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 +0.47%  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 +0.45%  and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML +0.36% 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 +0.45%  for $65 a share, Occidental Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite OXY +2.29%  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 /zigman2/quotes/206377386/composite AGN 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. /zigman2/quotes/205349782/composite APY 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
3,386.15
+15.86 +0.47%
Volume: 1.73B
Feb. 19, 2020 5:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599897/delayed
US : S&P US
2,098.57
+9.38 +0.45%
Volume: 542.81M
Feb. 19, 2020 5:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
1,016.31
+3.64 +0.36%
Volume: 432.07M
Feb. 19, 2020 5:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 110.74
+0.50 +0.45%
Volume: 5.89M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
74.43
Dividend Yield
4.66%
Market Cap
$209.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.51
+0.95 +2.29%
Volume: 7.54M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
27.70
Dividend Yield
7.43%
Market Cap
$37.97 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.60M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204162392/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 90.71
+2.69 +3.06%
Volume: 1.40M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
23.58
Dividend Yield
0.97%
Market Cap
$23.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
$100,944
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210317139/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 34.00
+0.75 +2.26%
Volume: 2.73M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
24.06
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$10.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$232,876
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206377386/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 198.81
+0.81 +0.41%
Volume: 2.24M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.49%
Market Cap
$65.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$934,166
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 29.80
-0.88 -2.87%
Volume: 5.19M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
18.11
Dividend Yield
2.85%
Market Cap
$14.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$717,048
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206954087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 109.78
+0.32 +0.29%
Volume: 1.54M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.55
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$31.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
$571,613
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 266.99
+5.88 +2.25%
Volume: 266,087
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.29
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$13.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$923,271
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204183397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 52.02
+0.33 +0.64%
Volume: 2.29M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
11.71
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$11.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$182,383
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206262068/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 103.21
+1.05 +1.03%
Volume: 3.18M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.62
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$22.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.56M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208313660/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 86.13
-0.22 -0.25%
Volume: 947,150
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.06
Dividend Yield
0.17%
Market Cap
$6.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$264,978
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206736173/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 141.17
+5.61 +4.14%
Volume: 2.39M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
32.73
Dividend Yield
1.25%
Market Cap
$23.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.95M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 57.69
+1.22 +2.16%
Volume: 7.07M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
14.46
Dividend Yield
4.02%
Market Cap
$37.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.59M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207530935/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.20
+0.07 +0.41%
Volume: 2.59M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.02%
Market Cap
$7.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$339,268
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 79.29
+4.73 +6.34%
Volume: 4.36M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
56.94
Dividend Yield
0.95%
Market Cap
$12.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.06M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210488727/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 22.28
+0.42 +1.92%
Volume: 7.04M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
3.23%
Market Cap
$19.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$399,917
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 28.33
-0.30 -1.05%
Volume: 8.40M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
7.43
Dividend Yield
1.41%
Market Cap
$12.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,547
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200578017/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 89.34
+0.64 +0.72%
Volume: 2.04M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
16.62
Dividend Yield
1.65%
Market Cap
$9.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$572,025
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208942254/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 82.45
+5.81 +7.58%
Volume: 3.81M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.61%
Market Cap
$16.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.76M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209413137/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 20.90
-0.38 -1.79%
Volume: 5.77M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
238.31
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$10.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$326,506
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200002947/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 126.48
+3.37 +2.74%
Volume: 262,956
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
54.82
Dividend Yield
1.71%
Market Cap
$5.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$129,043
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 87.22
+2.54 +3.00%
Volume: 1.26M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.52 billion
Rev. per Employee
$453,140
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208573663/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 117.13
+3.26 +2.86%
Volume: 299,453
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
46.09
Dividend Yield
0.68%
Market Cap
$6.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$427,769
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207965492/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.42
+0.86 +1.42%
Volume: 733,814
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
14.43
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$363,654
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206974312/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 39.76
+0.39 +0.99%
Volume: 1.80M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
22.20
Dividend Yield
0.80%
Market Cap
$6.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$234,389
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206215159/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.09
+0.39 +1.16%
Volume: 1.08M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
24.88
Dividend Yield
0.82%
Market Cap
$3.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$111,885
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202832948/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 85.40
+0.06 +0.07%
Volume: 355,056
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
27.71
Dividend Yield
1.87%
Market Cap
$4.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
$409,842
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207511569/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 64.77
-0.14 -0.22%
Volume: 440,129
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.48%
Market Cap
$5.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$321,686
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210521638/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 86.63
+8.36 +10.68%
Volume: 1.74M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
101.55
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.14 billion
Rev. per Employee
$279,691
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206183036/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 47.24
+0.39 +0.82%
Volume: 1.03M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.23
Dividend Yield
2.33%
Market Cap
$6.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$564,703
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205436466/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.63
+0.41 +0.97%
Volume: 184,775
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
19.44
Dividend Yield
3.28%
Market Cap
$2.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$726,739
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 11.97
-0.05 -0.42%
Volume: 3.23M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.21
Dividend Yield
1.00%
Market Cap
$5.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205349782/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 25.29
-0.63 -2.43%
Volume: 1.47M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
24.89
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
$368,681
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204372171/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 12.13
+0.42 +3.59%
Volume: 5.43M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
6.99
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.72M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204120302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 7.38
+0.04 +0.54%
Volume: 3.27M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.17%
Market Cap
$1.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$415,875
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202946054/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 20.36
+0.49 +2.47%
Volume: 1.20M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
11.05
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$459,841
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 101.39
+3.34 +3.41%
Volume: 386,118
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
3.46
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.17M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200569846/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.28
-0.87 -3.09%
Volume: 713,910
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.91%
Market Cap
$1.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$582,178
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201917664/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 3.00
+0.16 +5.63%
Volume: 10.96M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
2.93
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.70M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208161856/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 45.46
+0.28 +0.62%
Volume: 474,429
Feb. 19, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
31.50
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$325,852
loading...
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