The Best (And Worst) Stocks of 2015

Some stock rocketed to the sky and others flamed out in 2015

It’s that time of year again. No, not when your great-uncle gets drunk and spoils the holiday dinner for everyone.

It’s time to look back on the best — and worst — stocks of the year, and we just happened to have those lists (plus, we’ll tell you why these stocks are on them).

Best Stocks:

  1. Eagle Pharmaceutical (EGRX) +505%
  2. Natural Health Trends (NHTC) +309.62%
  3. Prothena Corp (PRTA) +238.01%
  4. Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) +233.07%
  5. Intra-Cellular Therapies (ITCI) +198.36%
  6. Heron Therapeutics (HRTX) +192.35%
  7. Energy Focus (EFOI) +183.77%
  8. Loxo Oncology, Inc. (LOXO) +170.55%
  9. Dyax Corp (DYAX) +168.07%
  10. Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS) +164.98%

Worst Stocks:

  1. FXCM Inc. (FXCM) -93.17%
  2. Ova Science, Inc. (OVAS) -76.26%
  3. Lumber Liquidators (LL) -73.73%
  4. Targa Resources Corp. (TRGP) -73.37%
  5. Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP) -73.17%
  6. GoPro (GPRO) -70.99%
  7. LB Foster Co. (FSTR) -70.91%
  8. Joy Global (JOY) -70.74%
  9. Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) -69.29%
  10. 3D Systems Ltd (DDD) -69.12%

So what caused these stocks to be the big winners/losers of 2015?

Well, with the winners, the answer is pretty obvious. Eight out of ten (EGRX, PRTA, ANAC, ITCI, HRTX, LOXO, DYAX, and ACRS) come from the white-hot pharmaceuticals and biotech sector.

NHTC makes natural lifestyle consumer products (whatever that means) and EFOI manufactures energy efficient lighting systems — so no macro trend with these two.

Instead, there just may be company-specific stories unfolding as both stocks have seen a pick up in interest from hedge funds in the last quarter.

With the losers, it’s not so simple.

FXCM is a currency broker whose year started off badly when Switzerland decided to eliminate the peg between the franc and the euro. That sentence may not make sense to most of us, but let’s just say it was bad for currency brokers like FXCM.

OVAS is a biotech company, which illustrates just how binary these types of stocks can be. You either win big, or lose big.

TRGP and CEQP are both related to natural gas which has plummeted in price this year.

JOY and FSTR both cater to the commodities industry which too has taken a nosedive in 2015.

SSYS and DDD are still falling from the popping of the 3D printing bubble in 2014.

With GPRO, investors have decided that though wearable HD cameras are cool, there are two companies named Apple and Sony that look like they want to muscle into their territory.

And LL discovered that there was formaldehyde in their product. Not good. Can you say “major lawsuits?”

But these lists are notable for more than just the stories.

Strong stocks tend to get stronger over time, and weak stocks stay weak. By looking at these lists you’ll know which stocks to watch in 2016 — and which ones to avoid.

Note: We limited our list to stocks $10 and up, with an average daily trading volume of at least 100K shares.

The SparkFin app is a free and easy way to get new stock ideas every day. So do us a favor — download SparkFin from the iTunes store — and then go crush the market.