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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 -0.16%  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/210599897/delayed MID +1.34%  and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML +0.44% 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/lastsale CVX +0.66%  for $65 a share, Occidental Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/207018272/lastsale OXY +2.98%  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/lastsale APTV Auto Parts: OEM 56%
LKQ Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210317139/lastsale LKQ Automotive Aftermarket 51%
Allergan plc /zigman2/quotes/206377386/lastsale AGN Pharmaceuticals: Generic 45%
Conagra Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200394144/lastsale CAG Food: Major Diversified 39%
Electronic Arts Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206954087/lastsale EA Recreational Products 34%
SVB Financial Group /zigman2/quotes/200548254/lastsale SIVB Regional Banks 32%
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204183397/lastsale NCLH Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 30%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206262068/lastsale ALXN Biotechnology 14%
PVH Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208313660/lastsale PVH Apparel/Footwear 13%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. /zigman2/quotes/206736173/lastsale PXD Oil & Gas Production 10%
Marathon Petroleum Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209634297/lastsale MPC Oil Refining/Marketing 7%
TechnipFMC Plc /zigman2/quotes/207530935/lastsale FTI Oilfield Services/Equipment 4%
Diamondback Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201200230/lastsale FANG Oil & Gas Production -5%
Halliburton Co. /zigman2/quotes/210488727/lastsale HAL Oilfield Services/Equipment -5%
American Airlines Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209207041/lastsale AAL Airlines -12%
Albemarle Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200578017/lastsale ALB Chemicals: Specialty -12%
Concho Resources Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208942254/lastsale CXO Oil & Gas Production -21%
Mylan NV /zigman2/quotes/209413137/lastsale MYL 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/lastsale VAC Other Consumer Services 82%
Lumentum Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204419752/lastsale LITE Telecommunications Equipment 80%
MKS Instruments Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208573663/lastsale MKSI Electronic Production Equipment 72%
MasTec Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207965492/lastsale MTZ Engineering & Construction 52%
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. Class A /zigman2/quotes/206974312/lastsale KNX Trucking 48%
Boyd Gaming Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206215159/lastsale BYD Casinos/Gaming 44%
Thor Industries Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202832948/lastsale THO Recreational Products 36%
Brunswick Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207511569/lastsale BC Recreational Products 32%
HealthEquity Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210521638/lastsale HQY Investment Managers 22%
East West Bancorp Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206183036/lastsale EWBC Regional Banks 14%
Cabot Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205436466/lastsale CBT Industrial Specialties 13%
SLM Corp /zigman2/quotes/205828282/lastsale SLM Finance/Rental/Leasing 9%
Apergy Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205349782/lastsale APY Oilfield Services/Equipment 8%
WPX Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204372171/lastsale WPX Oil & Gas Production 5%
Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204120302/lastsale PTEN Contract Drilling 0%
Allegheny Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202946054/lastsale ATI Steel -2%
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202030140/lastsale LGND Biotechnology -22%
Granite Construction Inc. /zigman2/quotes/200569846/lastsale GVA Engineering & Construction -29%
Callon Petroleum Co. /zigman2/quotes/201917664/lastsale CPE Oil & Gas Production -32%
Inogen Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208161856/lastsale INGN Medical Specialties -43%
Source: FactSet
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
2,659.41
-4.27 -0.16%
Volume: 4.22B
April 7, 2020 5:09p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599897/delayed
US : S&P US
1,463.92
+19.36 +1.34%
Volume: 881.78M
April 7, 2020 5:09p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
677.65
+3.00 +0.44%
Volume: 824.41M
April 7, 2020 5:09p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205871374/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 80.92
+0.53 +0.66%
Volume: 16.39M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
54.39
Dividend Yield
6.38%
Market Cap
$141.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207018272/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.84
+0.40 +2.98%
Volume: 54.63M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.18%
Market Cap
$11.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.60M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204162392/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 53.50
+3.57 +7.15%
Volume: 3.55M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
13.91
Dividend Yield
1.64%
Market Cap
$11.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$100,944
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210317139/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 20.94
+0.88 +4.39%
Volume: 2.80M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.02
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$232,876
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206377386/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 178.26
+0.11 +0.06%
Volume: 3.86M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.66%
Market Cap
$57.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
$934,166
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200394144/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 30.45
-0.85 -2.72%
Volume: 6.88M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
19.43
Dividend Yield
2.79%
Market Cap
$15.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$717,048
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206954087/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 106.32
-0.19 -0.18%
Volume: 5.50M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.19
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$29.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$571,613
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 160.10
+0.78 +0.49%
Volume: 592,191
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.37
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
$923,271
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204183397/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 11.01
+1.00 +9.99%
Volume: 56.60M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
2.56
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
$182,383
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206262068/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 94.72
-1.19 -1.24%
Volume: 3.29M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.83
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$19.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208313660/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 46.73
+7.02 +17.68%
Volume: 3.51M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
8.43
Dividend Yield
0.32%
Market Cap
$2.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$264,978
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206736173/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 75.31
