The Stock Market Game's Top 10 Stocks of Spring 2008

The Stock Market Game is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

More than 740,000 students participated in the Stock Market Game (SMG) during the 2007-08 school year.

Last fall, we posted the top 10 stock picks from this army of young researchers and analyzed the top five companies. This spring, we have repeated this exercise, tracking the top stocks from the beginning of the SMG on January 14 to the end of the competition on May 2.

Drum roll please.

The five best-performing student stocks are:

1. Corporate Express ( CXP): Corporate Express has been rejecting unsolicited buyout offers from Staples ( SPLS) since February, which has helped fuel a 75% increase in its stock price over the last several months.

Corporate Express is a supplier of office products to businesses and institutions, including computer supplies and office furniture. The company also supplies graphic equipment and related services. As of December 31, 2007, the Corporate Express operates in more than 350 locations in 21 countries.

2. Daiei ( DAIEY): This Japanese company is primarily engaged in the retail business, consisting of general merchandise stores, supermarkets, discount stores, convenience stores, department stores and specialty stores for the sale of clothing and sundry goods. Its 61% stock price increase appears to be related to the company's divesture from money-losing subsidiary enterprises.

3. MasterCard ( MA): This is a global payment solutions company that provides various services in support of the credit, debit & related payment programs to financial institutes. A falling interest rate environment as well as MasterCard's steady earnings and strong earnings growth in overseas markets made it a slam dunk for SMG students this past semester with a 60% increase in market value. Priceless.

4. Visa ( V): Not to be outdone by its chief rival in the credit card business, Visa's IPO on March 19 was the most successful in history, raising $17.9 billion from investors. Blue skies and a sunny earnings outlook continued to bless the world's most recognized global financial services brand. From the time of it's IPO to the end of the SMG on May 2, Visa stock increased 46% -- that's everything an investor could want it to be.

5. United States Steel ( X): This company is an integrated steel producer with production operations in the United States and Central Europe. It is also engaged in several other business activities, most of which are related to steel manufacturing. Recent acquisitions, a weak dollar and strong earnings significantly improved this stock's strength, allowing it to post a 40% gain over the course of the spring semester.

The Rest

Rounding out the top 10 list are Research In Motion ( RIMM) (37% gain); Potash ( POT) (24% gain); First Solar ( FSLR) (23% gain); Baidu.com ( BIDU) (6% gain); and Apple ( AAPL) (1 % gain).

  • Six percent and one percent gains for Baidu.com and Apple, respectively, may not seem like much, but both of these stocks were very volatile from January to May, which created significant buying opportunities for many a Stock Market Game student.
  • Potash and First Solar demonstrate that the green trend among SMG students is alive and well.
  • Research in Motion and Apple revealed a continuing fascination with tech among our computer savvy students.
  • The Stock Market Game Program Top 10 Stocks, Spring 2008
    The following ten stocks were the best-performing stocks in the portfolios of the student team leaders in SMG's ten largest programs (CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, NJ, NY, PA, VA, TX).
    Ticker Company Closing Share Price 1/14/2008
    (except Visa)
    Closing Share Price 5/2/2008 Per Share Gain Rate of Gain
    1. CXP Corporate Express ( ADR ) $6.65 $11.61 $4.96 75%
    2. DAIEY Daiei (ADR) $10.50 $16.95 $6.45 61%
    3. MA Mastercard $178.22 $285.04 $106.82 60%
    4. V Visa $56.50 (IPO on 3/19) $82.75 $26.25 46%
    5. X U.S. Steel $112.32 $157.06 $44.74 40%
    6. RIMM Research In Motion $96.35 $131.92 $35.57 37%
    7. POT Potash $150.12 $186.61 $36.49 24%
    8. FSLR First Solar $224.76 $276.24 $51.48 23%
    9. BIDU Baidu.com $340.4 $361.5 $21.11 6%
    10. AAPL Apple $178.78 $180.94 $2.16 1%

    To learn more about The Stock Market Game, go to www.stockmarketgame.org.
    This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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