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50 stocks that have gained the most this year

  • Adam Hoglund // Shutterstock
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    50 stocks that have gained the most this year

    Playing the stock market is a notoriously risky endeavor. Nothing is a sure bet—even companies with stellar earnings, promising projects, and renowned leadership can crash and burn after a sudden lawsuit or viral controversy. While investors use data points like earnings and historical performance to inform their choices, at the end of the day, even the savviest trader is making bets left and right.

    The stock market’s volatility is also what can make it so exciting. Every year sees a few new companies skyrocket to success in the wake of soaring sales, big acquisitions, or other felicitous business decisions. To profile a few of these lucky companies, Stacker used data from Barchart to rank the 50 stocks with the biggest percent year-to-date gains, as measured from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2018. Only stocks listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ were considered, and stock prices were adjusted for splits and reverse splits.

    Read on to find out which stocks left investors congratulating themselves on their savvy buys and perhaps even get some inspiration for your next investment.

    RELATED: Here's what the stock market returned the year you were born

  • Alphathon // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ Alphathon // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. RF Industries Ltd (RFIL)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 171.48%

    Last price: $7.33

    Year-to-date price gain: $4.63

    Year-to-date high: $12.75

    Year-to-date low: $2.45

    Though RF Industries might not be a household name yet, this company that manufactures products like coaxial cables and data center equipment has certainly made a name for itself in the industry. In the second quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, the company reported the largest quarter in its history with $22.4 million in sales.

     

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    #49. Fossil Group (FOSL)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 174.39%

    Last price: $21.32

    Year-to-date price gain: $13.55

    Year-to-date high: $32.17

    Year-to-date low: $7.16

    This fashion company carries a portfolio of well-known brands, such as Fossil, Skagen, and Relic, and makes watches and accessories that are licensed under big names like Kate Spade, Armani, and Tory Burch. A recent partnership with Citizen Watch Company indicates that Fossil Group is investing in innovative technologies like smartwatch capabilities.

     

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    #48. Denbury Resources (DNR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 178.28%

    Last price: $6.15

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.94

    Year-to-date high: $6.39

    Year-to-date low: $1.73

    An independent oil and natural gas company operating in the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions, Denbury Resources increased its adjusted cash flow from operations in 2018. Production of barrels of oil per day was up in the second quarter, as well.

     

  • Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot // U.S. Air Force
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    #47. Tabula Rasa Healthcare Inc (TRHC)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 178.57%

    Last price: $78.14

    Year-to-date price gain: $50.09

    Year-to-date high: $91.16

    Year-to-date low: $28.10

    This health care company specializes in medical management and risk adjustment, creating technologies that allow prescribers, pharmacists, and health care organizations to mitigate the risk of various medications. Tabula Rasa recently acquired Mediture and eClusive, an electronic health record company and provider of third-party administrator services, respectively.  

     

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    #46. Ptc Therapeutics (PTCT)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 178.84%

    Last price: $46.51

    Year-to-date price gain: $29.83

    Year-to-date high: $52.95

    Year-to-date low: $16.38

    Ptc Therapeutics is a global pharmaceutical company that focuses on medication for patients with rare disorders. Ptc scientists primarily work on gene therapy, alternative splicing, nucleotide repeat, protein modification, transcript regulators, and nonsense readthrough.

     

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    #45. Okta Inc Class A (OKTA)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 180.44%

    Last price: $71.82

    Year-to-date price gain: $46.21

    Year-to-date high: $75.49

    Year-to-date low: $25.13

    Many businesses use Okta’s technologies to confirm the identities of their workers and allow secure sign-ons to their networks out of the office—a valuable commodity in the increasingly mobile workforce. Experts note that the recent Equifax data breach likely showed investors and consumers the importance of identity security companies like Okta.  

     

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    #44. Square (SQ)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 180.59%

    Last price: $97.28

    Year-to-date price gain: $62.61

    Year-to-date high: $101.15

    Year-to-date low: $34.68

    This company’s name pays homage to the signature shape of its flagship product: a small white card reader that small-business owners can plug into a smartphone. Square recently acquired website-building service Weebly for $365 million and launched a new point-of-sale service for restaurants.

