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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 -0.30%  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 +0.06%  and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML +1.27% 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 -0.30%  for $65 a share, Occidental Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite OXY -0.23%  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. 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
3,841.47
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$ 54.86
+0.03 +0.06%
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Jan. 22, 2021 8:00p
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1,231.70
+15.47 +1.27%
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US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 91.73
-0.28 -0.30%
Volume: 7.81M
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/zigman2/quotes/207018272/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 21.49
-0.05 -0.23%
Volume: 17.64M
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0.19%
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US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 139.49
-4.36 -3.03%
Volume: 2.25M
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Dividend Yield
0.00%
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Rev. per Employee
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US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 37.15
-0.46 -1.22%
Volume: 1.18M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.01
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$11.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$245,218
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/zigman2/quotes/200394144/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.38
+0.32 +0.94%
Volume: 4.26M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.12
Dividend Yield
3.20%
Market Cap
$16.64 billion
Rev. per Employee
$669,964
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/zigman2/quotes/206954087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 146.00
+0.03 +0.02%
Volume: 3.37M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
32.52
Dividend Yield
0.47%
Market Cap
$42.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$557,755
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/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 480.15
+24.56 +5.39%
Volume: 710,669
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.03
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$23.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204183397/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.59
-0.40 -1.60%
Volume: 11.29M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$179,510
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206262068/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 159.73
+1.87 +1.18%
Volume: 2.79M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
37.33
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$34.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.61M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208313660/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 97.79
-1.59 -1.60%
Volume: 692,750
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$7.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$460,884
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206736173/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 131.16
+1.16 +0.89%
Volume: 2.52M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
129.43
Dividend Yield
1.68%
Market Cap
$28.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.16M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209634297/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.75
+0.36 +0.79%
Volume: 3.65M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
5.07%
Market Cap
$29.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207530935/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 11.21
-0.05 -0.44%
Volume: 7.44M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.16%
Market Cap
$5.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$363,154
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/zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 63.74
+2.96 +4.87%
Volume: 4.52M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.35%
Market Cap
$9.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
$5.57M
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/zigman2/quotes/210488727/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 19.24
-0.17 -0.88%
Volume: 14.15M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.94%
Market Cap
$17.16 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/209207041/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 15.82
-0.01 -0.06%
Volume: 39.13M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$9.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,547
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200578017/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 173.71
-2.70 -1.53%
Volume: 2.03M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
48.52
Dividend Yield
0.89%
Market Cap
$18.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
$598,238
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200002947/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 138.97
-1.02 -0.73%
Volume: 260,731
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$5.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$197,955
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204419752/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 99.00
+1.53 +1.57%
Volume: 2.34M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
49.84
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$306,706
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208573663/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 185.00
+0.04 +0.02%
Volume: 367,473
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
36.92
Dividend Yield
0.43%
Market Cap
$10.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,413
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207965492/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 82.30
+1.59 +1.97%
Volume: 512,705
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.67
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.96 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206974312/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 43.71
+0.19 +0.44%
Volume: 1.41M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.31
Dividend Yield
0.73%
Market Cap
$7.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$205,252
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206215159/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 50.09
+0.28 +0.56%
Volume: 723,659
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$5.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$136,877
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202832948/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 109.00
+1.66 +1.55%
Volume: 585,288
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.19
Dividend Yield
1.50%
Market Cap
$5.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$367,115
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207511569/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 89.93
-0.53 -0.59%
Volume: 638,496
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.92
Dividend Yield
1.20%
Market Cap
$7.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
$320,268
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210521638/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 85.36
+0.36 +0.42%
Volume: 725,327
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
1,962
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$6.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$181,506
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206183036/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 62.40
+1.23 +2.01%
Volume: 672,708
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.19
Dividend Yield
1.76%
Market Cap
$8.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
$613,546
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205436466/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 47.10
+0.02 +0.04%
Volume: 253,931
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.97%
Market Cap
$2.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
$580,889
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205828282/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 13.23
-0.28 -2.07%
Volume: 5.13M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.41
Dividend Yield
0.91%
Market Cap
$5.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.11M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204120302/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 6.24
+0.28 +4.70%
Volume: 2.96M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.28%
Market Cap
$1.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$425,980
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202946054/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 18.12
+0.16 +0.89%
Volume: 964,535
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$508,951
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202030140/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 142.62
+7.73 +5.73%
Volume: 473,537
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200569846/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 33.54
+0.32 +0.96%
Volume: 289,184
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.55%
Market Cap
$1.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$582,178
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201917664/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.35
-0.22 -1.62%
Volume: 3.01M
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$539.44 million
Rev. per Employee
$1.41M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208161856/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 46.92
+0.37 +0.79%
Volume: 88,540
Jan. 22, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
$354,846
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