Barron’s Stock Picks Fell Short in 2021—Even With a Bunch of Winners


Barron’s 2021 stock-picking record took a big hit early on, thanks to the meme-stock craze. And even with some savvy picks later in the year, we failed to beat our benchmarks.

On Jan. 8, Barron’s warned investors about the sky-high valuation of a videogame retailer whose sales had stagnated, and predicted that the stock would fall. The stock was




GameStop

(ticker: GME).

Even taking that call out of the mix, Barron’s had a mediocre year when it came to stock-picking. Stocks that we expected to rise returned 5.1% from the date of publication through the end of the year, compared with an 8.4% return for the benchmark indexes they were tracked against.

And the stocks that we warned investors could underperform rose more than the market on average. See the table for all of the picks.

Barron’s tracks its stock picks every year to gauge how well they fared and to hold ourselves accountable to readers. We review articles where authors chose three stocks or fewer, and we don’t include stocks mentioned in columns like the Trader or Streetwise.

Some of our larger sector calls are also not included. For instance, the exchange-traded funds mentioned in a bullish Barron’s cover story at the end of January 2021 on commodities are not part of the score card, despite their strong performance throughout the year. And our warning to avoid the initial public offering of




Robinhood Markets

(HOOD)—now trading at less than half the price of the IPO—was not included because it ran before the official price of the offering was announced.

Each stock in the score card is tracked against a benchmark index based on its size: either the


S&P 500,

the S&P MidCap 400, or the


Russell 2000.

Writers sometimes follow up with articles about their stocks. If their opinion on the stock changes, the gain or loss since publication is locked in on that date.

Until last year, we were on a two-year winning streak with our bullish picks. But 2021 proved trickier—and not just because of meme stocks. While many of the 164 stocks we picked during the year outperformed the market, our overall performance lagged.

For the most part, Barron’s biggest winners and losers in 2021 were smaller stocks. One exception was




Pfizer

(PFE), which we picked in March as the company’s vaccine was being rolled out around the world. It returned 74% through the end of the year. Another large-cap winner,




Lowe’s

(LOW), returned 70%.