     

     

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    #43. Strata Skin Scien (SSKN)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 183.74%

    Last price: $3.49

    Year-to-date price gain: $2.26

    Year-to-date high: $3.88

    Year-to-date low: $1.09

    This medical technology company develops products for diagnosing and treating dermatological disorders. The FDA recently cleared one of Strata’s newest products—a tip for a dermatological laser—for use.

     

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    #42. Biolife Solutions (BLFS)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 186.17%

    Last price: $17.17

    Year-to-date price gain: $11.17

    Year-to-date high: $26.35

    Year-to-date low: $4.63

    Biolife Solutions develops biopreservation tools such as cryopreservation and hypothermic storage for stem cells, tissues, and organs in hospitals and biobanks. With $11 million in revenue in 2017, this company is certainly doing well financially.

     

     

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    #41. W&T Offshore (WTI)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 197.28%

    Last price: $9.84

    Year-to-date price gain: $6.53

    Year-to-date high: $9.88

    Year-to-date low: $3.35

    This independent oil and natural gas company operating in the Gulf of Mexico holds offshore leases for approximately 750,000 acres. Plus, W&T recently announced a partnership with Baker Hughes to use the latter company’s engineering expertise to further develop 14 drilling sites.

     

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    #40. Catasys Inc (CATS)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 200.27%

    Last price: $11.26

    Year-to-date price gain: $7.51

    Year-to-date high: $14.29

    Year-to-date low: $3.65

    Catasys provides services like predictive analysis, artificial intelligence, and telehealth to health care companies. The company continues to grow—for instance, it recently expanded its On-Trak technology into Florida and Georgia.

     

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    #39. Carvana Co. Class A (CVNA)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 200.58%

    Last price: $57.47

    Year-to-date price gain: $38.35

    Year-to-date high: $72.59

    Year-to-date low: $16.02

    When you buy a used car from Carvana, you can either have it delivered or pick it up from the company’s multistory vending machines. Carvana had a somewhat weak debut in its IPO last year, but recovered in 2018.

     

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    #38. Staar Surgical Co (STAA)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 203.42%

    Last price: $47.03

    Year-to-date price gain: $31.53

    Year-to-date high: $54.00

    Year-to-date low: $13.60

    This surgical company specializes in implantable lenses for eyes that treat disorders like farsightedness and astigmatism. The FDA recently approved one of its lenses to correct myopia with astigmatism.

     

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    #37. Cas Medical Sys Inc (CASM)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 203.9%

    Last price: $2.34

    Year-to-date price gain: $1.57

    Year-to-date high: $2.70

    Year-to-date low: $0.73

    Cas Medical manufactures noninvasive patient monitoring systems for use during surgery or other medical treatments.

     

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    #36. Adv Micro Devices (AMD)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 205.64%

    Last price: $31.42

    Year-to-date price gain: $21.14

    Year-to-date high: $34.14

    Year-to-date low: $9.04

    This competitor to Intel produces microprocessors, graphics devices, chipsets, and multimedia products. Recently, AMD’s stock has been the most actively traded on the S&P 500, but analysts say a correction is imminent.

     

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    #35. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 208.11%

    Last price: $94.22

    Year-to-date price gain: $63.64

    Year-to-date high: $97.69

    Year-to-date low: $30.61

    The continued popularity of WWE fights and a new TV deal with Comcast make it a safe choice for investors, according to BTIG research analysts. Fans love its popular “Monday Night Raw” show and the dramatic feuds between characters.  

     

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    #34. Nuvectra Corp Cmn ST (NVTR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 210.57%

    Last price: $24.10

    Year-to-date price gain: $16.34

    Year-to-date high: $24.89

    Year-to-date low: $7.73

    Nuvectra develops medical devices that use neurostimulation to treat nervous system disorders. The company recently announced a follow-on public offering of 2,825,000 shares priced at $21.25 per share.

     

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    #33. Trade Desk Inc (TTD)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 213.84%

    Last price: $143.52

    Year-to-date price gain: $97.79

    Year-to-date high: $161.50

    Year-to-date low: $40.70

    The Trade Desk offers a data-driven self-service platform that allows customers to manage digital ad campaigns. Strong earnings reports and a market cap of nearly $6 million make The Trade Desk one of the strongest companies in the advertising-tech sector right now.  

