As 2014 winds down, we will take some time to review which sectors and individual companies have been the best and worst performers in 2014. The S&P 500 index as a whole has delivered just over 6% YTD and we would like to identify which sectors/companies have been the biggest drivers of those returns and which have been the biggest drags.
In the chart below we have divided the S&P 500 up by AFG Sector to provide some insight into which sectors have been the best and worst performers of 2014. As you can see the Health, Transportation and Utilities sectors have fared well this year while Energy, Capital Goods, and Basic Material have struggled.
Next we will highlight the top 20 and bottom 20 performing companies in the index. We will use AFG Investment Grade methodology and Valuation metrics to identify a few companies from each list that we find attractive going forward as well as highlight a few companies that we consider to be potential torpedo stocks heading in to 2015.
The chart below displays the 20 biggest gainers of 2014 YTD that have led the index in returns. We have highlighted two companies from this list that we believe still look attractive and have some more room to run which are Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) and Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT). We have also highlighted two that we think will have the most trouble keeping this pace up in 2015, which are Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE:MNK) Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX).
The next chart shows us the S&P 500’s biggest losers of 2014 YTD. We have also highlighted from this list two companies that we like as investment opportunities that look most likely to turn things around which are Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FCX) and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK). Two companies that we think will continue to struggle as they have poor Investment Grades and look overvalued according to AFG’s valuation model are Coach Inc. (NYSE:COH) and Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE:OI).