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Best Stocks of the Year: Ranked 20-16

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 pick to be revealed on Friday, Dec. 20.

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

Picks 25-21

20. Winnebago

2019 stock performance*: +100%

Low expectations (Winnebago  (WGO) - Get Winnebago Industries Inc. Report was trading at 5x consensus estimates last December) gave way to a great year and renewed interest in the stock. The recreational vehicle maker posted positive surprises every quarter. Currently trading at 10x next year’s consensus estimates.

--Jon Heller

19. Citigroup

2019 stock performance*: +49%

Given the pressure on interest rates and on the narrowing slope of the yield curve, expectations for a better than market return for bank stock prices was low in 2019. Citigroup's  (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report share price performance was strong in absolute terms and exceeded all of its money center bank peers by a meaningful margin. The bank's 2019 EPS over the first three quarters comfortably beat expectations -- fueled by good cost control, excellent credit quality and better-than-forecasted revenues. Citigroup's returns improved and build up momentum as the year progressed and as the year concluded.

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--Doug Kass

18. Visa

2019 stock performance*: +39%

The stock has outperformed the S&P 500's total return for the year-to-date, three-year and five- year total return. Visa undefined reported 11% revenue growth and 18% adjusted EPS growth in fiscal 2019. It continues to benefit from a global structural trend -- moving to a cashless society and growth in global payments.

--Bob Ciura

17. Applied Materials

2019 stock performance*: +84%

Applied Materials’  (AMAT) - Get Applied Materials Inc. Report surge this year is a result of steady outperformance relative to Wall Street estimates, made all the more remarkable by the fact that parts of the chip market were under heavy pressure such as the DRAM market. At just 13 times next year’s projected earnings per share, Applied stock is one of the best bargains around in tech.

-Tiernan Ray

16. Alibaba

2019 stock performance*: +49%

It’s been a tough year for Chinese stocks but the second half of 2019 has been notably better. Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Limited American Depositary Shares each representing eight Report is the biggest of them all, with this giant online retailer printing money month after month. They recently hit record numbers on their Singles Day, and the stock is not far from an all-time high; not many Chinese stocks can say that. It also had the world’s second-largest stock offering this year, behind Saudi Aramco.

--Bob Lang

*As of Dec. 11 close

Citigroup is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells C? Learn more now.