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The 10 Best Performing Companies of 2017

Which 10 companies had the best performance in 2017? 

Why did they perform so well? 

What can your Business learn from them to ensure better results in 2018?

Well, 2017 was an epic year for the Stock market, with the Dow racing 25% higher, the S&P 500 up 19%, and the NASDAQ up a whopping 28%. 

Driving these great returns above all else were great business performances by great companies.    

Here are ten of the best of them, along with one key lesson from each of their 2017 successes that can be put to work in any business right away:

#10. D. R. Horton (NYSE: DHI). D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest homebuilder, benefited from new home sales reaching 10-year highs in 2017, saw its stock price rise 87.8 percent last year. 

A Key Lesson from their 2017 Success: As a business competes in a cyclical market like housing, when market conditions turn strongly in our favor as they did for homebuilders last year, be extremely aggressive and highly urgent in pursuit of as many new sales and customers as possible.  

Because when the downturn inevitably comes, outsized profits earned from go-go times like these will see us through the darker days.  

#9. Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL), saw its mobile payment business jump 54%, helping drive the company’s stock price up 87.9% for the year. 

Key Lesson: Explore and invest constantly in new technologies. Not all of these investments will pay off, but the ones that do will transform tired and slow growth businesses into fresh and fast-growing ones. 

#8. Boeing (NYSE: BA).  Boeing, with its commercial plane deliveries increasing by 7% in 2017, saw its stock rise 90.3% in 2017. Wow!   

Awesome fun fact - at the Paris Air Show last June Boeing sold 571 new planes, totaling $75 billion in new orders.  

Key Lesson: Think, act, and sell BIG.  If Boeing can sell 571 planes at one industry get together, how much business can we do at our next conference? 

#7. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU). Leading semiconductor company Micron finished the year up 90.7%, driven by big anticipated growth in key new markets like artificial intelligence, online gaming, and cryptocurrency mining. 

Key Lesson: It is easy to be “snarky” and cynical about the potential of highly hyped new business models like cryptocurrency, cannabis, and the like, but there are real companies making real dollars in these fast-emerging businesses. 

Perhaps put a 2018 goal in place to explore how blockchain technologies might open up new markets, products, and services for your business? 

#6. Alcoa Corp (NYSE: AA). Alcoa, the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum, saw its stock gain 92.8% in 2017, driven by rising commodity prices and the greatly improved prospects for domestic manufacturing.  

Also, in late 2016 Alcoa spun off a number of its non core businesses - greatly reducing its debt load and more importantly allowing the company to focus on what it does best - producing as much aluminum as possible at the lowest cost. 

Key Lesson: Identify and focus on your core assets and competencies and sell, shut down, spin off, and / or forsake everything else. 

#5. Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN). With Macau, the world’s largest gambling hub, seeing double digit growth in 2017, Wynn Resorts - owner of the biggest casino in the region - saw its shares rise by 94.7 percent.

Key Lesson: 15 years ago, Steve Wynn, the King of Las Vegas, saw a huge opportunity in Macau. He put billions of dollars at risk, and suffered years of massive losses, to pursue and profit from it.  

Now that bet, and his vision, are paying off big time.   

Let’s be like him in with our BIG dreaming, thinking, and doing.

#4. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX), with positive test data for its new cystic fibrosis drug, saw a massive 105.2 percent gain in its stock price in 2017. 

Key Lesson: Learn from big pharma and commit to long-term research and intellectual property development strategies. 

It is risky. It is hard. But when it hits it pays off bigger than anything else we can possibly do in our business. 

#3. First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR). Stabilizing solar panel prices and “America First” manufacturing policies in Washington drove a 112.9 percent gain in the company’s stock.

Key Lesson: With local, state, and federal government expenditures close to 40% of the economy, policy and regime changes have BIG impacts on wide swaths of the economy (see healthcare, manufacturing, etc.).  

Let’s be always prepared to pivot and innovate our business models in anticipation of these changes.  

#2. NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG). NRG, one of the largest energy companies in the world, saw its stock finish up an amazing 128.4% in 2017 as they executed on plans to divest much of their renewables business and focus on more core, electricity producing assets. 

Key Lesson: As with Alcoa, look long and hard at all of the business things we do, identify those that we are truly world class at, and as much as possible stop doing anything but those things.  

#1. Align Technology (NASDAQ: ALGN), Align, which makes the famed Invisalign “clear braces” orthodontic products, was the best performing stock in the S&P last year, up 135.6%.  

Its revenues increased 38.3% in the third quarter as shipments to teenage patients grew more than 50%, demonstrating a successful transition from the company’s traditional more adult-focused customer base.

Key Lesson:  Find, and exploit, your customer and market “adjacencies.”   

To do so, sometimes all that is required is a simple repackaging and /or rebranding for a new audience of our existing products and services - i.e. don’t make business harder than it is.  

Great and easy business wisdoms from these 2017 awesomely performing companies. 

Do what and as they do and maybe and hopefully your company will join this high-flying list in the New Year! 

Give Your Business a New Year’s Gift.  January is a natural time to take stock and pride in the accomplishments of the past year, while developing a steely resolve to profit from the awesome opportunities that the New Year is sure to bring.

For the past 19 years, Growthink has helped companies like yours grow more rapidly by creating comprehensive Growth Plans. We catalyzed success for clients including:

  • Arganteal (software deployment automation) secured $611K in growth capital.
  • DNT Express (logistics) secured $2.2M in debt funding for facility expansion.
  • FutureFuel (HRTech+FinTech) successful $1.6M financing round.
  • Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) acquired our client manufacturing process control company Ometric.
  • MPulse (SaaS), acquired by JDM Technology Group.
  • NativeAds (digital advertising) closed on a $4M venture financing.
  • Permacity, completed the world's largest solar rooftop project and increased revenue by over 35%.
  • PayCertify (fintech), secured $700k in seed funding.
  • ViewQwest, launched in Malaysia in Q3 2016 with Indonesia next in line.

What do all of these success stories have in common? 

The entrepreneurs and executives running these great companies understood that whether you're looking to raise capital, sell your company, expand current market share or enter new markets, having a solid growth plan and roadmap is indispensable. 

So, in the spirit of the New Year, we would like to give your business the gift of a complimentary consultation with one of our growth advisors to help you identify your most valuable growth initiatives to pursue in 2018 and beyond.

To accept, simply click here to arrange a day and time via our online call scheduler.

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The 10 Best Performing Companies of 2017


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