What a Year!

Visions of Sugarplums dance in our heads, and a new year of hyperbole beckons!

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 23, 2013

Know how you can tell that it’s been a crazy bull market? Look at the tracking spreadsheets here at Stock Gumshoe.

We’ve covered a couple handfuls of teaser picks that have gone up by more than 100% this year, which is a little unusual in itself, but look more closely and you’ll also see that the top performers on the spreadsheet at this point in 2013 are all small cap stocks that are unprofitable … you have to get down to the sixth-best performer (Aceto, ACET, a specialty chemicals company) to find one that’s making a profit, and you have to get down to number eight on the list before you find a company with a market cap over a billion dollars (that’s Alnylam, ALNY, a large and unprofitable biotech stock — and one that also topped the 2012 spreadsheet).

In fact, biotech has been a big theme again this year — you’ve probably heard some mutterings about a “biotech bubble,” which would help to explain why so many early-stage biotech companies have done so well this year… though biotech stocks that take a leap based on clinical trial results are with us every year.

Tech stocks, too, are big winners again this year, as they frequently are — when you’re looking for sharp gains in a single year, it’s hard to find that without companies that have shocking product successes or scientific breakthroughs, are riding a big wave of profit increases in a sector, or that get acquired at a big premium.

And we’ve had solid breadth indicated on the tracking spreadsheets too — for the first time in a while, there are more teased picks in 2013 that went up than went down. It’s close, but there are definitely more winners. You’d expect that in a year when the S&P 500 was up close to 30%, but it’s still nice to see.

And even the worst teaser stock pick, HRT Participacoes (HRP.V, HRTPY), is only down 83% or so … for the first time I can remember, not a single teaser pick from the year went down 95%+ or fell into bankruptcy. It’s sad that this is a big deal, but big it is.

The biggest surprise? For me, it’s the weakness in energy stocks. We know that the gold and mining stocks are likely to be the worst performers in a year like this when those commodities collapsed — certainly my gold and mining-related stocks have been spanked in 2013, along with most others.

But oil and natural gas prices are higher than they were a year ago, albeit off their highs of the Summer, so why are there so many energy stocks that did so poorly in 2013? Some of them are explorers that got hyped up on exploration possibilities and didn’t deliver, of course, a problem that hits at least a couple stocks every year, but even a few of the big, “supposed to be steady” new high-yield oil trusts took a clobbering. There are specific reasons for many of them, as usual, but that’s still a surprise — there weren’t many energy stocks among the top performers (excepting NXT Energy, an oil exploration services microcap, and Cheniere Energy, LNG, which rode the wave of enthusiasm for LNG export), and energy was firmly overrepresented on the bottom half of the spreadsheet.

We’re talking about a pretty high hurdle this year for those who are seeking relative gains (ie, trying to do better than the market in any given year) — if you had bought the S&P 500 index on January 1 of 2013 and just held it, you’d be sitting on a portfolio that’s grown by roughly 30% on the year … so all those picks that were made early in the year and are only up by 5-10% are, relatively speaking, losers.

But still, I’ll take a good year and the warm feeling it brings to your belly … and no, I can’t take credit for a good year in teaserdom, I’m sure that when I did my brief look at each of those picks over the year that was, there were probably several stocks among the list of the top ten or twelve performers that I thought were ridiculously overvalued before they went up by 100%, and probably quite a few that were on the list of worst performers that I owned or thought of positively at the time.

But you can’t put relative returns in your bank account, and you can’t invest in the rearview mirror — so as I raise a glass this New Year’s Eve I’ll be hoping that 2014 will bring a bevy of winners and another nice, bullish backdrop for all the crazy promises we cover in the year to come.

Stock Gumshoe HQ will be dark and quiet this holiday season as we all spend time with our families, but we’ll be back and raring to go as we cover the teasers and promises of the new year. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and thanks for making Stock Gumshoe a part of your investing life!

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71 Comments on "What a Year!"

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harpswell
Irregular
32
harpswell
December 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Have a wonderful holiday. In the meanwhile, have you analyzed the wonderful “Section 703 IRA” from the Oxford Club? You can use it to turn $2 a day into millions.

James
Guest
0
January 22, 2014 5:58 pm

Nice going That would really be great to turn 2 dollars into one million.

