It's time for the Oscars! This weekend, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be giving its awards for excellence (remember How Green Was My Valley? BEST movie of 1941) to the best the film and entertainment industry has to offer. To help set the tone, it couldn't be better time to hand some awards for most memorable performances in the financial markets.
This year's Stoscars, if you will, is comprised of companies that should be winning their own awards for 2011 as decided by the Stockademy. Of course, for the Oscars, small independent films are often overlooked, so we'll throw out any companies that have a market cap under $10 billion.
The red carpet is filled with flashbulbs as all the big stars arrive, Netflix (NFLX) wore a gown with a neckline that plunges further than its share price did. Apple (AAPL) that once again steals the show with a sleek, stylish, and yet deceptively simple number that, while remarkably similar to gowns from previous years, offers some new features that have everyone excited. Jack Nicholson is here wearing his trademark shades! Not entirely sure why, but there he is!
But, without further ado, lets get on to the awards!
Best Sound Design
And the Stoscar goes to...Verizon (VZ)! Verizon's wireless services have helped power the company to a market cap of over $100 billion, and, with the proposed merger between Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (DTEGY) falling apart, Verizon looks to remain a dominant force in the industry. Verizon gained 12.13 percent in 2011, along with a dividend yield of an additional 5.35 percent. However, since we all know that Oscar season is late in the year, the company's 13.49 percent gain after Thanksgiving likely helped it secure this award.
Best Foreign Language Company
And the Stoscar goes to...Randgold Resources (GOLD) of the Channel Islands! This mining company wins the little GOLDen statuette for a 24.01 percent gain in 2011, along with its 0.17 percent dividend yield.
And the Stoscar goes to...Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR)! While the company has rebounded since, it was a major battleground stock for much of 2011. Greenlight Capital's (GLRE) David Einhorn was particularly vocal in his criticism of Green Mountain's business model and accounting practices. When an early November quarterly report missed expectations, it came to a head with an over 40 percent drop in a single day. Of course, the camera did catch Netflix, fuming about the loss but plastering on a fake smile nonetheless.
And the Stoscar goes to...Biogen Idec (BIIB)! This biotech company put together a stunning performance in 2011. Shareholders were positively moved to tears by its 64.13 percent gain over the course of the year. The real Stoscar moment came in April, when the company announced positive results from the Phase III trials of oral compound BG-12, a proposed monotherapy in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The stock shot up 32.91 percent in that month alone.
And the Stoscar goes to...Lawrence Page of Google (GOOG)! ... WHAT?! THIS IS A TRAVESTY! Page beats out perennial favorites like Warren Buffett and newcomers like Mark Zuckerberg despite Google's shares only gaining 8.74 percent?! Well, it wouldn't be the Stoscars without some controversy. Clearly the Stockademy was pulled in by the way Google has expanded into both social media, with Google+, and internet television devices while maintaining its top spot as the most visited website in the world. The Stockademy loves versatility and Google has a lot of fingers in a lot of different pies, giving Page the award in the end.
Everyone falls to a hush as the big award for the night comes up. Exxon's Rex Tillerson is clasping Jack Nicholson's hand, hoping this will be the year. And the Stoscar goes to...International Business Machines (IBM)! Oh, what a choice! IBM has the fourth highest market cap in the world, a position that comes in part from the 25.29 percent gain in share price over the course of 2011. The company also offers a 1.52 percent dividend yield, making shareholders of IBM very happy about the last year. IBM is thanking Warren Buffett in its speech for his purchase of $10.7 billion in stock last year. Now it's thanking its agent, the Stockademy...and the company's getting played off.
Well, so concludes another year in equities at the Stoscars! It was a lavish night not without controversy, but hopefully everyone had a grand time.
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