When it comes to stock market performance, some years are better than others. As an investor, you look forward to those good years - and 2019 definitely fits that mold. For example, according to CNBC, the S&P finished 2019 roughly 10 percent above 2018’s high of approximately 2,900. While some stocks performed better than others, it’s safe to say that there was plenty of money to be made in 2019. This has no bearing on what 2020 will bring, but it never hurts to have a solid grasp of where things stand. Let’s take a look at the top-performing stocks of 2019, as it may provide some insight into how to invest this year.
Tyson Foods Inc. Class A
Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) had a big 2019 on the stock market, with a total return of 64 percent. Located in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson Foods doesn’t need much of an introduction. As the second-largest processor of chicken, pork, and beef in the world, you can’t walk through many grocery stores without seeing a Tyson label.
The company is also well known for being a large exporter of beef to other parts of the world.
Home Depot Inc.
No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that there’s at least one Home Depot Inc. (HD) store in your local area. Since 1978, it has been one of the country’s top big box hardware stores.
In 2019, HD stock performed at the top of the market, thanks to a total return of 38 percent. With nearly 2,300 locations worldwide, the company is in position to keep its sales momentum well into the future.
If you’re not familiar with Apple (AAPL) and the growth of its stock over the past decade, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. 2019 was another big year for the company, with its total return reaching 44 percent.
From its world-famous selection of consumer electronics to its high performing online services, Apple is one of the most well-known brands in the world. Add this to its stock performance, and you have a true winner.
Just the same as Target, Chipotle is a company that most United States consumers are familiar with. As one of the top fast-casual restaurants in the world - with the U.S. leading the way - Chipotle stock was in a good position for a big jump in 2019.
And that is exactly what happened. Chipotle (CMG) experienced gains of 94.1 percent, with a market cap of $23 billion. Chipotle may be best known for its delicious Mexican food, but there’s more to like - such as its rising stock price.
Xerox (XRX) is a company of the past, right? Well, not so fast. It’s pivoted many times over the years, and stockholders that stuck with the company are winning big as a result. In 2019, Xerox stock increased by 90 percent and the company reached a market cap of $8 billion.
Xerox is most well known for selling print and digital document products and services, but the company is rapidly expanding its offerings. And with customers in nearly 200 countries, there is plenty of room for more growth.
Advanced Micro Devices
One of the biggest winners of 2019, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) finished the year up 150.7 percent.
As one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, this multinational organization based in Santa Clara County, California has been at the top of its industry for many years. In addition to developing computer processors - which is a booming industry - Advanced Micro Devices is involved with a variety of other technologies for both consumer and business markets.
The fact that Lam Research (LRCX) often flies under the radar doesn’t have any impact on its stock. And that definitely held true in 2019 with gains of 116.3 percent and a market cap of $43 billion.
Just the same as Advanced Micro Devices, Lam Research Corporation operates in the semiconductor space. The Fremont, California based company designs, markets, and manufactures a variety of semiconductor processing equipment. You may not understand exactly what Lam Research does, but you should be clear about the growth of its stock in 2019.
Procter & Gamble Co.
With a total return of 38 percent in 2019, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) put a big smile on the faces of its many investors. As a consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble Co. is well known for many brands including Bounty, Dawn, Downy, Head & Shoulders, Crest, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, and Tide.
Since its founding in 1837, Procter & Gamble Co. has been one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. And as of late, it’s stock is performing at the top of the market.
Known officially as KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLAC), its stock skyrocketed by 98.6 percent in 2019 to reach a market cap of $28 billion. While it doesn’t offer the same products and services as Advanced Micro Devices and Lam Research, KLA is yet another company with a focus on the semiconductor industry.
Located in San Jose, California, it’s the world’s number one supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor industry.
Target (TGT) is one of the companies on this list of top-performing stocks that need no introduction. Regardless of where you live in the United States, it’s safe to assume you’re familiar with the Target brand. After all, Target has nearly 1,900 stores throughout the United States.