     

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    #32. Bluelinx Holdings Inc (BXC)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 214.14%

    Last price: $30.66

    Year-to-date price gain: $20.90

    Year-to-date high: $46.42

    Year-to-date low: $9.75

    BlueLinx distributes building products like plywood, roofing, molding, and insulation. The company increased its net sales by $8.9 million in the first quarter of 2018, 2.1% higher than Q1 of its previous fiscal year.   

     

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    #31. Sharpspring Inc (SHSP)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 214.55%

    Last price: $13.84

    Year-to-date price gain: $9.44

    Year-to-date high: $14.87

    Year-to-date low: $4.10

    SharpSpring produces a cloud-based technology product primarily used by marketing agencies on behalf of their clients, mostly small and medium-sized businesses. The company received a record $4.3 million in revenue from its flagship product in the second quarter of 2018.

     

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    #30. Medifast Inc (MED)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 214.67%

    Last price: $219.67

    Year-to-date price gain: $149.86

    Year-to-date high: $260.98

    Year-to-date low: $61.96

    This company helps its customers lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle through weight loss coaching and diet food products. Though shares have tripled this year, a recent report was released, saying the company’s supplements contain contaminants and toxic metals could lead to some volatility.   

     

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    #29. Xerium Technologies (XRM)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 215.49%

    Last price: $13.44

    Year-to-date price gain: $9.18

    Year-to-date high: $13.48

    Year-to-date low: $4.19

    Xerium produces textiles for paper-making machines while refurbishing and replacing the rolls used in the process. The Austrian firm Andritz recently bought the U.S.–based company for $833 million in cash.

     

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    #28. Funko Inc Class A (FNKO)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 222.11%

    Last price: $21.42

    Year-to-date price gain: $14.77

    Year-to-date high: $31.12

    Year-to-date low: $6.11

    Funko designs and creates licensed pop culture collectibles of popular franchises like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Partnerships with entertainment giants like Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment have helped Funko skyrocket to success.

     

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    #27. EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Inc (EYPT)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 226.85%

    Last price: $3.53

    Year-to-date price gain: $2.45

    Year-to-date high: $3.94

    Year-to-date low: $0.93

    As its name implies, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals develops treatments for ophthalmological disorders. Formerly known as PSivida, the company recently had several drugs greenlit by the FDA.

     

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    #26. Affimed N.V. (AFMD)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 226.92%

    Last price: $4.25

    Year-to-date price gain: $2.95

    Year-to-date high: $7.35

    Year-to-date low: $1.25

    This pharmaceutical company that focuses on cancer immunotherapies made financial news recently when it partnered with Roche Holding’s Genentech. The $96 million agreement led Affimed’s shares to double.  

     

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    #25. Legacy Reserves Inc. (LGCY)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 231.06%

    Last price: $5.33

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.72

    Year-to-date high: $10.54

    Year-to-date low: $1.46

    An energy company, Legacy Reserves acquires and produces oil and natural gas. A change to the company’s tax status and corporate structure recently made it more attractive to potential investors.  

     

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    #24. ArQule Inc (ARQL)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 231.52%

    Last price: $5.47

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.82

    Year-to-date high: $7.21

    Year-to-date low: $1.46

    ArQule researches and develops precision medicine to treat various cancers and other rare diseases. In late 2017, the company filed to offer 17.1 million shares.

     

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    #23. Twilio (TWLO)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 254.87%

    Last price: $83.75

    Year-to-date price gain: $60.15

    Year-to-date high: $88.88

    Year-to-date low: $23.25

    This cloud-based communications company offers a number of cool features, including allowing developers to incorporate texting, WhatsApp messaging, voice, and video calls into any app. The company’s stock fell after a high-flying IPO in 2016, but it’s still a strong performer in 2018.

     

     

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    #22. Champions Oncolog (CSBR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 271.13%

    Last price: $14.40

    Year-to-date price gain: $10.52

    Year-to-date high: $17.90

    Year-to-date low: $3.05

    Champions Oncology sells technology that can be used to personalize the development and use of cancer drugs.  

     

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    #21. CareDx Inc (CDNA)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 280.65%

    Last price: $27.94

    Year-to-date price gain: $20.60

    Year-to-date high: $29.60

    Year-to-date low: $4.92

    This transplant diagnostics company creates pre- and post-transplant diagnostics for patients worldwide. The company will present its new AlloSeq suite of next-generation laboratory products in a symposium later this year.

