Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.RED ALERT: Paris Terror Attacks - What to Expect Next - STRATFOR
2.Paris Terror Attacks, Death Pangs of a Dying Religion, and Impact on BrExit EU Referendum - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Paris Terror Attacks, Islamic State Attempting to Spark Civil War in France - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Three Shocking Charts That Prove Gold Price Rally Is Coming - Sean Brodrick
5.Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - Mike_Shedlock
6.Africa Population Explosion - Why Europe's Migrant Crisis is Going to Get A Lot Worse - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Mining Stocks May Be The Buy Of The Century - Jeff_Berwick
8.Grandmaster Putin Beats Uncle Sam at His Own Game - Mike_Whitney
9.BRICS? No, CRISIS - Raymond_Matison
10.UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Will Turkey Drag NATO into War With Russia in Syria? - 25th Nov 15
George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review Full Text - 25th Nov 15
Will Fresh QE From ECB Boost Gold? - 25th Nov 15
Sheffield, Yorkshire and Humberside House Prices Forecast 2016-2018 - 25th Nov 15
Investors Watch Out For The Auto Industry… - 24th Nov 15
BEA Revises 3rd Quarter 2015 US GDP Economic Growth Upward to 2.07% - 24th Nov 15
Stock Market Supports Are Being Broken - 24th Nov 15
Is Gold Price on the Verge of a Breakout? - 24th Nov 15
Fed’s Tarullo: U.S. Interest Rates Liftoff Should Wait for Signs of Inflation - 24th Nov 15
Silver Price, COT, US Dollar Updates and More - 24th Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices Analysis - Video - 23rd Nov 15
Crude Oil Swinging For The Fences - A 20 to 1 Option Play - 23rd Nov 15
US Dollar, CRB, Oil, Gas, Copper and Gold - The Chartology of Deflation - 23rd Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices, Cheapest and Most Expensive Property Markets - 23rd Nov 15
Stock Market Rally Losing Momentum? - 23rd Nov 15
Will Gold Price Drop Below $1000 Soon? - 23rd Nov 15
Gold and Silver Sector Big Green Light and Low Risk Entry Setup... - 23rd Nov 15
Limits to Economic Growth - Challenge and Choices - 22nd Nov 15
Long Dollar Trade and Current Copper Price Below Cost of Production - 22nd Nov 15
UK Housing Market House Prices Affordability Crisis - Video - 21st Nov 15
The Fed Has Set the Stage for a Stock Market Crash - 21st Nov 15
Stock Market Primary V Wave Continues - 21st Nov 15
Gold And Silver - Value Of Knowing The Trend - 21st Nov 15
UK Footsie Bulls Set To Foot The Bill - 21st Nov 15
UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - 21st Nov 15
GDX Gold Miners’ Strong Q3 Results - 20th Nov 15
End of Schengen, Stock Market’s Technical Strength Grows - 20th Nov 15
Justice for All and The Curious Case of Zambia - 20th Nov 15
Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Resurrection of Old Europe - 20th Nov 15
Silver Prices and The Management of Perception - 20th Nov 15
Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - 20th Nov 15
Waiting for Goldot Again - 20th Nov 15
Michael Curran Goes Down-Market Shopping for Gold Stock Winners - 20th Nov 15
Why Isn’t This Incredibly Bearish Bond Market Development Making the News? - 19th Nov 15
SPX Appears to have Stopped its Rally - 19th Nov 15
The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago - 19th Nov 15
Using Elliott Waves: As Simple As A-B-C - 19th Nov 15
Has Deflation Been Ddefeated? - 19th Nov 15
Dow Jones Stock Market Index is Not Going to Crash - 19th Nov 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Reasons to Get Excited About Japanese Stocks

The Best and Worst Stocks of 2012

Companies / Investing 2012 Jan 02, 2013 - 07:35 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning


Ben Gersten writes: As we prepare to invest in the New Year, we can learn from the five best and worst performing stocks of 2012 in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

While any investor would have loved to know this list a year ago, it's a good guide for 2013. Several of the factors that drove these share prices up and down in 2012 haven't changed.

The best stocks were led by signs of a recovery in housing, a slight return of consumer confidence, and the U.S. Federal Reserve's unprecedented monetary easing measures.

"The sector leaders are what one would expect with the [Fed] policy and with continued monetary injections into the economy this year through bond purchases," Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments LLC, told The Wall Street Journal. "By pumping money into the economy the Fed boosts consumer confidence-and spending-which one would expect to boost consumer and financial shares."

While the leaders' success was tied to central bank actions, the biggest losers simply stumbled from their lack of innovation, inept management, and failed business models.