In 2019, this retail giant’s stock experienced a gain of 94.9 percent to reach a market cap of $66 billion. Despite increasing competition, online and off, Target continues to perform at a high rate.
We hate to beat a dead horse, but Qorvo is another high performing company in the semiconductor space. Qorvo (QRVO) is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina and known for being a top designer, supplier, and manufacturer of radio-frequency systems used in broadband and wireless communications.
In 2019, Qorvo stock achieved a growth of 92.8 percent to reach a market cap of $14 billion. It didn’t perform quite as well as other semiconductor companies on the list, but it also wasn’t far behind.
There’s a lot of competition in the motor vehicle space, but Copart (CPRT) has done a great job carving out its niche. Copart is an online vehicle auction company located in Dallas, Texas. While it’s primarily a U.S.-based company, it also provides services in many other parts of the world, including but not limited to Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2019, Copart reached a market cap of $21 billion along with a stock price that soared with a 90.9 percent increase.
Applied Materials (AMAT) had a big year on the stock market in 2019 with an increase of 87 percent. And with a market cap of $57 billion, it’s easy to see why shareholders are excited about what the future will bring.
According to the Applied Materials website, it’s “the global leader in materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display, and solar photovoltaic (PV) industries.” So, once again, we have another company that’s part of the semiconductor industry.
Leidos Holdings (LDOS) was a top-performing stock in 2019, thanks to gains of 85.8 percent. The company currently has a market cap of $14 billion. Leidos Holdings is a major player in a variety of industries. It currently provides systems integration, engineering, scientific, and technical services to customers spanning industries such as information technology, aviation, and defense.
Leidos Holdings stock has come a long way since its early days when the company was known as Science Applications International Corporation.
Arconic (ARNC) had a big 2019 on the stock market, with an increase of 84.6 percent. With a current market cap of $14 billion, it’s a company to keep an eye on in 2020 and beyond.
Arconic doesn’t have the same name recognition as many companies on this list, but it’s a top performer nonetheless. It specializes in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing, with its products - including nickel, titanium, and aluminum - used by companies worldwide in almost every industry imaginable.
Equinix Inc. (EQIX), performed better than most stocks in 2019, with a total return of 66 percent. While many people rely on the solutions provided by Equinix, some are unaware of exactly what the company does. Currently, Equinix has more global colocation data center market share than any company in the world.
Not only does it operate more than 200 data centers, but it does so in 24 countries across the globe.
Western Digital Corp.
Western Digital Corp (WDC) experienced a total return of 65 percent in 2019, making it one of the top performers on the stock market. Western Digital Corp is a technology company with its hands on a few different industries. For example, it’s most well known as a computer hard disk drive manufacturer, but the company also sells a variety of data technology products and cloud storage services.
As part of a fast-growing industry, Western Digital Corp is in the right place at the right time.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has been on a tear as of late. Not only are its products and services continuing to pick up steam, but the company had a huge year in 2019 on the stock market.
MSFT stock achieved a total return of 38 percent. The company’s hardware and software products have been well known the world over for many years, but it continues to chug along at the top of nearly every industry in which it competes.
International Business Machines Corp.
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) achieved a total return of 38 percent in 2019, putting it at the top of the market among companies in its industry.
IBM was founded in 1911 and currently operates in more than 170 countries. As one of the world’s most successful and well-known information technology companies, the IBM brand never needs a second introduction. The company currently operates in many spaces, including but not limited to cloud computing, Internet of Things, mobile, and security.
Visa Inc. Class A
Visa Inc. (V) is another company with serious name recognition. In 2019, the well-known financial services corporation had a banner year on the stock market with a total return of 31 percent.
Founded in 1958, Visa has approximately 20,000 employees working all over the globe. The company is most well-known as a top facilitator of electronic funds transfers through credit cards and debit cards, however, it also dabbles in many other areas of the financial sector.