     

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    #20. Shotspotter Inc (SSTI)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 296.3%

    Last price: $55.68

    Year-to-date price gain: $41.63

    Year-to-date high: $66.14

    Year-to-date low: $14

    This cloud-based technology company has a unique focus: detecting and analyzing patterns of gunfire. After implementing ShotSpotter technologies in Englewood, a notoriously violent neighborhood, Chicago police saw a 43% drop in shootings in 2017.  

     

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    #19. Vaalco Energy Inc (EGY)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 298.85%

    Last price: $2.78

    Year-to-date price gain: $2.08

    Year-to-date high: $3.38

    Year-to-date low: $0.70

    This independent energy company produces crude oil and natural gas in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the United States. VAALCO recently paid off the debt on its balance sheet for the first time since 2014 and increased working capital from continuing operations by $10.9 million.

     

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    #18. Viking Thera (VKTX)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 299.26%

    Last price: $16.21

    Year-to-date price gain: $12.15

    Year-to-date high: $24

    Year-to-date low: $3.69

    This biopharmaceutical company focuses on products that treat metabolic and endocrine disorders. Promising data from a mid-stage trial of a new drug for fatty liver disease recently caused Viking’s shares to double in value.

     

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    #17. Amarin Corp Ads (AMRN)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 299.75%

    Last price: $16.03

    Year-to-date price gain: $12.02

    Year-to-date high: $18.48

    Year-to-date low: $2.35

    Amarin’s pharmaceutical products primarily target cardiovascular diseases. The company has seen recent success with Vascepa, a purified fish oil that appears to reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke by 25% in at-risk groups.

     

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    #16. New Age Beverages Corp (NBEV)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 312.44%

    Last price: $8.95

    Year-to-date price gain: $6.78

    Year-to-date high: $9.99

    Year-to-date low: $1.30

    New Age Beverages produces everything from ready-to-drink tea and cold brew to kombucha and coconut water. The latest buzz centers around the company’s CBD drinks, which will debut at the North American Convenience Store Show in Las Vegas.  

     

     

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    #15. Differntl Brands (DFBG)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 314.74%

    Last price: $3.94

    Year-to-date price gain: $2.99

    Year-to-date high: $6.89

    Year-to-date low: $0.82

    Formerly known as Joe’s Jeans, this company designs and creates denim apparel for men and women. Differential also recently acquired Global Brands Group Holding Limited, a Hong Kong company that does a lot of licensing in the North American market.

     

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    #14. Endocyte Inc (ECYT)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 315.19%

    Last price: $17.77

    Year-to-date price gain: $13.49

    Year-to-date high: $20.85

    Year-to-date low: $2.81

    This biopharmaceutical company takes aim at cancer and inflammatory diseases with its treatments. Endocyte’s stocks recently soared after it announced a licensing agreement with ABX GmbH for a phase-3 ready prostate cancer treatment.

     

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    #13. Xenon Pharmace Cm Sh (XENE)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 336.81%

    Last price: $12.34

    Year-to-date price gain: $9.52

    Year-to-date high: $15.92

    Year-to-date low: $2.70

    This clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company develops treatments for diseases caused by mutations in ion channels and orphan lipid disorder lipoprotein lipase deficiency. Despite a big drop in price caused by a recent nerve pain drug missing its primary and secondary endpoint, Xenon has still posted strong gains this year.

     

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    #12. NF Energy Saving Corp (NFEC)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 353.61%

    Last price: $4.40

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.43

    Year-to-date high: $7.19

    Year-to-date low: $0.86

    This company produces energy-saving flow control equipment and various valve components for China's power, petrochemical, coal, metallurgy, construction, and municipal infrastructure development industries. Though it has posted great gains in 2018, it wasn’t without hiccups: NF energy reported a sharp decrease in Q2 revenue year over year.  

     

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    #11. Oasmia Pharmaceutical Ads (OASM)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 354.55%

    Last price: $4.00

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.12

    Year-to-date high: $5.70

    Year-to-date low: $0.85

    Interestingly, this Swedish pharmaceutical company focuses on both human and veterinary oncology. Oasmia recently reached the end of a trial for Doxophos Vet, a treatment for dogs with lymphoma, and found that 75% of animals showed a response in two treatment cycles.