-0.93 -1.22%
Volume: 2.99M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
16.77
Dividend Yield
2.92%
Market Cap
$12.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.95M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 22.51
-0.58 -2.51%
Volume: 14.24M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
5.64
Dividend Yield
10.31%
Market Cap
$13.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207530935/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.87
+0.10 +1.29%
Volume: 5.99M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.61%
Market Cap
$3.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$339,268
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201200230/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 33.01
+0.91 +2.83%
Volume: 6.54M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
23.71
Dividend Yield
4.54%
Market Cap
$5.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210488727/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 8.04
+0.13 +1.64%
Volume: 40.12M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
8.96%
Market Cap
$6.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
$399,917
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209207041/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 10.22
+0.72 +7.58%
Volume: 137.77M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
2.68
Dividend Yield
3.91%
Market Cap
$4.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,547
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200578017/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 57.00
+0.07 +0.12%
Volume: 1.95M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
11.37
Dividend Yield
2.70%
Market Cap
$5.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$572,025
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208942254/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 48.83
+0.79 +1.64%
Volume: 3.10M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.64%
Market Cap
$9.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209413137/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 14.37
+0.33 +2.35%
Volume: 8.62M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
524.45
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
$326,506
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200002947/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 66.00
+7.80 +13.40%
Volume: 1.38M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
21.14
Dividend Yield
3.27%
Market Cap
$2.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$129,043
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 74.85
+0.05 +0.07%
Volume: 1.23M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
$453,140
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208573663/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 86.21
+0.91 +1.07%
Volume: 434,445
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
33.91
Dividend Yield
0.93%
Market Cap
$4.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$427,769
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207965492/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.77
+1.59 +4.79%
Volume: 1.92M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
6.72
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$363,654
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206974312/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 32.91
+0.32 +0.98%
Volume: 2.59M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
18.34
Dividend Yield
0.97%
Market Cap
$5.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
$234,389
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206215159/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 12.68
+0.28 +2.26%
Volume: 2.83M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
9.16
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$1.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$111,885
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202832948/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.63
+1.66 +3.96%
Volume: 1.14M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
11.79
Dividend Yield
3.67%
Market Cap
$2.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$409,842
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207511569/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 30.29
+0.95 +3.24%
Volume: 1.53M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.17%
Market Cap
$2.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$321,686
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210521638/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 46.00
+1.00 +2.22%
Volume: 1.47M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
71.36
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
$279,691
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206183036/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 27.02
+1.59 +6.25%
Volume: 2.54M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.86
Dividend Yield
4.07%
Market Cap
$3.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$564,703
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205436466/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.87
-0.06 -0.21%
Volume: 564,221
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
12.71
Dividend Yield
5.02%
Market Cap
$1.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$726,739
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205828282/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 6.72
+0.02 +0.30%
Volume: 5.18M
April 7, 2020 4:15p
P/E Ratio
5.16
Dividend Yield
1.79%
Market Cap
$2.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205349782/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.23
+0.20 +2.84%
Volume: 2.15M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
10.31
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$504.48 million
Rev. per Employee
$368,681
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204372171/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 3.85
+0.02 +0.52%
Volume: 17.04M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
6.41
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.72M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204120302/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2.08
+0.15 +7.77%
Volume: 9.86M
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.69%
Market Cap
$326.66 million
Rev. per Employee
$415,875
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202946054/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 8.93
+0.06 +0.68%
Volume: 2.61M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
4.86
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
$459,841
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202030140/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 78.23
+0.79 +1.02%
Volume: 606,552
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
2.67
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.17M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200569846/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 15.78
+0.37 +2.40%
Volume: 819,786
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.30%
Market Cap
$659.05 million
Rev. per Employee
$582,178
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201917664/lastsale
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 0.48
-0.01 -2.94%
Volume: 30.59M
April 7, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
1.89
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$193.74 million
Rev. per Employee
$2.70M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208161856/lastsale
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 50.29
-3.05 -5.72%
Volume: 421,099
April 7, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
53.72
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$325,852
loading...
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