The stock market has done well so far in 2017, with gains of almost 10% for the S&P 500 and even greater rises for some other major market benchmarks. A small number of top-performing stocks have done a lot better than that, with a select handful having managed to double investors' money since the beginning of the year. Shareholders in RH (NYSE: RH), Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), and BeiGene (NASDAQ: BGNE) have all seen gains of more than 100% for 2017, and many see their positive prospects continuing into the future. Below, you'll learn more about these winners and what their potential is for further gains.
RH restores investor confidence
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The retail industry has gotten hammered recently, and luxury home furnishings specialist RH, which was formerly known as Restoration Hardware, proved susceptible to the downward trend. Between late 2015 and the end of 2016, shares dropped by nearly three-quarters, and RH blamed a variety of outside factors ranging from the plunging oil market to the U.S. presidential election for its sluggish results.
In 2017, perceptions about RH have changed. The company's results early on were mixed at best, with fiscal fourth-quarter revenue falling 9% and taking adjusted net income down a third from year-earlier levels. But shareholders celebrated the better-than-expected numbers, and RH followed up with a fiscal first-quarter report that included revenue gains of 23% and a reversal of year-earlier losses.
Shareholders haven't been entirely sure how to respond to the RH turnaround, with shares sometimes moving in the opposite direction of what one might expect. Hopes for a reviving retail sector could help RH move forward for the rest of the year, although it will be essential for the home furnishings specialist to perform well in the holiday season in order to carry positive momentum forward.
Shopify cashes in on the cloud
Part of what has ailed conventional retail is the fact that it's so easy for entrepreneurs to sell goods online. Shopify has made that process even easier, offering its multichannel commerce platform for small and mid-sized businesses. Services include payment processing and assistance in setting up an e-commerce website, and Shopify has recently added new tools like offering credit card swipe and chip reading devices as well as specialized wholesale storefronts to help manage relationships between key businesses.
Shopify has produced immense growth in its business, and those gains have translated to its stock as well. In the first quarter of 2017, Shopify revenue jumped 75%, and the company narrowed its net losses by more than expected. Subscription solutions climbed 60%, but transaction-based sales almost doubled as the company attracted a record number of new clients to its service. With higher guidance as well, Shopify is well positioned to capitalize on a booming economy and the promise that e-commerce holds to entrepreneurs across the globe.
BeiGene makes a great deal
Few U.S. investors had heard of BeiGene until last month, but the Chinese company has made a huge splash very quickly. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical stock soared after BeiGene announced that it had made a lucrative deal with biotech industry giant Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG).
Under the deal's terms, Celgene will get worldwide rights outside Asia to market solid-tumor candidate treatment BGB-A317, while BeiGene will get an exclusive license to sell Celgene's Abraxane, Revlimid, and Vidaza drugs in China as well as control of Celgene's Chinese commercial operations. BeiGene will also get $263 million in cash and a $150 million equity investment.
It's unusual for small companies to get such good terms with larger counterparts, but BeiGene offers access to a Chinese market into which it's difficult for Western companies to gain entry. Both companies could end up big winners if the collaboration goes well going forward.
Few stocks double in less than a year, but these stocks have done a lot in a short period of time. Although RH needs further work to prove that its rise is truly warranted, Shopify and BeiGene have fundamental strength that could take them much further in the future.
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