Bullish Picks Publication Date Pre-Story Price 12/31/21 Price Total Return Benchmark Return
Hertz Global Holdings / HTZ (1) 6/28 $7.15 $14.08 96.9% -3.3%
Cameco / CCJ 2/1 12.42 21.81 76.0 22.9
Pfizer / PFE 3/15 34.94 59.05 73.8 22.2
Lowe’s / LOW 3/5 153.77 258.48 69.9 27.9
MeiraGTx Holdings / MGTX 10/18 14.28 23.74 66.2 -0.7
Toll Brothers / TOL 1/18 44.62 72.39 63.7 18.7
LKQ / LKQ 1/22 37.61 60.03 60.3 25.3
Freeport-McMoRan / FCX 2/1 26.91 41.73 56.0 30.0
Exelon / EXC 3/1 38.60 57.76 54.7 26.5
Moderna / MRNA 4/23 168.10 253.98 51.1 16.4
Fluor / FLR 2/19 16.48 24.77 50.3 2.1
Welbilt / WBT 3/28 16.15 23.77 47.2 1.8
Oracle / ORCL 2/22 61.13 87.21 44.3 23.5
Affirm Holdings / AFRM 4/9 69.81 100.56 44.0 17.5
Walker & Dunlop / WD 3/15 106.30 150.88 43.9 -3.8
Evoqua Water Technogies / AQUA 7/26 32.80 46.75 42.5 2.1
Hilton Worldwide Holdings / HLT 2/8 111.67 155.99 39.7 24.2
O’Reilly Automotive / ORLY 4/15 517.69 706.23 36.4 16.7
Hostess Brands / TWNK 4/26 15.07 20.42 35.5 -0.5
Anglo American / NGLOY 2/1 16.51 20.58 35.4 30.0
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts / WH 7/23 69.43 89.65 30.1 7.9
AbbVie / ABBV 3/15 108.22 135.40 29.6 22.2
NextEra Energy / NEE 3/1 73.48 93.36 28.9 26.5
Spectrum Brands Holdings / SPB 8/9 80.06 101.72 28.2 0.3
Seagate Technology Holdings / STX 5/10 91.56 112.98 26.2 13.6
XPO Logistics / XPO 4/22 133.57 168.26 (2) 25.8 5.7
Duckhorn Portfolio / NAPA 5/24 18.66 23.34 25.1 2.0
H&R Block / HRB 3/25 19.82 23.56 22.9 14.1
Academy Sports and Outdoors / ASO 7/19 35.75 43.90 22.8 4.3
Kinaxis / KXS.Canada (3) 6/14 C$141.64 C$177.33 20.4 -3.3
e.l.f. Beauty / ELF 3/22 $27.67 $33.21 20.0 -1.1
Dominion Energy / D 3/1 68.32 78.56 19.0 26.5
Lennar / LEN 6/21 98.17 116.16 18.9 15.2
MGM Growth Properties / MGP 6/4 35.76 40.85 18.9 5.5
Johnson Controls International / JCI 7/2 69.01 81.31 18.8 11.7
Vintage Wine Estates / VWE (4) 5/24 10.08 11.82 17.3 2.0
UMH Properties / UMH 12/6 23.36 27.33 17.0 4.1
J.B. Hunt Transport Services / JBHT 8/16 175.61 204.40 16.6 7.2
Microsoft / MSFT 8/6 289.52 336.32 16.6 8.2
Chart Industries / GTLS 6/28 138.04 159.49 15.5 -3.3
GlaxoSmithKline / GSK 7/29 39.50 44.10 14.5 9.0
IBM / IBM 11/26 116.73 133.66 14.5 1.5
Applied Materials / AMAT 5/31 138.13 157.36 14.3 14.3
SVB Financial / SIVB 6/7 596.06 678.24 13.8 13.5
Mondelez International / MDLZ 4/26 59.51 66.31 13.3 15.1
Jefferies Financial Group / JEF 8/23 34.47 38.80 13.2 6.7
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital / HASI 5/10 47.99 53.12 12.9 -0.5
Meta Platforms / FB 4/5 298.66 336.35 12.7 19.8
Glencore / GLNCY 9/20 9.01 10.08 11.9 7.9
Stelco Holdings / STZHF 10/4 29.38 32.59 11.7 0.4
Scotts Miracle-Gro / SMG 9/27 144.85 161.00 11.6 5.7
Lam Research / LRCX 5/31 649.85 719.15 11.4 14.3
Bank of America / BAC 5/3 40.53 44.49 11.3 15.1
