Best Stocks of the Year: Ranked 15-11

TheStreet and RealMoney writers and editors pick the top stocks of the year based on performance, quarterly results, execution and overall story.
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For 2019, TheStreet has compiled a list of the top 25 stocks of the year, looking at everything from stock performance and quarterly results versus expectations to execution against strategy and each stock’s overall story.

We polled a group of 18 writers and editors at both TheStreet and RealMoney and asked them to nominate candidates, and then winnowed that list down to the top 25 stocks. We then asked each of those writers and editors to rank the top 25 from top to bottom, and assigned 25 points for a No. 1 rank, 24 points for a No. 2 rank, 23 points for a No. 3 rank, etc. We then totaled the points for each stock to arrive at our final rankings.

The result is a comprehensive list of the stocks that performed and executed the best this year, helping drive the S&P 500’s overall stellar year-to-date gains of 25% in 2019.

We’ll be rolling out the results over the next week, with round-ups for the 25th-ranked through the 6th-ranked stocks, and then individual articles on our top five picks, with our top choice to be revealed on Friday, Dec. 20. 

Please check TheStreet.com each day between now and then to read about our latest picks.

Picks 25-21 20-16

15. General Electric

2019 stock performance*: +51%

General Electric (GE) - Get Report fell to its multi-year low a year ago this month, as huge pension obligations, no-growth industries and its ouster from the Dow Jones Industrial Average combined to make it the doggiest dog of the Dow for 2018. Twelve-months later, CEO Larry Culp is wrapping up his first full-year running the conglomerate, and while things are still rough, it appears the company has at least stopped digging the hole it’s in. In October, Culp raised the company’s industrial free cash flow outlook for a second time this year, even with external headwinds from the 737 MAX and tariffs. He cited a combination of strong backlog, organic growth, margin expansion, and positive cash trajectory. Some observers say the company needs to focus on its jet engine and healthcare units, which actually make money, but the power and GE Capital businesses remain problematic and potential minefields. And there’s some feeling as well that whatever turnaround GE can manage is already priced into the stock.

--Tom Bemis

14. Nvidia

2019 stock performance*: +63%

The chipmaker shed its crypto hangover quickly and was back towards posting strong growth in 2019. Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report is incredibly profitable and generates very strong free cash flow and strong return on equity. It has also become more and more software-based, with high margins, and management is always very shareholder-focused.

--Michael Wiggins

13. Okta

2019 stock performance*: +84%

Okta (OKTA) - Get Report stands out in the crowded field of ultra-momentum stocks, having avoided the downturn that hit the rest of the group mid-way through the year and going on to double in price. Okta is very pricey at 30 times projected sales, but bulls say the company is in a class by itself, with high-value software and perfect “execution” in its market.

--Tiernan Ray

12. Mastercard

2019 stock performance*: +55%

The ongoing shift away from using cash and checks across the globe along with growing concern over transaction security has led shares of MasterCard (MA) - Get Report to be a top performer in 2019. Lest investors forget, every time a person swipes a card or slides their cards chip into a reader be it for a credit or debit card that payment activity drives Mastercard’s business. With new geographic opportunities in the emerging markets as well as the global adoption of mobile payment and digital commerce, the company’s transaction volume should continue to rise in the coming quarters.

--Chris Versace

11. Restoration Hardware

2019 stock performance*: +95%

At one point, Restoration Hardware (RH) - Get Report had slumped more than 25% on the year. But a June earnings report turned it all around, helping to eventually send shares higher by 176% from the 2019 lows and up 93% overall for the year. Management has delivered better-than-expected earnings and revenue results for three straight quarters, with guidance significantly topping consensus views in two of those reports. In November, it was revealed that Buffett’s Berkshire acquired enough shares to become its fourth-largest shareholder. With strong consumer spending in place, bulls are looking to keep the momentum alive in 2020.

--Bret Kenwell

*As of Dec. 11 close

Nvidia and MasterCard are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.