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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (9428)  | Author's Website |

5 Stocks Soaring in Sinking Market

Amid the rout, some stocks appear virtually unaffected, posting double-digit gains

With the S&P 500 index down 1.17% this week, some of the biggest names have felt gyrations. Making the most noise among investors were tech stocks. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) sunk 4.75%, and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) declined 7.08%.

Market forces have also hit whole sectors. Of all S&P 500 sectors, only consumer discretionary and information technology have gained year to date.

But amid the rout, some stocks appear virtually unaffected, posting double-digit gains. The best performers this year are: Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTR), XL Group Ltd. (NYSE:XL), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) and CSRA Inc. (NYSE:CSRA).

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTR)

The stock price of Nektar Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, rose 75%, making it the best performing S&P 500 constituent.


The company, with a $26.9 billion market cap, develops drugs to treat cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain.

In the fourth quarter, Nektar Therapeutics reported revenue of $95.5 million, compared to $37.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Net income totaled $33.8 million, or 21 cents loss per share, compared to net loss of $42.2 million, or 28 cents.

"In the area of pain, we completed a successful Phase 3 program for NKTR-181 in over 2,100 patients and healthy volunteers that will comprise our NDA submission in the second quarter of this year. In immunology, we entered into a major partnership with Eli Lilly for NKTR-358, a potential first-in-class T regulatory resolution therapeutic, which will be developed to treat a broad range of auto-immune disorders. Finally, in immuno-oncology, the clinical success we achieved with NKTR-214 led to a groundbreaking collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb that now enables us to broadly and rapidly advance NKTR-214 into over 20 registrational trials in up to 15,000 patients,” said Howard W. Robin, president and CEO of Nektar.

Nektar hada price book ratio of 190.58 and price sales of 54.57.

XL Group Ltd. (NYSE:XL)

Shares of XL Group, a global insurance and reinsurance company, rose 58.2% year to date. The $14.27 billion market cap company focuses on property, casualty and specialty products.


For the fourth quarter, the company’s revenues were $2.90 billion, an increase from $2.89 billion in the fourth quarter the prior year. Net income was $28.8 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $304.7 million, or $1.13.

"XL’s fourth quarter and full year 2017 results were impacted by the severe natural catastrophes in the year. At the same time, we feel positive about where we are going due to some important factors including: our solid capital position, our progress made in our 2017 ex-catastrophe underlying results, the strength of our market relevance as demonstrated by our 8 percent growth in gross written premiums year-over-year, and that we are seeing early signs of a return to realistic and sustainable rate,” XL’s CEO Mike McGavick said.

XL Group had a price-book ratio of 1.44 and price-sales of 1.29.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Netflix, the subscription internet entertainment service, saw its stock rise 56.6% year to date. The $124.84 billion market cap company has 117 million members in more than 190 countries.


For the fourth quarter, Netflix’s revenue increased 32.6% year-over-year to $3.29 billion. Net income totaled $186 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, compared to $67 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Netflix memberships in the U.S. also rose by 2 million, exceeding estimates of 1.25 million, to 5.3 million. Internationally, memberships rose 6.36 million, compared to guidance of 5.05 million, setting a record for new members in the quarter.

Netflix has a price-earnings of 230.13, price-book of 24.80 and price-sales of 12.67.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX)

Shares of Seagate, a data storage company, jumped 38.6% year to date.


For the second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 29, the $16.11 billion market cap company posted $2.91 billion in revenue, an increase from $2.89 billion in the second quarter of 2017. Diluted earnings per share totaled 55 cents, down from $1 in the same period the previous year.

"Achieving year–over–year revenue and profitability growth and significant cash flow generation in the December quarter reflects Seagate's solid execution and competitiveness of our storage solutions portfolio, particularly in the cloud–based environments. With our leading storage technology platforms, manufacturing and supply–chain management capabilities, Seagate is in a strong position to support ever–increasing storage demand from diverse markets and applications. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on operational excellence and accomplishing our financial and shareholder–return objectives," said Dave Mosley, Seagate's CEO.

The company had a price-earnings ratio of 25.71, price-book of 15.16 and price-sales of 1.57.


CSRA shares rose 38.5% year to date. The company, which has a $16.9 billion market cap, is an IT company that partners with Amazon Web Services, Oracle, Microsoft Azure and others to serve government organizations.


For its third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 29, CSRA revenue grew 7% year-over-year to $1.31 billion, with net income of $188 million, or 56 per diluted share, compared to $126 million, or 76 per diluted share in the third fiscal quarter of 2016.

On Feb. 12, CSRA announced it would be acquired by General Dynamics for $40.75 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at $9.6 billion.

CSRA has a price-earnings ratio of 18.01, price-book ratio of 10.8 and price-sales of 1.35.

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

Visit Holly LaFon's Website

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