Nancy Groth
Guest
0
December 23, 2013 6:48 pm
Having lost everything as an entrepreneurial business (Gourmet Restaurant, Organic Farm, Artisan Bakery) including 2 huge 401Ks in the 2008 crash, it’s a little bit scary with meager savings 10K, to try to grow some sort of retirement fund. I appreciate and am so terribly grateful for your website. I have been able to grow due to you. But I’m extremely naive with regards to stocks, bonds, ETFs, dividends (all foreign language) so trying to come up to speed. And you are very talented at making it somewhat easy for newbies to understand. Thanks for that and all that you… Read more »
Slick Rick
Guest
0
Slick Rick
December 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Travis why don’t you have your readers submit ONE pick that they feel will be a blockbuster for 2014 with No restrictions on the pick. OTC and major exchanges will be included. The price is taken at the close of trading on 12/31/13 and finally on 12/31/14 . Largest % GAIN is the winner.
This would provide all readers with some of the best stock picks currently available!

jbalish
Member
0
jbalish
December 28, 2013 8:03 pm

UBSFY Ubisoft filling a gap and ready to take off with new game release “Watchdogs”. Their main game franchise is Assassins Creed.

Bruce Bardes
Guest
0
December 23, 2013 11:08 pm

Travis, my pick is DDD (3-D Systems Corp). My second pick is SSYS (Stratasys Corp).

dcinvest
Irregular
23
dcinvest
December 23, 2013 11:16 pm
On one blog several weeks ago, MEI was mentioned as a possible growing asset and company worth the time to investigate. I take no credit but the person that mentioned he had traded it successfully was very correct. I researched the Company. Just before the last earnings release only to find people were selling the stock and the price was around $25.00 per share. Fundamentals on this company looked far better that most and CNBC had not mentioned it to my knowledge. I bought out of the money calls to possibly waste $0.65 because trading ahead of earnings poses a… Read more »
dcinvest
Irregular
23
dcinvest
December 23, 2013 11:38 pm
I will add a stock to look at or consider for 2014, (NAT). This is an oil tanker company that appears to me to be better managed than all the other companies combined. All tanker stocks are down because of an over supply that has lasted about 2 years or more However, the short sale of valuable tankers is near an end because most companies that over bought during the high daily rates are now bankrupt or out of business. Watch for daily shipping rates. Breakeven for this Company is near 10,000 USD per day. This past year that was… Read more »
dshisler
Irregular
0
December 24, 2013 12:42 am

In one word,
Stellar! (SBOTF)
Merry Christmas everyone and a very happy and prosperous new year!

Rusty Brown in Canada
Guest
0
Rusty Brown in Canada
December 24, 2013 5:35 am

Oh, that’s the ticker symbol. At first I thought it was one of those LMAO thingies.

Best wishes to all from Canada.

nixim
Member
0
nixim
December 24, 2013 6:00 am

Marry Christmas everyone and a prosperous 2014

mick
Guest
0
December 24, 2013 7:49 am

season’s greetings to all and to all a good portfolio.for a prosperous 2014 my selection is nwbo.be well

gggb
Member
12
gggb
September 5, 2015 10:04 pm

Mick, are you still in NWBO?

rbowman
Irregular
0
rbowman
December 24, 2013 9:06 am

(ZNGA), zynga

jamiekase
Irregular
0
jamiekase
December 24, 2013 10:02 am

EZCH

Michael Isaacs
Guest
0
Michael Isaacs
December 24, 2013 10:31 am

Before I found Stock Gumshoe this year I was trying to ID many of these teaser stocks myself using Google – not very successfully! Travis, may I wish you and yours all the best for Christmas and the New Year. Top stock for 2014 has to be DDD – 3D printing will change the world in ways we cannot yet imagine and this Company is a first mover in the sector.