Taylor Morrison Home / TMHC 9/6 27.83 30.84 10.8 -1.7
Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors / FTAI 12/20 26.23 28.92 10.3 3.3
Dell Technologies / DELL (5) 10/18 51.00 56.17 10.1 6.9
Meritor / MTOR 10/4 22.56 24.78 9.8 0.4
Berry Global Group / BERY 8/26 67.32 73.78 9.6 4.2
Royal Dutch Shell / RDS.B 8/9 40.54 43.35 9.3 8.0
Host Hotels & Resorts / HST 7/23 15.91 17.39 9.3 9.8
Johnson & Johnson / JNJ 3/15 159.60 171.07 9.2 22.2
PulteGroup / PHM 12/3 52.49 57.16 9.2 4.2
Aptiv / APTV 6/18 151.36 164.95 9.0 13.7
BHP Group / BHP 9/20 55.54 60.35 8.7 7.9
Steel Dynamics / STLD 10/4 58.29 62.07 6.9 6.2
Rocket Lab USA / RKLB (4) 3/22 11.60 12.28 5.9 9.8
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding / BAH 8/16 80.58 84.79 5.7 4.6
Mayville Engineering / MEC 9/13 13.92 14.71 5.7 1.1
Vertex Pharmaceuticals / VRTX 3/5 207.79 219.60 5.7 27.9
Ranpak Holdings / PACK 12/27 35.54 37.58 5.7 0.2
Pinnacle Financial Partners / PNFP 6/7 90.89 95.50 5.5 4.9
MGM Resorts International / MGM 6/4 42.55 44.88 5.5 14.5
MGIC Investment / MTG 6/24 13.87 14.42 5.1 6.9
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust / KREF 5/14 21.07 20.83 5.0 4.1
PNC Financial Services Group / PNC 6/7 194.00 200.52 4.7 13.5
Chesapeake Energy / CHK 10/25 62.07 64.52 4.7 1.9
EQT / EQT 5/31 20.88 21.81 4.5 5.0
Darling Ingredients / DAR 12/3 66.49 69.29 4.2 4.0
Neste / NTOIY 12/3 23.60 24.50 3.8 4.2
Progressive / PGR 5/3 100.74 102.65 3.6 15.1
Gentherm / THRM 11/29 83.94 86.90 3.5 0.1
Meritage Homes / MTH 12/3 118.04 122.06 3.4 1.9
Corning / GLW 2/15 36.88 37.23 3.4 22.6
Lockheed Martin / LMT 3/22 355.07 355.41 2.4 23.1
Nintendo / NTDOY 12/3 57.00 58.37 2.4 4.2
Casey’s General Stores / CASY 2/8 194.02 197.35 2.2 16.1
Blackstone Mortgage Trust / BXMT 5/14 31.80 30.62 2.1 7.1
Twitter / TWTR 12/3 42.65 43.22 1.3 4.2
Prudential Financial / PRU 10/7 107.97 108.24 1.3 9.6
Six Flags Entertainment / SIX 6/21 42.55 42.58 0.1 9.5
Madison Square Garden Entertainment / MSGE 11/1 70.47 70.34 -0.2 -2.0
Essent Group / ESNT 6/24 46.07 45.53 -0.3 -2.0
Alleghany / Y 11/8 673.05 667.59 -0.8 1.7
Starbucks / SBUX 8/6 119.03 116.97 -0.9 8.2
LCI Industries / LCII 11/22 156.91 155.87 -0.9 -4.0
VICI Properties / VICI 6/4 31.74 30.11 -1.8 14.5
Travel + Leisure / TNL 7/23 56.97 55.27 -1.8 7.9
General Motors / GM 6/18 60.08 58.63 -2.4 13.7
Ross Stores / ROST 2/26 118.77 114.28 -2.8 25.9
Whirlpool / WHR 5/17 246.72 234.66 -3.1 15.2
Sportradar Holding / SRAD 12/13 18.23 17.57 -3.6 1.6
Barrick Gold / GOLD 4/5 20.37 19.00 -3.6 19.8
Malibu Boats / MBUU 7/12 71.45 68.73 -3.8 -1.0
NMI Holdings / NMIH 6/24 22.90 21.85 -4.6 -2.0
Illumina / ILMN 4/8 400.55 380.44 -5.0 18.0
SAP / SAP 7/16 147.69 140.11 -5.1 10.0
Perrigo / PRGO 4/26 41.83 38.9 -5.4 4.4
