This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Big Surprise Stock Winners of 2011

Stocks in this article: VRUS GILD LTS RGR DPZ COG

MILLBURN, N.J. ( Stockpickr) -- 2011 is drawing to a close. While both professionals and do-it-yourself investors try to prognosticate the year ahead in advance, we're always dealt our fair share of surprises -- both good and bad.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the five biggest positive stock surprises and five biggest negative stock surprises of 2011, starting with the positive.

Also check out " 5 Big Surprise Loser Stocks of 2011."

                   
 
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
Your one-stop shop for 2012 stock recommendations and market predictions.
 

Pharmasset: +467%

Overall, 2011 was not a good year for the biotech industry. The Amex Biotech Index has declined close to 20% so far in 2011. The Nasdaq Biotech Index and its corresponding ETF, iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index ETF (IBB), rose about 10% in the same period.

The difference in relative performance for those two indices was Pharmasset (VRUS), which represents approximately 11% of the Nasdaq Biotech Index but is not at all in the Amex Biotech Index. So it is fair to say that biotech ex-Pharmasset performed poorly in 2011.

According to the company's Web site, Pharmasset is "a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs to treat viral infections. Our primary focus is on the development of oral therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis C virus ('HCV'). We currently have three product candidates and a series of preclinical candidates nearing preparation for clinical development."

The key product for the company is its treatment for hepatitis C. On Nov. 21, Gilead (GILD) agreed to buy Pharmasset for $137 per share. At the time, the stock was selling for $72.67. Prior to that deal being announced, Pharmasset shares had risen 234% on the year. (It shows up on a list of Five Drug Stock Winners of 2011.)

Pharmasset is definitely the woulda-coulda-shoulda stock of the year.

Ladenburg Thalman: +118%

Ladenburg Thalman (LTS) is an old boutique investment bank / brokerage firm based out of Miami. Given its size, relative obscurity and low stock price, Ladenburg Thalman is overlooked in the investment world.

Worth noticing, however, is that after 12 consecutive losing quarters, Ladenburg Thalman posted breakeven results for the first and second quarter of this year. This was achieved on the back of record revenue generation for this firm. The stock rose 18% in the first half of 2011.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs