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Electrical Stocks Have Memorable Year as More than 20 Companies Beat Market Indices

Jan. 10, 2020
More than two dozen companies beating the 2019 gains of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Index for the year, logging annual stock price gains of better than +30%

Electrical stocks turned in an impressive performance in 2019, with more than two dozen companies beating the 2019 gains of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Index for the year and logging annual stock price gains of better than +30%. It was the best showing for publicly held electrical manufacturers, distributors and contractors in many years.

The 2019 performance of electrical stocks is even more impressive when you consider just how big of a gain the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Index enjoyed in 2019. The S&P 500 Index was up roughly +29.79% for 2019, well above the +8% annual growth it has averaged since 1957, when the former S&P Composite Index of 90 stocks was increased to 500 stocks. The Dow Jones Index has produced a +7.75% average annual return since its inception in 1921.

Leading all publicly held electrical companies was Orion Energy Systems, a Manitowoc, WI-based provider of integrated LED lighting systems, controls and IoT solutions for major national accounts that saw its share skyrocket +395.52% from, 67 cents a share to $3.32 per share (Jan. 2 adjusted close). Generac, Waukesha, WI, also showed a big-time increase, with its shares doubling from $50.99 per share on the first day of trading in 2019 to $102.01 on Jan. 2 — a +100% increase. Other electrical manufacturers with huge 2019 gains in their stock prices were Atkore International (+96.16%) and Nexans SA (+84.45%).

On the distribution front, Anixter International, has seen its stock price increase dramatically over the past two months, in part due to a potential acquisition by WESCO International. The stock was up +74.16% in 2019.

As a group, publicly held contractors had the best year, as all of the companies EM tracks beat the S&P 500 and Down Jones Industrial. IES Holdings (+57.46%), Mastec (+55.8%) and EMCOR (+46.15%) saw the biggest annual gains in share prices.

While the 2019 stock price gains by electrical stocks are impressive, some of the growth in share prices was part of the dramatic recovery in the overall stock market from the big drop it experienced in Dec. 2018. On Christmas Eve, the S&P 500 Index was down approximately -16% from the beginning of that month due to concerns over a potential trade war with China. The S&P recovered this loss by Feb. 22, and from there marched upward to record highs.