Portfolios of lots of investors were hardly hit at the beginning of this year. News about economic slowdown in China and slumping oil prices caused that stock indices rapidly fell in just a few days. It wasn´t only commodities’ prices that began to rise after hitting the bottom. We can see that the same happened on stock markets and optimism among investors returned quickly. Entering the market at the beginning of February would therefore bring us very satisfying results.

Investing in which stocks at the beginning of the year would result in biggest profits? In the article we will show stocks of 20 companies with the best performances during first half of 2016, period from 1/1/2016 until 6/7/2016. We focused on companies traded on American exchanges and avoided stocks with price below 1 dollar per share because of extreme volatility related to penny stocks. As we didn´t want to waste time by doing it ourselves, we used popular stock screener Finviz.com.

Below is a table with companies, sectors they belong to, their market capitalization and finally their year-to-date (YTD) performance.

No. Company Perf YTD Sector Market Cap
1 Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 1609.66% Healthcare 1.28B
2 Cesca Therapeutics Inc. 1509.01% Healthcare 8.82M
3 Smart Technologies Inc. 1437.93% Technology 54.55M
4 Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 1186.00% Healthcare 19.29M
5 Venaxis, Inc. 1128.24% Healthcare 14.51M
6 Net Element, Inc. 1086.17% Technology 25.65M
7 SGOCO Group, Ltd. 954.87% Consumer Goods 29.37M
8 MGT Capital Investments, Inc. 934.78% Technology 56.64M
9 Pacific Drilling S.A. 625.00% Basic Materials 137.27M
10 Unilife Corporation 590.77% Healthcare 57.93M
11 RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation 481.15% Healthcare 14.52M
12 SemiLEDs Corporation 437.84% Technology 5.83M
13 Cinedigm Corp. 424.70% Services 10.75M
14 Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. 419.42% Technology 16.89M
15 Prana Biotechnology Limited 417.96% Healthcare 33.56M
16 Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd. 283.87% Basic Materials 1.51B
17 Alexco Resource Corporation 273.75% Basic Materials 98.93M
18 Authentidate Holding Corp. 269.01% Technology 15.46M
19 First Majestic Silver Corp. 262.69% Basic Materials 1.86B
20 Argos Therapeutics, Inc. 245.89% Healthcare 206.86M

Buying stocks of Celator Pharmaceuticals would result in outstanding return of 1 609,66 %. Wish we knew it about half a year ago. The company operates in healthcare sector, which dominates the list with 40% of companies doing business in this industry (8 out of 20). Besides healthcare companies, we could reach great returns investing in technological companies as well as companies mining gold and silver.

Remember the figures from previous article Winners of Dow Jones index? Six listed companies above performed better in six months than stocks of Apple in 10 years.

Looking at market capitalization, average market cap is 272,84 million dollars, but 50% of companies don´t even have a market value over 30 million dollars. This average is influenced by two companies having market value 1,28 bln and 1,86 bln dollars.

Even though we avoided stocks currently traded below 1 dollar per share, lots of companies listed above were trading at prices below this level before their rapid gains in value. Investing in these stocks is extremely risky, but if we get lucky enough, value of our portfolio can reach the sky.

In the next article we will on the other hand look at stocks of 20 companies, which would bring us worst returns in this year.