My 2 Best-Performing Stocks Of The Last Year

Includes: BGS, ISRG
by: Siddharth Dalal

After all the hype Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gets, it would be hard to imagine stocks out there that beat Apple's spectacular performance. But in the last year Apple was actually my number 3 stock, performance-wise.

Without further ado, here are the top two:

2. Intuitive Surgical's (NASDAQ:ISRG) one year performance of 56% narrowly beat out Apple's 52%. Intuitive Surgical makes surgical robots and is fast growing. Its robots have no real competition and have constantly growing uses. The company now boasts a market cap of over $20 billion. It has a high P/E of 41, but the growth is expected to continue as more hospitals worldwide buy their robots and existing robots are used for more procedures. Intuitive was in the spotlight a lot recently as "the other" company whose share price crossed $500.

1. B&G Foods (NYSE:BGS): I noticed this one a little over a year ago because it was paying out spectacular dividends, and even though it is a small company it is relatively stable and has been increasing dividends pretty fast. They currently stand at 4.7%, but when I acquired the stock they were at more than 8%. The stock has just increased in value pretty fast. B&G Foods manufactures and distributes several known smaller food brands. B&G's one year performance - 71%. The stock has more than doubled since I acquired it, and I expect the dividends and growth to continue.

Apple, again, was No. 3; rounding out the top 5 were Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) (up 49%) and Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMP) (up 31%). My numbers include dividends for KMP and BGS (numbers calculated by Morningstar).

For the next year, I expect Apple, TSLA and ISRG to be the top 3, all things going OK (iPad 3, iPhone 5, Model S, etc.). I also expect emerging markets to make a some kind of comeback. As an example, Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) has a one-year return of 15% but YTD is up 61%. Korea Fund's (NYSEARCA:EWY) one year return is 3.75; YTD is 13%, Vanguard Emerging Markets Index's (NYSEARCA:VWO) one year performance is 0.5, and YTD gain is 16.5%.

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, BGS, EWY, ISRG, TTM, TSLA, KMP. I am also long VEIEX, which is identical to VWO.

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