The market took a big step up through the first six months of the year. The S&P 500 rose 8% through the first half of 2017, a heartier gain than the popular market metric's historical return. Some stocks have naturally fared a lot better.
We've seen 25 stateside exchange-listed stocks with market caps greater than $1 billion more than double in that time. It's halftime on Wall Street. Let's check out some of the big companies --Momo (MOMO 7.71%), Wayfair (W -1.51%), and Shopify (SHOP -3.30%) -- that have made some big moves so far in 2017.
Momo operates a popular live video broadcasting platform in China with 85.2 million monthly active users. The stock soared 101% through the first half of the year, and the good news for investors is that the dot-com darling is growing even faster.
Revenue soared 421% in its latest quarter, and it has beaten Wall Street's profit targets handily -- by 37% or better -- in each and every quarter over the past year. The stock is also surprisingly cheap on an earnings basis despite its big run. Momo is fetching a reasonable 24 times this year's projected earnings and just 17 times next year's target.
There will be hiccups, and we seemed to see one late last month when Chinese regulators started cracking down on online videos and live-streaming. Momo wasn't a company singled out in the notices to police vulgar content, but the news was a rude awakening for China's digital video leaders.
Selling furniture online seemed to be a hard nut to crack until Wayfair emerged on the scene with its inventory-light model, working in fulfillment costs by padding prices to offer the illusion of "free" shipping. The concept is resonating with shoppers scouring through the more than 8 million items available for great deals.
Revenue growth is decelerating, falling for five straight quarters -- going from 81% to 29% in that time. Top-line growth should stabilize here, as Wall Street pros see 32% revenue gains for all of 2017. Profitability has also been a problem, but that hasn't gotten in the way of the stock soaring 112% through the first half of the year.
A downside to the recent gains is that some on Wall Street are starting to worry about the stock's valuation. Analysts at Maxim and Gordon Haskett downgraded the stock late last month.
Finally, we have Shopify, up 106% during the last six months. The provider of e-commerce solutions for small- and mid-size merchants is showing little signs of slowing down. Its platform helped vendors clear $4.8 billion in gross merchandise volume in its latest quarter.
Wall Street also cooled on Shopify last month, sending the shares lower after moving higher in each of the seven previous months. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock and SunTrust initiated coverage of the company with a neutral rating.
Shopify and Momo slipped in June, but moved higher every month earlier in the year to more than double. Wayfair -- leading the pack of these three dot-com superstars -- inched higher in June. It will be hard for any of the three to double again through the second half of the year. Shopify and Momo need momentum back in their corner, and Wayfair faces challenges from larger e-tailers and retailers making a bigger push in the furniture market. However, all three stocks made investors a lot of money so far in 2017, and it's hard to bet against them at this point.