Realogy Holdings / RLGY 5/17 17.86 16.81 -5.9 1.6
Citigroup / C 3/1 65.88 60.39 -6.3 26.5
Atlas Technical Consultants / ATCX 8/2 8.99 8.42 -6.3 1.3
Hudson Pacific Properties / HPP 8/6 26.97 24.71 -6.5 5.6
PTC / PTC 6/4 129.58 121.15 -6.5 14.5
Opendoor Technologies / OPEN 12/9 15.69 14.61 -6.9 1.0
Hologic / HOLX 2/15 82.98 76.56 -7.7 22.6
Madison Square Garden Sports / MSGS 11/1 189.51 173.73 -8.3 -2.0
Sonos / SONO 11/1 32.62 29.80 -8.6 -2.0
Li-Cycle Holdings / LICY 9/27 10.95 9.96 -9.0 0.2
Plantronics / POLY 8/30 32.23 29.34 -9.0 -1.0
II-VI / IIVI 4/12 76.21 68.33 -10.3 7.4
Grupo Mexico / GMBXF 5/10 5.16 4.36 -10.6 13.6
Porsche Automobil Holding / POAHY 7/5 10.84 9.39 -11.3 10.2
Ryanair Holdings / RYA.Ireland (3) 7/5 €16.53 €15.25 -11.3 10.2
Stem / STEM 8/23 $21.43 $18.97 -11.5 4.0
General Electric / GE 11/12 107.00 94.47 -11.6 2.7
Altra Industrial Motion / AIMC 5/3 59.01 51.57 -12.2 -0.2
Blade Air Mobility / BLDE 11/8 10.10 8.83 -12.6 -7.7
AMC Networks / AMCX 11/1 39.79 34.44 -13.4 -2.0
First Quantum Minerals / FQVLF 5/10 27.81 24.00 -13.7 13.6
Calumet Specialty Products Partners / CLMT 12/3 15.29 13.20 -13.7 1.9
Gray Television / GTN 10/11 23.62 20.16 -14.3 0.8
Splunk / SPLK 3/22 135.04 115.72 -14.3 23.1
AT&T / T 5/24 30.01 24.60 -14.9 15.6
Wizz Air Holdings / WIZZ.UK (3) 7/5 4825 pence 4188 pence -14.9 10.2
Regenxbio / RGNX 11/5 $38.56 $32.70 -15.2 -6.3
Boeing / BA 8/13 238.18 201.32 -15.5 7.4
NCR / NCR 7/5 47.59 40.20 -15.5 10.2
MillerKnoll / MLKN (6) 5/31 47.80 39.19 -17.3 -0.5
Walt Disney / DIS 4/19 187.26 154.89 -17.3 15.0
Sibanye Stillwater / SBSW 2/8 16.85 12.54 -17.5 24.2
Offerpad Solutions / OPAD 12/9 8.01 6.40 -20.1 -1.1
Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquistion / XPDI 11/19 13.83 10.95 -20.8 -1.3
Mytheresa / MYTE 3/8 27.19 21.21 -21.9 3.3
International Consolidated Airlines Group / IAG.UK (3) 7/5 180.12 pence 142.48 pence -22.4 10.2
TripAdvisor / TRIP 7/26 $36.26 $27.26 -24.8 7.0
Green Thumb Industries / GTBIF 4/30 29.80 22.17 -25.6 3.8
Coinbase Global / COIN 4/19 342.00 252.37 -26.2 15.0
Nordstrom / JWN 1/4 31.21 22.62 -27.5 24.7
Tenaya Therapeutics / TNYA 11/5 26.37 18.95 -28.1 -6.3
Verve Therapeutics / VERV 11/5 54.49 36.87 -32.3 -6.3
Curaleaf Holdings / CURLF 4/30 13.31 9.00 -32.4 3.8
Riot Blockchain / RIOT 11/19 33.63 22.33 -33.6 -4.9
Trulieve Cannabis / TCNNF 4/30 39.35 26.01 -33.9 3.8
Staar Surgical / STAA 8/16 139.24 91.30 -34.4 4.6
Brinker International / EAT 6/4 55.86 36.59 -34.5 -0.9
Marathon Digital Holdings / MARA 11/19 51.46 32.86 -36.1 -1.3
Guardant Health / GH 4/8 158.03 100.02 -36.7 18.0
PetIQ / PETQ 4/19 37.00 22.71 -38.6 -0.1
Exact Sciences /…



Read More:Barron’s Stock Picks Fell Short in 2021—Even With a Bunch of Winners

2022-01-13 17:43:00

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