The stock market has had a good 2017, with major market benchmarks having reached new heights on numerous occasions. A few stocks have done even better, achieving the monumental feat of doubling in value within the first seven and a half months of the year. Read on to find out why Lumber Liquidators Holdings (NYSE: LL), LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), and Textainer Group Holdings (NYSE: TGH) have performed so well and whether they can keep rising in the future.
Lumber Liquidators picks itself up off the floor
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The housing market has been a godsend for retailers that specialize in home improvement, and as a provider of hardwood flooring products, Lumber Liquidators participated in the bull market for years. That all changed in 2015 when the company became the subject of scrutiny following allegations concerning its laminate flooring products manufactured in China and whether potential violations of formaldehyde regulations were intentional. Shares plunged following the scandal, and it took a long time for the company to mount a viable comeback strategy.
So far in 2017, Lumber Liquidators has shown investors its staying power. Earlier this month, the retailer issued an extremely positive financial report, which included much stronger profits than most had expected. Lumber Liquidators has moved forward with a strategic vision that emphasizes building up the brand once again, including efforts not just to ensure product quality but also to provide value-added services like installation. With comparable-store sales up sharply and with the company making considerable progress toward resolving its legal disputes, Lumber Liquidators is back on the road to recovery.
LendingTree keeps climbing higher
Getting a loan can be a cumbersome process, and many customers are intimidated by the entire endeavor. LendingTree has aimed to make the loan process easier to navigate by offering loan marketplace services online. By creating a platform on which customers can ask for loans and have financial institutions make offers without the full hassle that most in-person loan processes require, LendingTree has sought to cash in on the move toward greater e-commerce activity not just in consumer purchases but in other areas of the economy.
LendingTree's efforts have proven immensely successful. In its most recent quarter, the online loan marketplace reported record results both from mortgages and other types of loans, and the number of loan requests jumped by nearly half to 5.4 million. In particular, efforts to expand beyond the mortgage realm have been extremely lucrative, as non-mortgage product revenue more than doubled in just the past 12 months. More customers will inevitably want a smoother loan process, and LendingTree is in a good position to cater to that demand.
Textainer ships it
The container shipping industry is coming out of years of lackluster performance as the global economy begins to pick up steam. Even though conditions in the U.S. have been relatively good, companies like Textainer Group have had trouble in navigating a market plagued by overcapacity and low worldwide demand. Coming into 2017, many investors were optimistic about the prospects for Textainer and its peers to rebound.
So far, that optimism has seemed warranted. Textainer said earlier this month that it saw increased fleet utilization, container-ship rental rates, and management fees. The company has also worked hard to position itself as well as possible for a rebound, making strategic investments into new containers and working to restructure its debt in an optimal fashion. As long as the global economy avoids hiccups that would send it back toward a slower-growth trajectory, Textainer is in a good position.
These stocks have seen powerful forces cause them to double in just over half a year, and investors can't count on the pace of their growth continuing. However, Textainer, LendingTree, and Lumber Liquidators all have potential to keep improving, and that in turn could provide solid returns for investors willing to jump on the bandwagon a bit late.
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