#10. Red Hat Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 140.6%
Enterprise open-source software provider Red Hat Inc. shares a name with President Trump's most famous piece of fan merchandise, but the company's more than 140% two-year return does not have a political affiliation. On Oct. 28, 2018, it was announced that IBM would acquire Red Hat Inc. for $34 billion, or $190 per share. It was the largest software transaction in history. Red Hat, which specializes in custom Linux offerings for corporations, will keep its existing leaders and location, and will function as a standalone unit in IBM's cloud division.
#9. Arista Networks Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 143.2%
Computer networking company Arista Networks Inc. got a boost in December 2017 when Morgan Stanley increased its target price from 210 to 260. According to Investor's Business Daily, the analyst who made the adjustment cited President Trump's tax package, which would allow Arista and other companies to repatriate overseas cash at a much lower tax rate.
#8. Fortinet Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 147.7%
Cybersecurity software developer Fortinet Inc. roared into 2017, gaining more than 12% in February alone, the month after Trump took office. Although the stock was already expensive then, the best was yet to come. Fortinet's biggest asset at that time was its diversity, with its security tentacles reaching from big data servers all the way down to the fitness wearables on your body.
#7. Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 148.2%
Semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. was one of many chip stocks that took a beating when President Trump began targeting Chinese investment in some American tech companies. It was also, however, one of the companies that rallied once a truce was announced in the trade war. All of that was in 2018, long after Apple sent Advanced Micro Devices shares soaring when it announced it would be including the company's technology in its then-new line of iMac Pros. Advanced got another boost when its technology was linked to the mining of cryptocurrency, which at that time was enjoying a historic boom.
#6. Netflix Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 152.7%
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long criticized President Trump, including a public spat with fellow Facebook board member, PayPal CEO and Trump supporter Peter Thiel—but the Trump era has certainly not been unkind to Netflix shareholders. Two days before Trump was inaugurated, Netflix stock soared after the digital streaming service added millions more subscribers than its own forecasts predicted. Throughout 2017, the good news kept coming and stock prices continued to rise. By the end of 2018, Netflix's value hit $100 billion as the company continued to crush subscriber forecasts.
#5. NRG Energy Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 157.5%
Shares of wholesale energy company NRG gained 23% in a single day in 2017. The spike was the result of excitement around the company's radical restructuring of its business—and perhaps its entire industry. Activist investors pressured the company into the change, which included dramatically lowering costs and removing $13 billion in debt by selling most of its renewable energy assets.
#4. Boeing Co.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 160.8%
Boeing stock was already on the march by the summer of 2017 when the company unveiled a stellar report and announced record earnings. By the end of the year, shares were up 89% thanks, in part, to the fact that deliveries of 763 airplanes set an industry record. Operations earnings grew by 99% in just nine months, and production increased dramatically.
#3. Align Technology Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 161.3%
Orthodontic medical device maker Align Technology Inc. is probably best known for its Invisalign tooth-aligning product. By the summer of 2018, record-breaking quarters had almost come to be expected from the company, which in July shipped a record number of its gold-standard clear aligners, and reported record earnings and record revenue yet again. Between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018, year-over-year sales increased by nearly 38% and year-over-year net operations income grew by 53.4%.
#2. Abiomed Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 194.8%
Medical implant device manufacturer Abiomed Inc. had found incredible success with its minimally invasive heart pumps by the fall of 2017. Both its revenues and profits had continued to soar on a regular basis by then, with GAAP earnings per share growing by 170% between Q2 2017–2018 alone. Abiomed ended the year with $319 million in cash and exactly zero debt.
#1. Nektar Therapeutics Inc.
Total return since Jan. 20, 2017: 253.6%
Biopharmaceutical company Nektar Therapeutics Inc. has done better than any S&P 500 stock during the time that President Trump has been in office. Trump's early vows to cut regulations were good to the industry in general, but Nektar quickly pulled away from the pack. It all started with a plan to seek FDA approval for an opioid painkiller alternative. Before shareholders finished gloating over that bit of good news, however, Nektar revealed solid trial data for a promising immuno-oncology drug—one that the company wholly owned.2018 All rights reserved.