As 2013 comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to review this year’s biggest gainers and losers.
Facebook Inc. (FB)- With its founder Mark Zuckerberg at the helm, investors in the social networking site enjoyed hefty returns this year. Just one year ago, the stock traded at $28 a share. After impressive revenue growth, specifically in its mobile advertising business, Facebook jumped this summer from below its $38 IPO price to new highs. As of today (December 31st), the Facebook’s stock was about $54.30 a share, up over 100 percent from just a year ago.
3D Systems Corp. (DDD)- An emerging and niche sector, 3D Systems’ innovative and potentially world altering 3-D printers experienced fast growth this year, especially in terms of its share price. 3-D printing could have wide ranging effects across industries, from cheep and easy manufacturing of car parts to the precise manufacturing of body parts for surgeries and medical purposes. The company’s shares were up 161 percent this year.
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD)- Shares of the Minneapolis based wings chain were up nearly 104 percent this year. Having said that, many analysts fear the stock has gone too high. Shares now trade at 41 times earnings. Compared to other companies in the industry, BWLD is trading at a premium. For instance, shares of restaurant chain Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) trade at a mere 25 times earnings.
Gold- As equity markets soared in 2013, Gold futures fell in the opposite direction.Predicted by few, the drop in gold futures in 2013 surprised markets and investors, dropping 29 percent.
J.C. Penney Corp (JCP)- The struggling discount retailer has had quite a distressing year. After a failed rebranding attempt, headed by activist investor and hedge fund guru Bill Ackman, JCP alienated most of its core, sale seeking, customer base and is now in the process of returning to its old ways. Following this debacle, the company was plagued by rumors of bankruptcy. Overall, shares of the struggling retailer were down nearly 52 percent in 2013.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU)- Shares of the athletic apparel producer and retailer did not fare well in 2013. Dogged by a massive a recall and a viral YouTube gaffe which featured the Canadian based company’s CEO asserting that not all women should wear the company’s yoga pants, shares were down nearly 21 percent in 2013.