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NZ stocks: Best and worst of 2013

Can the NZX make it three-in-a-row? After full-year returns of 25.1% in 2012 and 16.5% in 2013, the pointers look good for next year.

Looking back, using December 31 prices, stockpickers have had a year in which several of the top performers returned more than 50%.

Among NZX50 stocks, there were Xero (up 317.2%), Kathmandu Holdings (+81.6%), Ryman Healthcare (+75.2%) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (+58.5%). What’s more, two of these (Ryman and F&P Healthcare) are among the brokers’ top tips for 2014.

Other NZX50 stocks to perform well above average were Summerset Holdings (+75.2%). EBOS (+37.4%), Air New Zealand (+33.2%) and Steel Tube (+32.0%).

All can be expected to continue to exceed or at least match the market in normal conditions.

Outside the NZX50, several stocks did just as well without the benefit of big-buying funds.

The top performer was Dunedin biotech company Pacific Edge, whose cancer detecting discoveries returned 161.3% to shareholders.

George Gould’s controversial Pyne Gould Corporation scored an 86.2% return, much to the chagrin of its detractors.

It was followed by “alternative” dairy company A2 Corporation, which rose 50.9%. Others to stand out were Lyttelton Port Company (+50.5%), tourism operator THL (+45.7%), winemaker Delegat’s Group (+30.3%) and labour contractor AWF Group (+28.7%).

The biggest losers
Perhaps surprisingly, the NXZ50 also provided the biggest losers of the year.

Goldminer OceanaGold fell 52.7%, as gold prices fell 28% during the year to around $US1200 an ounce.

Not far behind was Chorus, down 47.1% after the Commerce Commission decision to cut its line charges and doubts mounted over its ability to fulfil the ultrafast broadband contract.

Onetime high-flyer Diligent Board Member Services shed 30.2%, while clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson dropped 21.0%.

But non-NZX50 share also provided their share of spectacular failures.

Brewer Moa Group plummeted 50.0%, closely followed by eco-lighting manufacturer Energy Mad (down 48.9%), smartphone component maker Rakon (-47.3%), Mad Butcher chain owner Veritas (-41.9%) and two more clothing retailers, Postie Plus (-40.7%) and Pumpkin Patch (-33.6%).

Note: Property, investment, speculative and some newly listed stocks have been excluded from this survey.

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