As 2013 comes to a close we can start taking stock of the stocks, and weigh in on who this year's winners and losers. We discovered that in the "winner" column, there were some pretty substantial turarounds this year, and in fact many of this year's biggest gainers were outright "dogs" last year.
2013 signaled a real about-face for some of the biggest companies listed on the S&P. The following five plays represent the most dramatic bouncebacks we found. All five lost valuation last year, in some cases being one of the absolute worst performers in the entire index. However, all followed a rough 2012 with gains that put them in the upper echelon of the entire S&P
These are the five most dramatic turnarounds in the S&P 500 from 2012 to 2013:
EA Sports (EA)
YTD 2013 Performance: +53.03 percent
2012 Performance: -29.50 percent
Difference: 82.53 percent
This gamemaker announced a complet reorganization in April 2013 to address bloat and marketing problems. The company laid off some 10 percent of their workforce, and greatly increased profitability. Additionally, EA shareholders breathed a sigh of relief in 2013 after the company settled a longstanding lawsuit with collegiate players ofver the use of their likenesses in EA games. The settlement reportedly cost the company $40 million, but also put to an end a looming threat that had long dogged the company.
YTD 2013 Performance: +72.41 percent
2012 Performance: -12.84 percent
Difference: 85.57 percent
"There no such thing as a gourmet burrito,"prominent investor Jeffrey Gundlach famously proclaimed, but no matter his opinion on Chipotle's business model, it's working. Despite some kepticism over their business model, Chipotle and thieir fast-casual compatriots have been on a tear in 2013, assuaging fears that the nascent restaurant style was a passing fad or unsustainable.
Hewlett Packard (HPQ)
YTD 2013 Performance: +92.45 percent
2012 Performance: -46.47 percent
Difference: 138.92 percent
CEO Meg Whitman has done a number on this once-moribund tech giant, and has energized the investor base. While for years it looked as if Hewlett-Packard would be done in as they failed to develop exciting tech innovations, 2013 signaled the year that the company really came to the forefront, especially in the red-hot arena of 3D printing.
Pitney Bowes (PBI)
YTD 2013 Performance: +121.83 percent
2012 Performance: -43.16 percent
Difference: 164.99 percent
The Stamford, Connecticut-based software and hardware manufacturer was included in the five worst performers of 2012, but changed things around in 2013 so drastically that they now can claim being one the current five best in the S&P. The company turned around a truly dismal 2012 by consitently beating earnings expectations this year, and in the process changed Wall Street consensus that Pitney Bowes was outdated, moribund, and ready to be put out to pasture.
Best Buy (BBY)
YTD 2013 Performance: +249.53 percent
2012 Performace: -46.50 percent
Difference: 296.03 percent
Last year's second worst performer in the S&P 500 was this year's third best, representing far and away the most dramatic turnaround in the S&P 500 from 2012 to 2013. Perhaps Best Buy's continued resilience can best be attributed to