62.5% in 2020. The deeply troubled retailer has gone through a successful restructuring. The owner of Victoria’s Secret posted much better than expected numbers last quarter.
9. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is up 60.2%. The e-commerce giant also has the world’s largest cloud computing business. Revenue surged in the second quarter and is expected to do so through the balance of the year, as both individuals and businesses continue to move their shopping online. Its cloud computing business also has benefited from the trend to remote workplaces
10. FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has seen a gain of 57.9%. The huge freight company benefits from the e-commerce success of companies from Amazon to Walmart. Its shipping volumes have reached all-time highs. It is expected to have even higher revenue over the course of the holiday season.
Most of these stock price increases have been driven by COVID-19-related sales. Unfortunately, those will continue for the balance of the year.