By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch
MarketWatch photo illustration/Getty Images, iStockphoto
As we approach the end of 2019, it’s time not only for year-end lists, but end-of- decade lists.
U.S. stocks have had what can only be called an excellent decade. MarketWatch will feature a number of forward-looking articles building on the past decade’s action. Today we’re taking a look back.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) returned 165% (with dividends reinvested) and the S&P 500 Index (S&P:SPX) returned 244% from the end of 2009 through Dec. 5, 2019. We’re not quite at the end of 2019, but if we were, and those figures held, the compounded annual growth rate for the Dow would be 10.2%. For the S&P 500, it would be 13.2%.
That average return for the S&P 500 measures up well when compared with the 10% average for the almost 100-year period of June 30, 1927, through Sept. 30, 2019, the longest period available using custom research.
For the past decade, we reviewed the entire S&P 500, as it is currently constituted, to see which stocks performed best. Among the 500 companies, 46 have traded in their present form for less than 10 years, so they are excluded.
Here’s a list of companies whose stocks performed the best,with reinvested dividends, from the end of 2009 through Dec. 5:
|Company||Ticker||FactSet industry category||Total return - Dec. 31, 2009, through Dec. 5, 2019||Years ranked within top 10 performers|
|Netflix Inc.||(NAS:NFLX)||Cable/Satellite TV||3,767%||3|
|MarketAxess Holdings Inc.||(NAS:MKTX)||Investment Banks/Brokers||3,182%||2|
|Abiomed Inc.||(NAS:ABMD)||Medical Specialties||2,121%||3|
|TransDigm Group Inc.||(NYS:TDG)||Aerospace & Defense||2,065%||0|
|Align Technology Inc.||(NAS:ALGN)||Medical Specialties||1,458%||1|
|United Rentals Inc.||(NYS:URI)||Finance/Rental/Leasing||1,434%||1|
|Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.||(NAS:REGN)||Biotechnology||1,430%||2|
|Ulta Beauty Inc.||(NAS:ULTA)||Specialty Stores||1,233%||1|
|Amazon.com Inc.||(NAS:AMZN)||Internet Retail||1,209%||1|
|Extra Space Storage Inc.||(NYS:EXR)||Real Estate Investment Trusts||1,166%||1|
|Constellation Brands Inc. Class A||(NYS:STZ)||Beverages: Alcoholic||1,124%||0|
|Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.||(NAS:TTWO)||Recreational Products||1,114%||1|
|Ross Stores Inc.||(NAS:ROST)||Apparel/Footwear Retail||1,081%||0|
|Fortinet Inc.||(NAS:FTNT)||Computer Communications||1,079%||1|
|Mastercard Inc. Class A||(NYS:MA)||Finance/Rental/Leasing||1,078%||1|
|Charter Communications Inc. Class A||(NAS:CHTR)||Cable/Satellite TV||1,077%||0|
|O'Reilly Automotive Inc.||(NAS:ORLY)||Specialty Stores||1,060%||1|
|Cintas Corp.||(NAS:CTAS)||Other Consumer Services||1,053%||0|
You can click on the tickers for more about each company.
The right-most column shows the number of times each stock was among the top 10 performers over the past 10 individual years (including 2019 through Dec. 5).
Netflix (NAS:NFLX) is far ahead of the pack, with a spectacular 3,767% return. That translates to a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.1%. Amazon.com (NAS:AMZN) ranks 10th, and its 1,209% return translates to a CAGR of 29.3%. Apple (NAS:AAPL) ranks 28th, with a total return of 899% and a CAGR of 25.9%.
It’s interesting that some of the best performers for 10 years weren’t among the top 10 during any individual year. TransDigm (NYS:TDG) , for example, ranks fourth, with a 2,067% return (CAGR of 36%). The company has a very important advantage in the aerospace industry — a high barrier for entry in the market for specialized replacement parts for aircraft. In April, Will Muggia of Westfield Capital Management called TransDigm “the best managed company in America.”
Here’s how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 have performed from the end of 2009 through Dec. 5, 2019, with dividends reinvested, according to FactSet:
|S&P 500 Sector||Total return - Dec. 31, 2009, through Dec. 5, 2019|
2019 winners — so far
Here are the 20 best-performing S&P 500 stocks for 2019 through Dec. 5:
|Company||Ticker||FactSet industry category||Total return - 2019, through Dec. 5||Total return - Dec. 31, 2009, through Dec. 5, 2019||Years ranked within top 10 performers|
|Advanced Micro Devices Inc.||(NAS:AMD)||Semiconductors||115%||310%||3|
|Lam Research Corp.||(NAS:LRCX)||Electronic Production Equipment||98%||632%||1|
|Xerox Holdings Corp.||(NYS:XRX)||Computer Peripherals||96%||122%||1|
|Target Corp.||(NYS:TGT)||Specialty Stores||95%||241%||1|
|Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.||(NYS:CMG)||Restaurants||90%||818%||3|
|Coty Inc. Class A||(NYS:COTY)||Household/Personal Care||87%||N/A||1|
|KLA Corp.||(NAS:KLAC)||Electronic Production Equipment||85%||629%||1|
|Copart Inc.||(NAS:CPRT)||Miscellaneous Commercial Services||85%||851%||1|
|MarketAxess Holdings Inc.||(NAS:MKTX)||Investment Banks/Brokers||82%||3182%||2|
|MSCI Inc. Class A||(NYS:MSCI)||Financial Publishing/Services||79%||770%||1|
|ANSYS Inc.||(NAS:ANSS)||Packaged Software||77%||480%||0|
|TransDigm Group Inc.||(NYS:TDG)||Aerospace & Defense||76%||2065%||0|
|Applied Materials Inc.||(NAS:AMAT)||Industrial Machinery||74%||393%||1|
|Leidos Holdings Inc.||(NYS:LDOS)||Information Technology Services||73%||212%||0|
|Global Payments Inc.||(NYS:GPN)||Data Processing Services||72%||560%||1|
|Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc.||(NYS:FBHS)||Building Products||71%||N/A||0|
|Apple Inc.||(NAS:AAPL)||Telecommunications Equipment||71%||899%||0|
|Tyson Foods Inc. Class A||(NYS:TSN)||Food: Meat/Fish/Dairy||71%||723%||0|
Once again, the right-most column shows how many times each stock was among the top 10 performers over the past 10 individual years (including 2019) through Dec. 5.
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