Philip van Doorn

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Dec. 21, 2019, 9:48 a.m. EST

Here’s how Wall Street’s favorite stock picks turned out in 2019

Their small-cap selections fared best

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By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch


Bloomberg
Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line have matched the performance of the S&P 500 in 2019.

As we head to a new year, predictions for financial markets and stock picks for 2020 are flowing. It’s also time for annual mea culpas, as stock pickers admit their failures — and, of course, brag about their successes.

It’s difficult for a fund manager to beat the broader market, which is a reason why low-cost index funds are so popular. The S&P 500 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.11%  has returned 30% (with dividends reinvested) through Dec. 16. The benchmark index last performed so well in 2013, when it jumped 32%.

MarketWatch’s Jeff Reeves wrote an entertaining piece about his mixed record for 2019 stock selections, and readers chimed in with their own amusing comments.

We have already listed the favorite large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stock picks among Wall Street analysts for 2020. Let’s see how their selections for 2019 performed.

How Wall Street’s favorites fared

On Jan. 2, we narrowed the S&P 500, the S&P 400 Mid Cap Index /zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite MID -1.33%  and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML -1.50% to companies covered by at least five sell-side analysts with at least 75% “buy” or equivalent ratings. We then listed the 20 for each index with the highest implied upside for 2019, based on consensus price targets.

Large-cap

A favorite large-cap stock pick for 2019 was Anadarko Petroleum. The stock closed at $43.84 on Dec. 31, 2018, and analysts’ consensus price target for the shares on that date was $76.86. After Anadarko agreed in April to be acquired by Chevron /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX -2.35%  for $65 a share, Occidental Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite OXY -1.04%  outbid Chevron to take out Anadarko for $76 a share in August. Activist investor Carl Icahn sent a letter to Occidental’s shareholders criticizing the deal, and Occidental’s management team and board of directors.

The consensus price target wasn’t met, but that $76 takeout price was a 73% premium from Anadarko’s share price on Dec. 31. So this one is in the “win” column for the analysts.

Here are the other 19 large-cap picks for this year, with total returns (which include reinvested dividends) through Dec. 16, 2019:

Company Ticker Industry Total return - 2019
Aptiv PLC /zigman2/quotes/204162392/composite APTV Auto Parts: OEM 56%
LKQ Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210317139/composite LKQ Automotive Aftermarket 51%
Allergan plc Pharmaceuticals: Generic 45%
Conagra Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite CAG Food: Major Diversified 39%
Electronic Arts Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206954087/composite EA Recreational Products 34%
SVB Financial Group /zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite SIVB Regional Banks 32%
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204183397/composite NCLH Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 30%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Biotechnology 14%
PVH Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208313660/composite PVH Apparel/Footwear 13%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. /zigman2/quotes/206736173/composite PXD Oil & Gas Production 10%
Marathon Petroleum Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite MPC Oil Refining/Marketing 7%
TechnipFMC Plc /zigman2/quotes/207530935/composite FTI Oilfield Services/Equipment 4%
Diamondback Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite FANG Oil & Gas Production -5%
Halliburton Co. /zigman2/quotes/210488727/composite HAL Oilfield Services/Equipment -5%
American Airlines Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite AAL Airlines -12%
Albemarle Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200578017/composite ALB Chemicals: Specialty -12%
Concho Resources Inc. Oil & Gas Production -21%
Mylan NV Pharmaceuticals: Generic -31%
Source: FactSet

Including Anadarko, eight of the 20 large-cap picks matched or beat the return of the S&P 500 in 2019. So 12 underperformed the index, with six having negative returns. Eleven of the 20 returned at least 10%.

Mid-cap

Here’s how the 20 mid-cap picks performed in 2019 through Dec. 16:

