It has been a roller-coaster ride for equity investors so far this year. The year began on a disastrous note as risk assets saw a huge sell-off amid concerns over the slowdown in China. However, stocks recovered in February and the three benchmark indexes in the U.S. rose to record high levels. In fact, after 1999, we saw for the first time that all three indexes closed higher on the same day. The equity rally to a large extent has been driven by excess liquidity in global markets. Indeed, a closer look at fundamentals indicates that stocks maybe overvalued.
For the moment though, investors are brushing aside overvaluation concerns. On Monday, we once again saw several stocks hit their 52-week highs. Here are five NYSE stocks that climbed to a 52-week high.
Imitating hedge funds and other institutional investors can help identify some of the most profitable stocks on the market. However, our extensive research that covered the period between 1999 and 2012, showed that the best approach is to follow these investors into their small-cap stocks. Our backtests showed that the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds managed to generate a monthly alpha of 81 basis points, versus an alpha of 0.7 percentage points posted by their top 50 large-cap picks (see more details here).
Assurant Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) is a New York City-based provider of specialty protection products and related services. Year-to-date, Assurant shares have gained almost 10%, outperforming the S&P 500. On Monday, the stock hit a 52-week high of $90.59. Assurant shares, in fact, are now trading close to their all-time high levels. Despite record high valuation, Assurant still offers a 2.26% dividend yield. A total of 24 of the 749 funds in our database held $284.05 million worth of Assurant shares at the end of the June quarter, which represented 5.30% of Assurant’s outstanding shares.
Copa Holdings S.A. (NYSE:CPA) jumped to a 52-week high of $89.76 on Monday. Copa Holdings shares were recently upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley to ‘Overweight’ from ‘Equal Weight’, while the price target on the stock was hiked to $94 from $56. Year-to-date, Copa Holdings shares have gained more than 80%. At the end of June quarter, seven funds we track amassed $142.99 million worth of Copa Holdings shares, down from 11 funds that held $229.26 million worth of stock a quarter earlier.
Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (NYSE:CWEI) have seen a huge rally this year as oil prices bounced back from their lows in February. On Monday, the stock rose to a 52-week high of $77.37. Clayton Williams has also strengthened its balance sheet recently. Late last month, the company raised $150 million through sale of its common stock to Ares Management L.P. Clayton Williams had 10 of the funds we track holding $72.75 million worth of its shares at the end of the second quarter, compared to 12 funds that held $27.11 million worth of shares at the end of March.
Read about two other stocks that hit their 52-weeks high on the next page.