Google IPO Nasdaq crew 2004 David Krane
Google executives just before ringing the opening Nasdaq bell in 2004. Courtesy: David Krane

These 10 Stocks Have Beaten Google’s 1,780% Gain Since Its IPO

Aug 19, 2016

Google went public 12 years ago today at $85 a share. Although there were many skeptics who doubted the search engine company could possibly justify that value, the stock has done phenomenally well ever since.

Accounting for a 2-1 stock split in 2014 and at Google's current price of almost $800 a share, an investor who bought at the IPO and held on for the whole dozen-year ride would have a gain of 1,780%, according to money manager and research firm Bespoke Investment Group. While the overall market has done well since August 2004, Google (goog) still walloped the field, as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index posted a comparatively meager price gain of only 99% over the same period.

But there were 10 stocks that actually outperformed Google over the past 12 years, according to Bespoke's calculations.

Jeff Bezos' Amazon.com (amzn) narrowly came out ahead, with an 1,827% gain. Salesforce.com (crm), Intuitive Surgical (isrg) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals (alxn) also did considerably better.

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Two beloved tech stars returned more than twice Google's gain. Netflix (nflx) rose 4,181% and Apple (aapl) posted a staggering 4,686% rise – starting at $2.27, after accounting for splits, to its current price of over $108.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (regn) gained 4907%, Illumina (ilmn) rose 6,459% and Priceline Group (pcln) jumped 6,984% – hitting almost 70 times its price 12 years ago.

But the top performer of all is a bit harder to guess. It was energy drink maker Monster Beverage (mnst), which posted a mind blowing 11,731% gain. At almost $161 per share, it's trading at over 100 times its price of $1.36 from 12 years ago.

But there weren't all winners in the stock market over the past 12 years. Bespoke also collected a list of the worst performers among the 404 members of the S&P 500 Index that are still trading (stocks that went bankrupt, were acquired or otherwise vanished were not included).

Most were crushed by the 2008 financial crisis and never recovered. AIG (aig) has lost 95% of its value, Citigroup (c) 90%, and ETrade Financial (etfc) 79%, marking the bottom of the charts. Overall, eight of the 15 stocks with the biggest losses were in the financial sector.

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