Company Ticker Industry Total return - 2019
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200002947/composite VAC Other Consumer Services 82%
Lumentum Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite LITE Telecommunications Equipment 80%
MKS Instruments Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208573663/composite MKSI Electronic Production Equipment 72%
MasTec Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207965492/composite MTZ Engineering & Construction 52%
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. Class A /zigman2/quotes/206974312/composite KNX Trucking 48%
Boyd Gaming Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206215159/composite BYD Casinos/Gaming 44%
Thor Industries Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202832948/composite THO Recreational Products 36%
Brunswick Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207511569/composite BC Recreational Products 32%
HealthEquity Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210521638/composite HQY Investment Managers 22%
East West Bancorp Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206183036/composite EWBC Regional Banks 14%
Cabot Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205436466/composite CBT Industrial Specialties 13%
SLM Corp /zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite SLM Finance/Rental/Leasing 9%
Apergy Corp. Oilfield Services/Equipment 8%
WPX Energy Inc. Oil & Gas Production 5%
Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204120302/composite PTEN Contract Drilling 0%
Allegheny Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202946054/composite ATI Steel -2%
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite LGND Biotechnology -22%
Granite Construction Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200569846/composite GVA Engineering & Construction -29%
Callon Petroleum Co. /zigman2/quotes/201917664/composite CPE Oil & Gas Production -32%
Inogen Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208161856/composite INGN Medical Specialties -43%
Source: FactSet
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,117.86
-46.14 -1.11%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 8, 2023 4:20p
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/zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 45.50
-0.62 -1.33%
Volume: 2,479
Feb. 8, 2023 3:28p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
1,279.06
-19.47 -1.50%
Volume: 411.92M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:18p
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/zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 170.00
-4.09 -2.35%
Volume: 9.68M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:03p
P/E Ratio
9.31
Dividend Yield
3.55%
Market Cap
$336.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$5.53M
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/zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 63.93
-0.67 -1.04%
Volume: 7.64M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.33
Dividend Yield
0.81%
Market Cap
$58.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.06M
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/zigman2/quotes/204162392/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 115.79
-0.12 -0.10%
Volume: 1.27M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
59.15
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$31.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$112,832
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/zigman2/quotes/210317139/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 55.94
-0.13 -0.23%
Volume: 1.54M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.30
Dividend Yield
1.97%
Market Cap
$14.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$282,152
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 36.29
+0.03 +0.08%
Volume: 4.22M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:03p
P/E Ratio
25.64
Dividend Yield
3.64%
Market Cap
$17.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$668,939
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/zigman2/quotes/206954087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 112.70
-1.48 -1.30%
Volume: 2.13M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
30.41
Dividend Yield
0.67%
Market Cap
$31.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
$564,341
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 320.40
-2.95 -0.91%
Volume: 500,264
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.64
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$19.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.10M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204183397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 16.97
-0.51 -2.92%
Volume: 11.50M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$109,858
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208313660/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 80.29
-8.60 -9.67%
Volume: 2.80M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.72
Dividend Yield
0.19%
Market Cap
$5.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$289,200
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206736173/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 223.88
-2.19 -0.97%
Volume: 2.00M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.99
Dividend Yield
11.64%
Market Cap
$53.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
$12.83M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 121.56
-0.67 -0.55%
Volume: 3.01M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
4.27
Dividend Yield
2.47%
Market Cap
$57.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$10.02M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207530935/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.92
+0.41 +3.03%
Volume: 3.44M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
$296,619
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 144.29
+0.73 +0.51%
Volume: 2.03M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.88
Dividend Yield
1.94%
Market Cap
$25.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$11.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210488727/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 39.28
+0.25 +0.64%
Volume: 6.15M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.71
Dividend Yield
1.63%
Market Cap
$35.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
$451,044
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.97
+0.01 +0.06%
Volume: 20.64M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
581.16
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$11.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$396,848
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/zigman2/quotes/200578017/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 268.15
-11.19 -4.01%
Volume: 1.46M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.33
Dividend Yield
0.59%
Market Cap
$32.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$932,222
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200002947/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 160.16
-1.87 -1.15%
Volume: 281,674
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.80
Dividend Yield
1.80%
Market Cap
$6.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$225,025
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 61.17
-0.27 -0.44%
Volume: 1.31M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
38.68
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$259,868
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208573663/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 104.09
-2.94 -2.75%
Volume: 466,328
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.56
Dividend Yield
0.85%
Market Cap
$7.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$503,891
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207965492/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 96.35
-2.24 -2.27%
Volume: 404,898
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
67.21
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206974312/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 60.71
-1.33 -2.14%
Volume: 1.18M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.86
Dividend Yield
0.92%
Market Cap
$9.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$266,257
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206215159/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 65.26
-1.19 -1.79%
Volume: 827,536
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.12
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$235,237
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202832948/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 95.48
-3.29 -3.33%
Volume: 474,940
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.08
Dividend Yield
1.89%
Market Cap
$5.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$483,200
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207511569/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 88.40
-0.53 -0.60%
Volume: 470,014
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.83
Dividend Yield
1.65%
Market Cap
$6.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$366,602
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210521638/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 62.19
-0.23 -0.37%
Volume: 611,413
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$223,743
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206183036/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 78.88
-1.08 -1.35%
Volume: 586,542
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.96
Dividend Yield
2.43%
Market Cap
$11.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$835,755
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/zigman2/quotes/205436466/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 73.26
-1.28 -1.72%
Volume: 318,241
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.16
Dividend Yield
2.02%
Market Cap
$4.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 15.32
-0.60 -3.77%
Volume: 1.93M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.02
Dividend Yield
2.87%
Market Cap
$3.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.63M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204120302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.81
+0.58 +3.57%
Volume: 4.24M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.90%
Market Cap
$3.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
$664,460
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202946054/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 39.18
-0.63 -1.58%
Volume: 1.03M
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
44.71
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$608,889
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 70.75
-1.90 -2.62%
Volume: 66,507
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.57M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200569846/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.28
-0.47 -1.10%
Volume: 193,896
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
34.40
Dividend Yield
1.23%
Market Cap
$1.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$911,780
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201917664/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 41.32
-0.47 -1.12%
Volume: 749,378
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
2.07
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$10.00M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208161856/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 23.60
-1.54 -6.13%
Volume: 158,919
Feb. 8, 2023 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$576.23 million
Rev. per Employee
$358,034
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