The first half of 2015 has flown by and so far it’s been pretty shrugworthy. Sure, the market has continued to keep investors on their toes with its rollercoaster-style swings, but the end result has been gains south of 2%. Basically, much ado about nothing.
There have still been some impressive highlights so far this year, though, despite the overall “meh” nature of the market.
In fact, some of the biggest gainers have actually been some of the biggest companies.
Just take a look at this sampling of large-cap picks — each with more than $30 billion in market capitalization — that have all notched 30% gains or better since 2015 kicked off.
Large-Cap Leaders: Netflix (NFLX)
Market cap: $39.9 Billion
Year-to-date gains: 95%
Netflix (NFLX) is one of the biggest names in content right now, and investors have been eager to get behind it as a result. The movie maven has nearly doubled since the year started off … and it could be set for even more gains considering a stock split is rumored to be on the horizon.
The double-edged sword: A loftier price for Netflix stock could just mean more pressure for more profits. As a reminder, Netflix is slated for an earnings decline of more than 70% in the current quarter and a total decline around 60% for the year. That puts the company’s forward P/E ratio at a mind-boggling 189.
Then again, the next outperformer on this list also sports a three-digit P/E ratio and has been soaring higher without profits for some time. Maybe Netflix stock can do the same.
Large-Cap Leaders: Amazon (AMZN)
Market cap: $200 Billion
Year-to-date gains: 41%
The stock sports a forward P/E of 170, a PEG ratio of more than 30 and a negative return on equity, plus earnings have declined by an average of -13% annually over the last half decade … and AMZN stock has still produced a sweet 41% year-to-date climb.
It’s also a mega-cap pick; the e-commerce play just keeps on expanding its offering and its worth, boasting a monster market cap of $200 billion — a massive chunk of change that’s difficult for most of us to even imagine.
Large-Cap Leaders: JD.com (JD)
Market cap: $49 Billion
Year-to-date gains: 54%
Speaking of e-commerce, we’ve seen similar success in the Amazon-like plays out of China. This next pick, for instance, is best known as an Alibaba (BABA) rival … and has been downright slaying BABA so far in 2015.
While Alibaba stock is around 17% in the red for 2015, JD.com (JD) has climbed around 54%.
Recent headlines announced that JD.com is taking a stake in FruitDay, an online seller of fruit and produce in China, and recently begun testing a more instant delivery service — two moves that might just keep earnings and stock growth chugging along.
As a reminder, JD.com posted a loss this quarter, but is expected to be profitable for the full year and is slated to post impressive 40% earnings growth per year long term.
Large-Cap Leaders: Sony (SNE)
Market cap: $35 Billion
Year-to-date gains: 47%
The next name on the list just might surprise you. Sony (SNE) might be associated with outdated technology like the good ol’ Walkman, but shares of SNE stock have actually been on a pretty steady upward climb since they hit an ugly bottom back in 2012.
Not too shabby for an old-school name like Sony.
Large-Cap Leaders: Aetna (AET)
Market cap: $43 Billion
Year-to-date gains: 40%
Last but not least, we have an healthcare giant to round out the list. Aetna (AET), which boasts a $43 billion market cap, also boasts a 40% year-to-date climb.
The company is expected to see modest organic growth going forward — namely, earnings growth of 10% per year over the next half-decade. But considering the impressive gains already in the book, the fact that Aetna stock is trading for just 15 times forward earnings is a borderline miracle.
This performance isn’t a fluke, either. If you need any further proof of the healthcare mega-trend, consider the fact that Aetna stock has exploded up 330% over the last five years.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.