Best Stocks of 2012
Here are the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 for 2012:

•PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM)- This Bloomfield Hills, MI-based homebuilder may not be a household name but its performance was driven by the stabilization of the housing industry, six years after it burst. Housing prices and starts improved all year while foreclosure inventories dwindled, allowing Pulte's earnings per share to grow over 80% this year. Analysts expect EPS growth of 67% in 2013. Up 182% YTD.
•Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S)- Almost left for dead, the Overland Park, KS-based Sprint saw its stock nearly fall to $2 at one point this year, but speculation over a possible buyout pressured the stock higher. In October Japanese telecom power, SoftBank, initiated a 70% stake in Sprint, confirming those rumors. Sprint has somewhat turned itself around this year by reducing its debt and introducing more smartphone options to their collection in stores and on plans. Yet, the third-largest telecom provider is still quite volatile, and the risks associated with its stock outweigh any remaining upside potential. Up 139% YTD.
•Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR)- Another beneficiary of the housing recovery, this time on the appliance side. Besides producing products bearing the Whirlpool name, the Benton Harbor-MI based company makes Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Amana appliances, as well as products with IKEA, Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) and The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) brands. In its October third-quarter earnings release, the company increased its final outlook for 2012, expecting full-year diluted EPS of $6.90 to $7.10, compared to the previous estimate of $6.50 to $7.00, and higher than 2011's full-year diluted EPS of $4.99. Up 112% YTD.
•Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE)- The Bellevue, WA-based provider of travel tools went back to its roots this year when it spun off TripAdvisor and its travel-related media sites. Besides its namesake site, Expedia owns,, and China based travel Website, eLong. The exposure to China should help it continue to grow, but as a travel company Expedia is heavily dependent on the swings of the economy. Up 108% YTD.
•Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC)- After the atrocious year Bank of America had in 2011 it was due for a bounce back, and the Federal Reserve certainly provided more than enough help for that through its expansive monetary actions.

As a sector, financials outperformed the market in 2012 and many expect that trend to continue into 2013. An improving housing market will help to bolster banks' balance sheets, as well as a lending environment that increasingly favors big banks. Up 105% YTD.

Worst Stocks of 2012
Here's a list of the worst performing stocks of the year, and they all should still be avoided.

•Radio Shack Corp. (NYSE: RSH)- Fort Worth, TX-based Radio Shack had an awful year, and it looks likes things are only going to get worse. The fact is people are simply not shopping at Radio Shack, which offers smartphones from the major carriers as well as having convenient locations throughout the country. Yet, competition from other retailers and an overall lack of appeal to consumers caused a third-quarter per share loss that was more than double what analysts expected, and now the consensus is Radio Shack won't return to profitability until 2014 at the earliest, if ever. Radio Shack's days of a tech leader are well gone, and it appears the company isn't the best follower either. Down 78% YTD.
•SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE: SVU)- Even before the Eden Prairie, MN-based grocery store chain owner effectively put itself up for sale in July, there were plenty of things going wrong for the company. Saddled with debt the company was forced to suspend its quarterly dividend and had to lay off over 3,000 workers this past year, with plans for more cuts. The hope that Supervalu or some of its chains will actually be bought occasionally boosts the stock, but overall it should be avoided. Down 71% YTD.
•Apollo Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) - The for-profit education provider was hit hard by the growing student-debt crisis this past year. The University of Phoenix operator reported its fourth-quarter profit for 2012 fell 60% from the previous year, led by declining enrollments and higher costs. The Apollo group said it will have to close 115 of its smaller locations in the upcoming years. Down 62% YTD.
•Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD)- The collapse of PCs took a mighty toll on global semiconductor companies such as AMD and fellow fallen tech giant Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) that make chips primarily for PCs. The growth of tablets that use semiconductors made by other companies caused the company to announce a 15% layoff in staff and a much worse third-quarter loss than expected. Down 57% YTD.
•Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY)- The mighty retailer is struggling to keep up with the evolving landscape of tech retail and has had to cope with internal issues all year. Former founder, Richard Schulze, has repeatedly attempted to buyout the company and return it to a privately held firm. The company's unclear future, as well as repeated earnings and revenue misses, has caused BBY stock to be cut in half this year. After reporting third-quarter profits that were 97% lower than a year ago and cutting its full-year guidance, don't expect this retailer to become a "buy" anytime soon. Down 51% YTD.

Heading into the New Year with so much uncertainty can make investors nervous. If you want to avoid stocks that will suffer in 2013 and find some of the biggest winners, check out Private Briefing.

Through its daily service you will receive stock picks as well as financial analysis catered to today's zero-interest rate environment. For more information - and to avoid the next year's crop of worst stocks - click here.

Source :

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History