This one was a contrarian pick for 2013. In 2012, negative publicity and financial obligations from the less-than-perfect coming-to-market of Facebook had investors selling shares of the exchange. As per usual, the selling went too far. As investors returned to the market in 2013, profits at Nasdaq increased. So too did the shares, with gains now touching 60% for the year. Analysts expect the company to grow profits by 16% in 2014. At current prices, shares trade for 13 times 2014 estimated earnings. The contrarian trade here is gone, but the stock still looks cheap.
I expect Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) to trade higher in the coming year, thanks to increased volume in the markets and a continuation of the bull market rally. That said, the valuation is near fair value, thus the gains are likely to be similar to the major indexes. While there is nothing wrong with that, the stock does not make the cut for the 2014 One-Year Sizzling Stocks list.