Top Stocks of 2012's First Week

Joel Anderson  |

With Tuesday's market close marking the end of the first full week of trading in 2012, several companies have distinguished themselves for getting off to really hot starts. While one week's returns will most likely mean little to nothing by the time December rolls back around, it is worth noting which companies appear poised to have a big year based on the very first week and a day's worth of data.

Dendreon (DNDN)

Dendreon has already had an excellent 2012. In fairness, the company really had a good Q4 for 2011, but investors are seeing the results so far in 2012. After two days of stagnate trading to start he year, Dendreon announced that sales of Provenge, its prostate-cancer drug, posted better-than-expected sales and helped drive Q4 revenues way up. As a result, Dendreon shares have spiked and are currently up over 85 percent on the year.

IPG Photonics Corp. (IPGP)

IPG is a manufacturer of fiber lasers that are used in a variety of functions. The company has been slowly gaining since January 3, but experienced its biggest jump yesterday when shares shot up over 20 percent on no real news outside of the comments made by CFO Tim Mammen at the Needham Growth Conference, according to analysts at Piper Jaffray. Now IPG is up over 37 percent so far on the year.

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Netflix (NFLX)

Wait, what? It's true! After spending most of 2011 acting as the poster boy for corporate mismanagement and dropping over 500,000 customers, the markets appear to be buying the idea that Netflix has its long-term issues licked and stands to rebound from last year's massive sell-off. The company launched in Great Britain earlier in the year, and shares are up almost 35 percent so far in 2012.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)

Regeneron's up in 2012 for reasons very similar to Dendreon. Regeneron makes Eylea, an eye drug that treats wet age-related macular degeneration, a disorder that can cause blindness. While the company's stock had been steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, Tuesday's news that Eylea sales were more than four times what was expected for Q4 of 2011. This, combined with revised estimates for 2012 sales that fell between $140 million and $160 million helped provide a single-day jump of over 13 percent for Regeneron shares. Now, the company's gains in 2012 are approaching 40 percent in total.

InvenSense (INVN)

InvenSense is a provider of intelligent motion processing solutions, designing and manufacturing mixed-signal integrated circuits. And InvenSense has been on a roll to start 2012 with shares leaping close to 35 percent since January 3. What's driving the rally is hard to pinpoint specifically, it could be connected to analysts from several different companies, including Oppenheimer, initiating positive coverage in the company.

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