Share price gains could be a sign that a business has done well, posting higher revenue, profits, cash flow or dividends.
It could also be an indication of improving sentiment for the company.
Many growth and technology stocks were badly battered last year as the NASDAQ Composite Index lost a third of its value.
The sentiment seems to have improved this year as several stocks have rebounded sharply to hit 52-week highs.
We highlight five US stocks that jumped 34% or more year-to-date (YTD) and review them to determine if they may be attractive to add to your buy watchlist.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)
Apple needs no introduction, being the inventor of the ubiquitous iPhone that has now spawned an entirely new smartphone industry.
Shares of the technology gadget company have shot up 37.2% YTD to close at US$171.56.
Apple released a mixed set of results for its fiscal 2023’s second quarter (2Q FY2023).
Product revenue dipped slightly from US$77.5 billion to US$73.9 billion during the quarter, but services revenue increased by 5.5% year on year to US$20.9 billion, hitting a new all-time high.
Operating and net profit, however, dipped by 5.5% and 3.4% year on year to US$28.3 billion and US$24.2 billion, respectively.
Despite the lower profit, Apple’s installed base of active devices has hit another new record, according to CEO Tim Cook.
With confidence about the future, Apple has initiated its eleventh consecutive quarterly dividend increase to US$0.24 per share and authorised an additional US$90 billion in share buybacks.
Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META)
Meta Platforms is a social media behemoth that owns the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp brands.
Shares of the company have nearly doubled year to date, closing at US$246.74.
2023 is being hailed as the “Year of Efficiency” by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he outlined a slew of cost-cutting measures to shore up profitability.
Thus far, Meta Platforms has already conducted two rounds of layoffs that involve 21,000 staff.
These layoffs aim to trim the company’s fixed costs and improve profitability as Meta Platforms faces a slowdown in advertising.
For its fiscal 2023’s first quarter (1Q 2023), the social media giant reported a small 3% year on year increase in revenue to US$28.6 billion.
Operating profit, however, contracted by 15% year on year to US$7.2 billion while net profit shrank 24% year on year to US$5.7 billion.
Despite this, Meta Platforms saw daily average users rising from 1.96 billion in 1Q 2022 to 2.04 billion in 1Q 2023.
Monthly average users also posted a year-on-year rise from 2.94 billion to 2.99 billion over the same period.
Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL)
Alphabet is the parent company of search engine giant Google and is also the owner of the video streaming website YouTube.
Shares of the technology company have surged by 37.5% YTD and are trading close to its 52-week high.
Alphabet also reported a mixed set of earnings for 1Q 2023 with revenue inching up 3% year on year to US$69.8 billion.
Net profit, however, fell by 8.4% year on year to US$15.1 billion.
Its Google Cloud service, however, reported an operating profit of US$191 million for the quarter, reversing the operating loss of US$706 million in the prior year.
Alphabet recently showcased its advancements to its Bard generative artificial intelligence at its annual developer conference while also announcing a large language model called PaLM 2.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)
Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce player and its shares have risen 34% YTD to hit close to US$115.
Sales for Amazon’s 1Q 2023 rose 9% year on year to US$127.4 billion while operating profit jumped from US$3.7 billion a year ago to US$4.8 billion.
Net profit came in at US$3.2 billion compared to a net loss of US$3.8 billion in 1Q 2022.
Amazon saw a free cash outflow of US$3.3 billion for 1Q 2023, significantly lower than the free cash outflow of US$18.6 billion in the prior year.
The company announced plans to spend US$200 million on safety technologies across its US transportation network this year.
Amazon has guided for a 5% to 10% year on year increase in sales for its second quarter.
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)
Tesla is a manufacturer of electric vehicles and car batteries and employs more than 100,000 staff around the world.
Shares of the company have surged by 71.8% YTD to close at US$185.77.
The company saw total revenue jump 24% year on year to US$23.3 billion for 1Q 2023.
Net profit, however, fell by 24% year on year to US$2.5 billion due to higher expenses.
Free cash flow also plunged 80% year on year to US$441 million for the quarter.
Tesla continues to produce and deliver more vehicles in 1Q 2023.
Total production climbed 44% year on year to 440,808 vehicles while deliveries increased by 36% year on year to 422,875 units.
It also increased the number of Tesla physical locations to 1,000 from 787 a year ago while charging stations have increased by a third year on year to 4,947.
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Disclosure: Royston Yang owns shares of Apple, Meta Platforms and Alphabet.