     

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    #10. Arrowhead Pharma (ARWR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 422.01%

    Last price: $19.21

    Year-to-date price gain: $15.53

    Year-to-date high: $22.39

    Year-to-date low: $3.57

    Arrowhead Pharmaceutical develops treatments for diseases such as chronic hepatitis B and renal cell carcinoma. It’s hepatitis B treatment made news recently when Arrowhead entered into a $3.7 billion licensing agreement to bring the drug to market.

     

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    #9. 3Pea Intl Inc (TPNL)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 428.28%

    Last price: $3.83

    Year-to-date price gain: $3.11

    Year-to-date high: $5.33

    Year-to-date low: $0.70

    This company deals with many aspects of prepaid cards, from transaction approvals to value loading to account management. Steady growth in revenue from 2016 to 2017 helped the company look attractive on the stock market.

     

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    #8. Agm Group Holdings Inc. Class A (AGMH)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 453.81%

    Last price: $34.89

    Year-to-date price gain: $28.59

    Year-to-date high: $52

    Year-to-date low: $5.01

    AGM is a company that provides trading solutions and other financial technologies for brokerage firms. It recently acquired a minority interest in Matrix International Group, a Canadian startup currency exchange platform.  

     

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    #7. Proqr Therapeutics (PRQR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 526.98%

    Last price: $20.22

    Year-to-date price gain: $16.99

    Year-to-date high: $22.85

    Year-to-date low: $2.80

    This Dutch biopharmaceutical company develops treatments for genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. ProQR’s stock surged 70% in September when the company announced that its experimental treatment for a rare form of childhood blindness could actually improve vision.  

     

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    #6. Tilray Inc (TLRY)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 636.85%

    Last price: $164.98

    Year-to-date price gain: $142.59

    Year-to-date high: $300

    Year-to-date low: $20.10

    Tilray represents a new kind of company to trade on the NASDAQ and NYSE: marijuana producers. The Canadian cannabis company became the first major company of its kind to IPO in July 2018; since then, its stock has seen such huge gains that the company is worth more than American Airlines.  

     

  • Steve Pivnik // U.S. Air Force
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    #5. Optimizerx Corp (OPRX)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 662.61%

    Last price: $17.54

    Year-to-date price gain: $15.24

    Year-to-date high: $18.39

    Year-to-date low: $2.30

    OptimizeRX provides virtual patient support centers and other technologies that allow pharmaceutical companies to communicate directly with health care providers. In the second quarter of 2018, the company’s revenue climbed to a record high of $5.1 million.

     

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    48/ webhamster // Flickr

    #4. Intelsat S.A. (I)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 815.04%

    Last price: $31.02

    Year-to-date price gain: $27.63

    Year-to-date high: $31.28

    Year-to-date low: $2.44

    This Luxembourg-based satellite services company counts some of the world’s top media companies among its customers. It recently joined forces with rivals Eutelsat and SES to make 5G service possible in the U.S.

     

  • Scott Akerman // Flickr
    49/ Scott Akerman // Flickr

    #3. Turtle Beach Corp (HEAR)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 985%

    Last price: $19.53

    Year-to-date price gain: $17.73

    Year-to-date high: $34.50

    Year-to-date low: $1.64

    Audio technology company Turtle Beach provides gaming headsets for various platforms. Partnerships with other big names like OpTic Gaming and strong quarterly revenue reports have helped their stock reach new heights this year.

     

  • Andrevruas // Wikicommons
    50/ Andrevruas // Wikicommons

    #2. NII Holdings (NIHD)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 1,223.11%

    Last price: $5.61

    Year-to-date price gain: $5.19

    Year-to-date high: $7.29

    Year-to-date low: $0.38

    NII Holdings is a company in the mobile telecommunications sector that put its best-known holding, Nextel Brazil, up for sale in June—a move that could consolidate telecom in the region.

     

  • cogdogblog // Wikicommons
    51/ cogdogblog // Wikicommons

    #1. Tandem Diabetes Care (TNDM)

    Year-to-date change (as of Oct. 1, 2018 close): 1,534.32%

    Last price: $38.57

    Year-to-date price gain: $36.21

    Year-to-date high: $52.55

    Year-to-date low: $2.14

    This medical device company concentrates specifically on diabetes-related equipment like insulin pumps. Tandem recently reached agreements to distribute its products in New Zealand, Australia, and Italy, substantially expanding its global footprint.

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