As we close out 2013, we can take "stock" of the fiscal year's stocks, and decisively pinpoint the market's winners and losers. While small and micro tech stocks often have surprising performances (based on smaller companies preponderance towards volatility) we thought it would be more interesting to look at the big players who excelled this year. Every one of these stocks qualifies as a "large-cap" or is worth over $10 billion dollars. Investing in these companies tends to be a safe play, and this year a lucrative one. Every one of these companies at least doubled in value this year.
These are the five large-cap tech stocks that crushed the market this year:
5. Yahoo Inc! (YHOO)
Price as of 12/29/13: $40.05
2013 YTD Gain: 103.47 percent
This formerly-moribund tech giant surprised the investing world in 2013, rising off of several years of mismanagement and lack of direction ot solidify their position as a real, relevant player. CEO Marissa Mayer energized teh company, and led them to make smart acuqisitions like social media service/blogging platform Tumblr. This year also saw Yahoo-owned properties become the biggest traffic grabbers in the world, besting Google Inc. (GOOG) , who had held that position for two years straight.
4. Nokia Inc. (NOK)
Price as of 12/29/13: $8.02
2013 YTD Gain: 104.5 percent
So Nokia tore up 2013 because they resolidifed their position in the smartphone market, right? Not exactly. Nokia's resurgence this year has less to do with their products and more with a white knight coming to swoop up and save them: namely, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) . On news in September that the tech behemoth would be snapping up Nokia in an apparent foray into hardware, shares of the company skyrocketed and have not come down. The deal is expceted to close early in 2014.
3. Facebook Inc. (FB)
Price as of 12/29/13: $54.23
2013 YTD Gain: 108.26 percent
Facebook's young story is a well-known one in the tech word (and beyond): following a disastrous IPO in May 2012, the company lingered well below their IPO price for most of 2012 and 2013 before turning things around in dramatic fashion. A stellar 2013 second quarter earnings report showed the company had finally begun to suiccessfully moentize mobile users, sending shares up 25 percent in a single trading day. The company has really never looked back, and in 2013 gained a whopping 122 percent in the second half alone.
2. Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (ALU)
Price as of 12/29/13: $4.45
2013 YTD Gain: 225.18
This company is not nearly as well known to American tech investors as Nokia, Facebook, or Yahoo. But they doubled the gains of those well-performing companies in 2013, more than tripling in value in the process. This French telecom equipment manufacture rose mainly as a result of refocusing on hot sectors like cloud and broadband and away from more traditional IT manufacturing. Restructuring and plans for layoffs also increased profit margins, sending the company's shares slowly but surely northwards, and making the company the second-best performing large-cap tech stock on the year.
1. Micron Technology (MU)
Price as of 12/29/13: $21.48
2013 YTD Gain: 239.43 percent
The third-best performer in the S&P 500 this year and the absolute best in tech, Micron soared this year as demand for their semiconductor components rose significantly. Micron has been praised by the likes of short-seller David Einhorn, a man renowned for sniffing out incompetence in the higher ranks of companies. Einhorn found the company to be impeccably run, and praised its management and direction.
The market agreed, making Micron a real star of the market in 2013.
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