jimbo0421
Member
0
December 24, 2013 10:47 am

CLNE – Clean Energy Fuels, a bet on distribution expansion and more transportation coming on line with the NG Highway

baygreen
Member
32
January 4, 2014 3:48 pm
James I like your play and have talked to Boone and some of his guys at B P Capital, they called me day after XMAS CAUSE SOMEBODY STARTED SHORTING THEM AT CLME ANS ASKED ME TO LOOK AROUND. The 2 TRAIN CRASHES OR DERAILS ARE recent the one in N D Was one of Buffets so he does not want to loose raw material getting from the Bakken and across the border is a big deal, Buffet makes an extra 10$ a barrel more when they haul it to refineries verses the pipelines and there are not any pipelines going… Read more »
baygreen
Member
32
January 4, 2014 4:46 pm
HE PUT A BUY IN ON THE PHILLIPS PLANT THAT MAKES THE LUBRICANT FOR THE PIPELINES TO MOVE THE HEAVIER OIL WHICH COULD MAKE THE PIPELINE INDUSTRY HOT AND YOU ARE TALKING TO A MAN THAT KNOWS OIL BOONE , MY POINT IS DON’T LET CLNE SCARE YOU IF IT PULLS BACK ,THOSE TRUCK ARE GONNA ROLL THE ONLY LINE THAT COMES OUT OF THERE NOW IS VERESEN fcgyf has a line from the Alliance pipeline to Chicago could get real interesting also fcgyf has a pipeline they just turned a permit in to US that will take nat/gas out… Read more »
fleagle
Member
0
fleagle
December 24, 2013 10:58 am

UEC

Sue
Guest
0
December 24, 2013 11:03 am
To Travis & Myron, Like Nancy G. I’m still a beginner with long way to go but, gradually, I’m getting a bit better and, as I said to a friend : ” this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time ” – even if I want to scream occasionally. So, thank you both for your hard work ….believe it or not, a few things are sticking!!!!! Merry Christmas to you both, and to all the contributors whose comments I’ve enjoyed, and a happy and prosperous new year for us all. I’ll go for KLH.V – Stellar and… Read more »
William Douglas
Guest
0
William Douglas
December 24, 2013 11:49 am

Gilead (GILD)

Fred
Guest
0
Fred
December 24, 2013 12:09 pm

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2014 for everyone from east of the big pond, but especially for Travis, thank you for all your valuable insights!

Dennis
Irregular
34
December 24, 2013 12:11 pm

Have been long with SSYS and DDD since Jan. Mr. Toads wild ride. Continue to see 3D as a successful disruptive manufacturing technology with enormous upside potential. Buyouts????

Pick: BOFI – same long position as 3D. Great internet only stock. Banks should do well in 2014.

Technology- What will be the most successful “Wearables” play in 2014?

I have learned much this year with very informative Gumshoe Irregular input. Thanks to all and to Santa Gumshoe.

aterosin
Member
6
aterosin
December 24, 2013 6:53 pm

I continue to be hopeful with SBOTF.

Bob S.
Guest
0
Bob S.
December 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Brigus Gold(BRD) seems to have good prospects. It is being bought out by Primero Gold which has several successful mines in Mexico.

oldiebutnewbie
Member
0
oldiebutnewbie
December 28, 2013 7:38 pm

Would LOVE to see this go up-bought on advice from Motley Fool a while back.

Abe R
Guest
0
Abe R
December 25, 2013 11:58 am

Happy Holidays, Health & Prosperity to you & your family as well as to all readers & their families.

mmalissa
Irregular
0
mmalissa
December 25, 2013 3:51 pm

Hi all Gumshoe friends: I have a christmas wish: Can anybody tell me anything about CERES VENTURES (former Phytological…PYTO)? I did believe them when they told Investors they can transfer cinnamon to $$$ – long time ago…(Thats how stupid one can be when you are a New investor and fall for those teaser mails…). Thank you all, happy holidays and thanks Travis and team for the fun they’ve provided this year.
My pick for 2014: CGIX

mmalissa
Irregular
0
mmalissa
December 25, 2013 3:52 pm

!

bilbo007
Member
0
bilbo007
December 25, 2013 4:21 pm

My sort of pick is TOG.TO Canada pension plan dump 250 million into it.low p.e very good divi,fairly low payout ratio.
Merry Christmas and Happy,Healty and Prosperous 2014 to all.

Manu Bhai
Guest
0
Manu Bhai
December 25, 2013 4:46 pm

Travis Wish you all the best of seasons and may the best to come in the coming years

Manu Bhai

Elliot Sedlecky
Guest
0
Elliot Sedlecky
December 26, 2013 11:41 am

Curious to know why anyone would pick DDD over SSYS. I own SSYS because I believe it to be a far superior value when compared to its competition. DDD chart is better, but that is about it in my eyes.

