Below is a list of the 50 best performing stocks in the Russell 3000 in 2012. Each of the 50 stocks that made the list was up more than 135% for the year, with BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI) leading the way at +435.32%. Five other stocks gained more than 300% in 2012 -- Ellie Mae (ELLI), Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), PGT Inc. (PGTI) and Waterstone Financial (WSBF).
Most of the stocks that made the list are relative unknowns compared to the big blue chips, but they certainly made a lot of money for investors that held them throughout 2012. Some other notables on the list include 3D-printing stocks DDD and SSYS. 3D Systems (DDD) was up 270.49%, while Stratasys (SSYS) was up 163.56%. A lot of homebuilders made the list as well, including HOV, PHM, and MHO.
While most of these stocks will not see a repeat performance of 2012, they're nearly all currently in strong uptrends with plenty of momentum behind them. It's definitely worth taking a closer look at each of 2012's 50 biggest winners to get a grasp on what worked in 2012 and maybe find a few long opportunities for the new year.