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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 +0.78%  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 +0.68%  and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML +0.41% 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 +0.05%  for $65 a share, Occidental Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite OXY +0.76%  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. /zigman2/quotes/206262068/composite ALXN 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. /zigman2/quotes/208942254/composite CXO Oil & Gas Production -21%
Mylan NV /zigman2/quotes/209413137/composite 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/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. /zigman2/quotes/204372171/composite WPX 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
3,169.94
+24.62 +0.78%
Volume: 2.39B
July 8, 2020 4:58p
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US : S&P US
1,774.86
+11.94 +0.68%
Volume: 500.40M
July 8, 2020 4:58p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
818.56
+3.33 +0.41%
Volume: 503.50M
July 8, 2020 4:58p
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/zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 86.35
+0.04 +0.05%
Volume: 6.74M
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P/E Ratio
42.68
Dividend Yield
5.98%
Market Cap
$161.14 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.27M
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/zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.28
+0.13 +0.76%
Volume: 20.48M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.23%
Market Cap
$15.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.60M
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/zigman2/quotes/204162392/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 76.76
-0.35 -0.45%
Volume: 1.31M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.47
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$20.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$100,944
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/zigman2/quotes/210317139/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 25.69
+0.11 +0.43%
Volume: 1.97M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.48
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$232,876
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 35.70
-0.18 -0.50%
Volume: 2.72M
July 8, 2020 4:02p
P/E Ratio
20.78
Dividend Yield
2.38%
Market Cap
$17.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
$717,048
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206954087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 135.61
+0.83 +0.62%
Volume: 1.87M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
13.24
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$38.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
$571,613
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 209.92
+2.14 +1.03%
Volume: 336,742
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.15
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$10.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
$923,271
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204183397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 15.99
+0.72 +4.72%
Volume: 32.43M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.91 billion
Rev. per Employee
$182,383
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206262068/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 108.00
-4.46 -3.97%
Volume: 2.38M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.17
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$24.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208313660/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.11
+0.49 +1.10%
Volume: 1.40M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$3.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$264,978
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206736173/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 96.59
+0.52 +0.54%
Volume: 1.70M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
23.18
Dividend Yield
2.28%
Market Cap
$15.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.95M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.15
-0.54 -1.56%
Volume: 12.17M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.79%
Market Cap
$22.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207530935/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 7.43
+0.32 +4.50%
Volume: 13.22M
July 8, 2020 4:02p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.75%
Market Cap
$3.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$339,268
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 40.23
+0.11 +0.27%
Volume: 2.74M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.73%
Market Cap
$6.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210488727/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 12.47
+0.06 +0.48%
Volume: 13.12M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.44%
Market Cap
$10.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$399,917
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 11.99
+0.08 +0.67%
Volume: 85.03M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,547
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200578017/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 77.95
-0.05 -0.06%
Volume: 1.35M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.36
Dividend Yield
1.98%
Market Cap
$8.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$572,025
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208942254/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 50.52
-0.16 -0.32%
Volume: 1.44M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.58%
Market Cap
$9.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209413137/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 16.19
+0.08 +0.50%
Volume: 6.58M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
137.67
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$8.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$326,506
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200002947/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 83.86
-0.14 -0.17%
Volume: 532,582
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
1,769
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$3.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$129,043
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 82.21
-0.74 -0.89%
Volume: 1.54M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
56.09
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$453,140
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208573663/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 114.12
+1.75 +1.56%
Volume: 278,886
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
32.00
Dividend Yield
0.70%
Market Cap
$6.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
$427,769
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207965492/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 39.67
-0.55 -1.37%
Volume: 1.06M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.81
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$363,654
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206974312/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.97
-0.17 -0.39%
Volume: 1.93M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
26.33
Dividend Yield
0.73%
Market Cap
$7.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$234,389
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206215159/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 18.51
+0.15 +0.82%
Volume: 2.72M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$2.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$111,885
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202832948/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 101.49
+0.54 +0.53%
Volume: 828,388
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.64
Dividend Yield
1.58%
Market Cap
$5.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$409,842
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207511569/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 64.71
+0.62 +0.97%
Volume: 603,759
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
241.64
Dividend Yield
1.48%
Market Cap
$5.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$321,686
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210521638/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 59.21
+1.11 +1.91%
Volume: 1.34M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
3,845
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$279,691
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206183036/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 34.21
+0.09 +0.26%
Volume: 779,998
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.63
Dividend Yield
3.22%
Market Cap
$4.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
$564,703
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205436466/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 36.68
-0.48 -1.29%
Volume: 248,392
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.52
Dividend Yield
3.82%
Market Cap
$2.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$726,739
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 6.87
-0.07 -1.01%
Volume: 3.92M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
3.77
Dividend Yield
1.75%
Market Cap
$2.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204372171/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.45
+0.01 +0.18%
Volume: 10.80M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.72M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204120302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3.53
+0.19 +5.53%
Volume: 5.44M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.27%
Market Cap
$623.85 million
Rev. per Employee
$415,875
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202946054/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 9.61
-0.23 -2.34%
Volume: 1.53M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.12
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$459,841
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 111.97
+2.18 +1.99%
Volume: 232,441
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.76 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.17M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200569846/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.93
+0.19 +1.07%
Volume: 572,582
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.90%
Market Cap
$829.19 million
Rev. per Employee
$582,178
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201917664/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 1.13
-0.04 -3.42%
Volume: 15.50M
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
1.27
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$464.49 million
Rev. per Employee
$2.70M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208161856/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 35.87
-0.70 -1.91%
Volume: 138,239
July 8, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
57.09
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$806.28 million
Rev. per Employee
$325,852
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