My pick for the year is Sigma Labs (SGLB), which is expected to commercialize an in-process quality assurance system for 3D printers in early 2014. SGLB has been on a great run in the second half of 2013 and I expect that run to continue beautifully. I am long.

John
Guest
0
John
December 26, 2013 3:59 pm

Thanks for a great year Travis. Even if I did not buy one stock, (although I did) I enjoy reading your sleuthing and your added humor you always intertwine as you search out the company. Have a wonderful holiday season.

dw2020
Irregular
0
December 26, 2013 7:23 pm

Ya gotta love it when a couple stocks you own (CGNX, SGLB) are top picks for next year by Gumshoers!
CGNX was recommended last Nov. in Technology Profits and is up 23% since.
SGLB was recommended by a Gumshoe reader this month and I agree has much potential.
My pick is Organovo (ONVO) – patented, game-changing 3D bio printer.

Diane Twardy
Guest
0
Diane Twardy
December 26, 2013 7:44 pm

My pick for 2014 is Xerox, think it will continue upwards.
Also keeping on eye on Roundys, as the Marriano division is doing very well.

modernrock
Irregular
227
December 27, 2013 5:19 pm

i will take SRNE

Anthony Alfidi
Guest
0
December 27, 2013 6:24 pm

Anyone riding the Fed’s coattails into 2014 is taking a huge risk, hoping that there won’t be any mean reversion in corporate earnings or long-term interest rates. Hope is not a method.

tanglewood
Irregular
170
December 27, 2013 9:13 pm

Silver is due for a breakout. I will go with one that I own, Endeavour Silver (EXK $3.47). Bought June 21, 2013 at $3.55.

Vicki
Member
92
Vicki
December 27, 2013 11:02 pm

I have been well pleased with AAON this year and will continue to add more to my portfolio in 2014. Wishing you all a happy, healthy & prosperous year!

retireby52
Irregular
8
retireby52
December 28, 2013 1:47 am

Ambarella for me. Undemanding multiple and partnering with Google. Only wish I had took note of all the bicycle helmet mounted Gopros a bit earlier. Happy new year all when it comes. Travis can’t help but think it would be good to add a section for member recommendations?

oldiebutnewbie
Member
0
oldiebutnewbie
December 28, 2013 7:39 pm

PVCT.

THANKS Stock Gumshoe and Marvin for REED and AWARE!

oldiebutnewbie
Member
0
oldiebutnewbie
December 28, 2013 7:41 pm

OOPS so Sorry Myron!

Teda
Guest
0
Teda
December 29, 2013 12:40 pm

I looked at and bought Sierra Wireless (SWIR) — the “Internet of Everything” chip/sensor module supplier. It’s had steady gains, is the major international player in the M2M field, is debt free, and flush with cash. So I’m hopeful….

Chris
Guest
0
Chris
December 30, 2013 3:54 pm

Karnalyte Resources. Was trading at 9 bucks just before the Potash meltdown between Belarus and Russia. Big meetings in march should put all potash players back in the limelight. This junior has a very high probability of a new solution potash mine. India is a big player.

leskellum
Irregular
6
December 31, 2013 2:20 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! My top stock pick would also be STELLAR: SBOTF and also hopeful for NATCORE SOLAR: NTCXF

Teda
Guest
0
Teda
January 1, 2014 12:46 pm

I bought Natcore in the summer of 2012 then sold it for a good profit. The price has been bouncing around and I’m waiting for them to finally start selling a product. I bought NENE earlier the same year, which has bounced around plenty, too, but they seem somewhat closer to having a product to sell…but we’ll see. Good luck!

