Since the fourth quarter of 2018, the U.S. stock market has experienced high volatility with a significant decline. The S&P 500 index (SPY, Financial) returned -4.78% in the past 52 weeks. 2018 is considered the worst year in a decade. However, in the S&P Small-Cap 600 (IJR, Financial), there are stocks that brought an excellent return to their shareholders in the same 52-week period.
Here is a list of the top 50 best-performing stocks in the S&P Small-Cap 600, delivering a return of at least 37% in the past 52 weeks.
Source: Author’s self-made table
As we can see, the top five best-performing stocks in the S&P Small-Cap 600 generated more than 100% in the past 52 weeks, leaving theS&P 500 in the dust. Each of those five companies -- Renewable Energy (REGI, Financial), Ehealth Inc (EHTH, Financial), Amedisys (AMED, Financial), Crocs (CROX, Financial) and Evertec (EVTC, Financial) -- is in a different industry, including energy, financial, medical, consumer staples and business services. The majority of companies (15 companies) in the list are in the medical industry.
Income investors might prefer companies with high dividend yield. The three companies with the highest dividend yields are Medifast (MED, Financial) at 2.45%, Homeowners’ Choice at 3.05% and DineEquity (DIN, Financial) at 3.66%.
This list proves that investors should not be pessimistic when the overall indexes experienced a downturn. There are always investment opportunities in individual stocks, which can have superior returns, beating the market handily.