These stocks have generated the best returns so far in 2022.
The S&P 500 gained 8% in October, as the start of third-quarter earnings season was not as bad as many investors had feared. However, investors remain concerned about persistently high inflation, aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and an uncertain global economic outlook. The S&P 500 is down 19.1% year to date as of Nov. 1, but 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 tanker stocks that help store and transport petroleum products. 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 Nov. 1.
10. Alpha Metallurgical Resources Inc. (ticker: AMR)
Alpha Metallurgical Resources is a Tennessee-based coal mining company. 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 as the world pushes to combat energy shortages by any means necessary. In fact, in the past year, coal prices are up more than 150%, significantly more than both the 10% gain in crude oil prices and the 8% gain in natural gas prices. In August, Alpha reported second-quarter revenue growth of 238% and net income from continuing operations of $575.4 million. That impressive growth has driven AMR stock up 168% this year.
9. Consol Energy Inc. (CEIX)
Consol Energy produces coal in the Appalachian Basin. Like other coal stocks, Consol has benefited from soaring energy prices in 2022. In November, the company reported 82.8% year-over-year coal revenue growth in the third quarter. Consol also generated $107 million in free cash flow, repaid $56 million in debt and announced a $1.05 dividend. Looking ahead, management said the company contracted 6 million tons of new business in the third quarter for delivery through 2026. In addition, Consol said its Itmann preparation plant was commissioned in September and completed its first train shipment in October. Consol shares are up 179% this year.
8. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX)
Energy services company NexTier Oilfield Solutions has also taken advantage of 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 October, NexTier reported $896 million in third-quarter revenue, up 128% year over year. The company also initiated a new $250 million share buyback program. CEO Robert Drummond said the fracking market is extremely tight, and NexTier’s equipment will likely remain in high demand heading into 2023. NEX stock is up 183.6% this year.
7. Tidewater Inc. (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 the Ukraine invasion began. In August, Tidewater reported 81.6% revenue growth in the second quarter. Net losses also dropped to $25.6 million, down from $29.5 million the year before. Tidewater said its vessel level cash margin increased from 27.4% to 38.2% in the quarter, and its average day rate of $12,544 was its highest since the third quarter of 2016. Tidewater shares are up 197.8% this year.
6. International Seaways Inc. (INSW)
International Seaways is one of the world’s largest crude oil and petroleum products tanker companies. In August, the company reported net income of $69 million in the second quarter, up from a net loss of $18.8 million a year ago. Shipping revenues more than tripled year over year in the quarter to $188.1 million. In addition to its organic cash flow, International Seaways received $140 million in cash by selling its 50% stake in two floating storage and offshore vessels to its joint venture partner. The divestment helped International Seaways boost its total liquidity to more than $450 million. INSW stock is up 198.9% this year.
5. Sigma Lithium Corp. (SGML)
It’s not just energy stocks that are benefiting from 2022 market conditions. Sigma Lithium, which mines the lithium that is a key component in electric vehicles and other types of batteries, has made huge gains after the price of lithium carbonate skyrocketed 194% in the past year to new all-time highs. In August, Sigma announced plans to double its near-term production to 531,000 metric tons per year of battery-grade lithium. Rising lithium prices have pushed Sigma shares up 240% this year.
4. Torm PLC (TRMD)
Torm is a U.K.-based refined oil shipping company with a wholly owned fleet of more than 80 vessels. In August, Torm reported that time-charter-equivalent rates more than doubled in the second quarter, and company management said the market has been even better so far in the third quarter. The stock jumped 10% after Torm said rates had more than tripled from 2021 levels in the current quarter. Torm has also taken advantage of a seller’s market to divest seven of its oldest vessels since late 2021. Surging shipping rates have sent Torm shares higher by 244.6% in 2022.
3. 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 by significantly improving its balance sheet in recent quarters, reducing consolidated debt by more than $2.6 billion in the past 18 months. Diesel prices are up 47% in 2022, while gasoline prices have increased by 14%. In October, PBF reported 77.6% year-over-year revenue growth in the third quarter. Investors can expect PBF to continue to improve its balance sheet, and the company even recently reinstated its 20-cent quarterly dividend that had been suspended since March 2020. PBF Energy shares are up 259% this year.
2. Target Hospitality Corp. (TH)
Target Hospitality is a somewhat unconventional play on the 2022 oil and gas boom. The company provides workforce lodging and other temporary housing used for oil and gas drilling, mining, large-scale events, government agencies and disaster relief. The stock has had bullish momentum all year, but most of its gains have come since the beginning of July. On July 8, the stock jumped more than 25% after Target raised its 2022 revenue guidance by 53% following the announcement of a new government contract. Since the new contract was announced on July 6, Target shares are up 150.5% and they are now up 248.3% overall in 2022.
1. 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 has taken advantage of a favorable environment by reducing its debt in the first three quarters of 2022. The company has also increased its unrestricted cash balance from $359 million in June to $490 million in October. Vessel revenue was up 310% year over year to $490 million in the third quarter. Booming refined product demand, low inventories and strong refining margins will continue to support tanker rates. Scorpio shares are up 302.2% this year.
2022’s 10 best-performing stocks:
— 1. Scorpio Tankers Inc. (STNG)
— 2. Target Hospitality Corp. (TH)
— 3. PBF Energy Inc. (PBF)
— 4. Torm PLC (TRMD)
— 5. Sigma Lithium Corp. (SGML)
— 6. International Seaways Inc. (INSW)
— 7. Tidewater Inc. (TDW)
— 8. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX)
— 9. Consol Energy Inc. (CEIX)
— 10. Alpha Metallurgical Resources Inc. (AMR)
More from U.S. News
Update 11/02/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.