LYNDA
Guest
0
LYNDA
December 31, 2013 11:38 pm

Has anyone at Stock Gumshoe commented yet on the recent “Reverse Income Tax Fund” by Oxford. I’ve read the tease twice and see a story on government real estate similar to GOV or OFC, but neither of those would have a time limit of 20 Jan to participate/purchase. (??) Thanks, Lynda

lilita
Member
0
lilita
January 1, 2014 10:19 am

Ambarella, invensense and ddd

jamespaul108
Irregular
32
jamespaul108
January 1, 2014 8:25 pm

Plug Power (PLUG) could go up significantly in 2014 if one of their customers awards them a big contract (many units). There’s a lot of strong opinion regarding PLUG, both positive and negative, on the seekingalpha.com site. Currently PLUG is still losing money, but could have positive net income in 2014 or 2015.

johnl49
Irregular
0
January 2, 2014 10:51 am

Thanks Travis for your insights and explanations. Have a joyous and prosperous New Year. I think 3D printing still has a way to go but will be a disruptive technology. I am going with energy and I think XLE will be my choice for the new year. Seems like the start of a cold winter.

nym7601
Irregular
7
nym7601
January 4, 2014 9:12 am

my pick is XONE. Large commercial 3D printing will catch fire.

budogle
Member
58
budogle
January 4, 2014 5:29 pm
Happy New year to all. My stock pick for 2014 is NWBO a 10+ year old biotherapy company that is in final stage III testing for a process of extracting a cancer sample from a patient and some dendritic cells (immune system cells) and “teaching” the immune system to see the cancer cells as a foreign agent and attack and kill it. Stage III testing is underway in both the USA and UK and Germany and partially funded by Germany. All three countries have the tests on a fast track designation. Brain tumor patients who have undergone treatment have some… Read more »
gggb
Member
12
gggb
January 5, 2015 3:38 am

I agree and invested in NWBO– 6K shares (Im a working stiff). But, I have some reservations regarding the stock price. What do other investors know that I don’t. NWBO should NOT be @ $5. The fact that it is, gives me a suspicion that maybe I’m missing something. My due diligence, however, strongly suggest NWBO is a diamond in the rough!

SoGiAm
Irregular
3990
January 5, 2015 3:53 am

NWBO-William, I found this comment in the dungeon file: A crummy company with bad science and crooked leaders. Steven Pearlstein is stupid beyond measure. Among the very worst entities in the biotech universe (quite a strong statement, I feel).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1f8TiuDeQRJmQZZ6HjidLOG6NjkUr0xqoz03HUOEjpHc/edit?pli=1#gid=0 Best to All!-Benjamin

gggb
Member
12
gggb
March 10, 2015 5:44 am

Thanks Sogiam, I have heard many, many disparaging comment about NWBO. But I never uncovered any significant details to support those comments. As part of my continuous DD, I try to look for reasons to exit my NWBO investment. I have found none. My DD leads me to believe NWBO will be tremendously successful. But, I want to ensure Im not just following hype. Perhaps someone on this site can put forth additional info. I would appreciate it.

gggb
Member
12
gggb
June 8, 2015 12:42 am

So far NWBO, based on the ASCO conference regarding DCVax-Direct and data released regarding DCVax-L, is the real deal. I am convinced NWBO is legit! It’s up 65% YTD!

gggb
Member
12
gggb
July 8, 2015 3:37 pm

Actually, NWBO is up 85% ytd. I think in august we will see a lot of institutions have been buying.

gggb
Member
12
gggb
July 15, 2015 12:02 am

Nwbo is up a whopping 110% YTD. I really think NWBO is the real thing. I have yet to hear any info (and I have search) that suggest otherwise.

gggb
Member
12
gggb
July 8, 2015 3:39 pm

Hello Walter, Are you still invested in NWBO?

westcoaster
Member
0
January 4, 2014 4:18 pm

All the best to everyone in 2014. So far this year, my long positions are GOGO, MKTO and SCSS. I’m sorry I didn’t jump into CLIR right after Travis wrote about; it popped big time. This is a great resource. I’m glad I joined.

robvano1979
Member
0
robvano1979
January 5, 2014 3:08 pm

RNN

jppid@yahoo.com
Irregular
0
jppid@yahoo.com
January 6, 2014 7:47 pm

LX Ventures (LXV.V / LXVTF)

jppid@yahoo.com
Irregular
0
jppid@yahoo.com
January 6, 2014 7:57 pm

Groupe Gorge (GOE.PA) looks interesting in the 3D space,via acquisition of company that employed former pricipal scientist of DDD.

gggb
Member
12
gggb
September 5, 2015 10:08 pm

Anyone have any thoughts regarding Northwest Bio (NWBO)?

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