2022’s 10 Best-Performing Stocks

These stocks have generated the best returns so far in 2022.

The stock market is off to a shaky start to 2022. Fears over persistently high inflation, aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine have the S&P 500 down 13.3% through the end of May. Fortunately for investors, a handful of top-performing stocks have bucked the bearish trend. Top performers include several oil and gas stocks benefiting from surging energy prices and health care stocks with unique bullish catalysts. Here are the 10 best-performing stocks of 2022 so far among companies that trade on major U.S. exchanges and have market capitalizations of at least $1 billion. Returns are through May 31, and include any dividends paid.

10. Tidewater Inc. (ticker: TDW)

Tidewater is an oil and gas services company that specializes in offshore energy support and transportation. Like other oil and gas stocks, Tidewater has benefited from soaring energy prices, especially since Russia invaded Ukraine. In May, Tidewater reported 26.6% revenue growth in the first quarter. Net losses also shrank to $11.7 million, down from $35.2 million a year ago. Tidewater said its average active fleet increased by six vessels in the quarter, and its average day rate of $10,687 was its highest since the fourth quarter of 2020. Tidewater shares are up 137.6% year to date.

9. Comstock Resources Inc. (CRK)

Comstock Resources is a natural gas exploration and production company focused on the Haynesville shale gas region of East Texas. Natural gas spot prices are up 169% in the past year. In May, Comstock reported 54.1% revenue growth and 44% operating cash flow growth in the first quarter and said it paid down $85 million in debt. Comstock also recently redeemed $244.4 million of 7.5% senior notes due in 2025. Given gas prices have continued to rise sharply in recent weeks, Comstock investors are likely expecting even bigger second-quarter numbers. Comstock shares are up 138.6% year to date.

8. Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY)

Occidental Petroleum is a U.S. oil and gas company and the only large cap stock among the top 10 market performers of 2022. In addition to benefiting from rising oil prices, Occidental has gotten a major vote of confidence from one of the biggest investors on Wall Street. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B) has purchased 143 million shares of Occidental in 2022, a position worth about $9.9 billion. Not only does Buffett own a roughly 15% stake in Occidental, Berkshire also holds warrants to purchase nearly 84 million more shares. OXY stock is up 139% year to date.

7. Nutex Health Inc. (NUTX)

Nutex Health is a technology-enabled health care services company. In April, Nutex merged with health management company Clinigence, which previously traded on the over-the-counter market under the ticker CLNH. The combined company adopted Nutex’s name, changed its stock ticker to NUTX and uplisted its shares to the Nasdaq on April 4. The stock skyrocketed right out of the gates, surging from under $4 on the OTC market to as high as $52.80 in early April following the uplisting announcement. Since that initial surge, the stock has traded all the way back down to under $10, but it is still up 142.2% overall in 2022.

6. Antero Resources Corp. (AR)

Antero Resources is an independent North American oil and gas exploration and production company focused primarily on natural gas development in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions. Surging natural gas prices catapulted Antero shares ahead of many of its oil-focused energy peers in the latter half of May. Like other energy companies, Antero has taken advantage of the cash flow it is generating from high gas prices. In the first quarter, the company reported adjusted net income of $360 million, repurchased $100 million of shares and redeemed all $585 million of its outstanding senior notes due in 2025. Antero shares are up 145% year to date.

5. Sierra Oncology Inc. (SRRA)

Sierra Oncology is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing momelotinib to treat myelofibrosis patients with anemia. Sierra shares jumped about 38% in early April when GSK PLC (GSK) announced a $1.9 billion buyout of Sierra priced at $55 per share. GSK, formerly GlaxoSmithKline, is already a leader in hematology, and it expects momelotinib sales will begin in 2023 and potentially grow significantly from there. Sierra shares ended May at $54.78, leaving little additional upside for investors. However, the buyout announcement was enough to push Sierra’s year-to-date stock gains to 151.9%, making it one of the top performers of 2022.

4. PBF Energy Inc. (PBF)

PBF Energy is an independent refiner that produces gasoline, diesel and other refined products. PBF has taken advantage of the favorable energy environment to significantly improve its balance sheet in recent quarters, repaying $390 million in debt over the past 15 months. Diesel prices were up 53% in the first quarter, while gasoline prices increased by 39%. In April, PBF reported 85.6% revenue growth in the first quarter. Investors can expect PBF to continue to improve its balance sheet and even potentially restore its dividend, which it suspended in March 2020. PBF Energy shares are up 155.9% year to date.

3. Scorpio Tankers Inc. (STNG)

Scorpio Tankers operates a fleet of ocean tankers that transports refined petroleum products worldwide. Tanker rates surged when Russia invaded Ukraine, and Scorpio plans to take advantage of a favorable environment by reducing its debt by $513 million in the first half of 2022. The company estimates elevated tanker rates can potentially help the company generate $450 million in pro forma liquidity by the end of the second quarter. Revenue was up 29.7% in the first quarter. Booming refined product demand, supply chain disruptions and historically low inventories will continue to support tanker rates. Scorpio shares are up 158% year to date.

2. Alpha Metallurgical Resources Inc. (AMR)

Alpha Metallurgical Resources is a Tennessee-based coal miner. While clean energy may be the biggest long-term growth trend in the energy sector, coal prices have surged along with oil and gas prices so far in 2022 as the world pushes to combat energy shortages by any means necessary. In fact, in the past year, coal prices are up nearly 251%, significantly more than both the 69% gain in crude oil prices and the 169% gain in natural gas prices. In March, Alpha reported first-quarter revenue growth of 177.5% and net income growth of 1,317.4%. That impressive growth has driven AMR stock up 164.9% year to date.

1. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX)

Like other energy stocks, energy services company NexTier Oilfield Solutions has benefited from rising oil and gas prices in 2022. In early January, the stock surged more than 20% after it updated its fourth-quarter financial guidance, and the stock’s bullish momentum has continued ever since. In April, NexTier reported $635 million in first-quarter revenue, its fourth consecutive quarter of at least 25% sequential growth. CEO Robert Drummond said frac capacity is nearly fully utilized at this point, positioning NexTier for free cash flow generation and profitable growth in the foreseeable future. NEX stock is up 207% year to date.

10 best-performing stocks of 2022:

1. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX): +207%

2. Alpha Metallurgical Resources Inc. (AMR): +164.9%

3. Scorpio Tankers Inc. (STNG): +158%

4. PBF Energy Inc. (PBF): +155.9%

5. Sierra Oncology Inc. (SRRA): +151.9%

6. Antero Resources Corp. (AR): +145%

7. Nutex Health Inc. (NUTX): +142.2%

8. Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY): +139%

9. Comstock Resources Inc. (CRK): +138.6%

10. Tidewater Inc. (TDW): +137.6%

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2022’s 10 Best-Performing Stocks originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 06/01/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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