Our small All Star stocks generated big gains since we last visited them in 2016. They climbed 58.1% on average and nearly all of them gained ground. More than half of them provided returns north of 50% and more than a dozen posted returns in excess of 100%.
The period of plenty for the All-Star stocks spanned from February 11, 2016 to November 14, 2017. To put the overall returns into more familiar annual terms, a 58.1% gain over the period is equivalent to a 29.8% return on an annualized basis.
The top performing All Star was MKS Instruments which shot up 230%. The firm makes equipment for the semiconductor business and is based in Andover, MA. Its shareholders benefited from a surge in earnings and the stock got a boost when it was recently inducted into the S&P MidCap 400 index.
The second-best performer was Kadant which jumped 170%. The industrial company based in Westford, MA. makes machines for the paper and wood processing market. Its stock was propelled by revenue and earnings growth.
A total of 13 All Stars posted gains of more than 100% since last time and 37 of the 71 managed gains of more than 50%. That’s pretty good even if we say so ourselves. But it wasn’t all roses. There were a total of two duds in the group that lost money.
Seneca Foods of Marion, NY slipped 21% on uneven trading. Its packaged fruit and vegetable business suffered a little freezer burn due to earnings weakness.
The worst showing came from heath care products distributor Aceto, which dropped 52%. While the company grew its revenues over the last two years, its earnings have declined each quarter (on a year-over-year basis) for more than a year. The poor earnings trend helps to explain its slumping stock.
But the winners more than made up for the losers leading to a whopping average return of 58.1%. We would love to see similar returns in the future.
Last year’s All-Star performance
|1||MKS Instruments Inc||229.79%|
|3||KMG Chemicals Inc||160.34%|
|5||Walker & Dunlop Inc||135.55%|
|6||KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp||130.93%|
|8||Alamo Group Inc||126.34%|
|9||Employers Holdings Inc||115.35%|
|11||Sanderson Farms Inc||107.31%|
|12||Barnes Group Inc||105.94%|
|14||Greenbrier Cos Inc/The||84.12%|
|15||Universal Forest Products Inc||82.84%|
|16||Simpson Manufacturing Co Inc||79.29%|
|17||1st Source Corp||79.13%|
|18||Heartland Financial USA Inc||77.97%|
|19||Washington Federal Inc||75.82%|
|20||Independence Holding Co||73.68%|
|21||Chemical Financial Corp||72.03%|
|22||United Financial Bancorp Inc||71.31%|
|23||Hooker Furniture Corp||70.90%|
|24||Atwood Oceanics Inc||67.63%|
|25||Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc||66.76%|
|26||S&T Bancorp Inc||66.20%|
|28||TeleTech Holdings Inc||62.54%|
|29||Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc||62.28%|
|32||Provident Financial Services Inc||54.04%|
|34||Brookline Bancorp Inc||53.26%|
|36||Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc||52.75%|
|37||Superior Uniform Group Inc||50.73%|
|38||Infinity Property & Casualty Corp||45.96%|
|40||Simmons First National Corp||45.77%|
|41||Banc of California Inc||44.82%|
|42||FBL Financial Group Inc||40.61%|
|44||J&J Snack Foods Corp||35.69%|
|45||Werner Enterprises Inc||34.59%|
|46||Encore Wire Corp||34.12%|
|47||United Fire Group Inc||33.48%|
|48||Miller Industries Inc/TN||32.27%|
|49||Hope Bancorp Inc||32.24%|
|50||EMC Insurance Group Inc||29.25%|
|51||Ensign Group Inc/The||29.09%|
|52||Flexsteel Industries Inc||27.84%|
|53||International Speedway Corp||27.34%|
|54||Donegal Group Inc||26.75%|
|56||State Auto Financial Corp||21.31%|
|57||Carriage Services Inc||20.08%|
|58||Navigant Consulting Inc||20.03%|
|59||Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc||19.08%|
|60||Movado Group Inc||19.04%|
|61||CSG Systems International Inc||18.99%|
|62||PC Connection Inc||17.22%|
|63||Weyco Group Inc||15.83%|
|65||Entercom Communications Corp||14.53%|
|66||Investment Technology Group Inc||10.08%|
|67||Village Super Market Inc||3.34%|
|68||PDL BioPharma Inc||0.90%|
|69||National Penn Bancshares Inc||0.28%|
|70||Seneca Foods Corp||-21.46%|