The market seems to be going nowhere fast these days. All three of the major stock indexes are trading near their lowest levels since late last year, but it doesn't mean that every stock has been a loser. There are more than 180 stocks with market caps north of $200 million that have risen at least 50% this year, and some of them are primed to keep moving higher in 2019.
Planet Fitness ( PLNT -1.47% ), Glu Mobile ( GLUU ), RingCentral ( RNG -7.22% ), LivePerson ( LPSN -5.64% ), and New Age Beverages ( NBEV 1.33% ) have defied gravity with big gains in 2018. Things might get even better in the year ahead.
Planet Fitness: Up 54% in 2018
Gyms and fitness centers may not seem like hotbeds for growth, but Planet Fitness is making the workouts work out. Revenue rose 40% in its latest quarter, the fast-growing chain's strongest top-line growth in four years. Brisk expansion has obviously helped, but the real head-turning metric here is the gym operator's consistently positive comps. Comparable-gym revenue rose a hearty 9.7% last time out, stretching Planet Fitness' streak of positive comps to a mind-boggling 47 quarters.
The story is just getting started. CEO Chris Rondeau -- who got his start at the company as the first reception desk worker at its first gym -- feels that Planet Fitness can easily double in size from its current empire of 1,646 locations. We're at nearly a dozen years of positive comps with every passing quarter. It's hard to bet against that trend continuing into 2019.
Glu Mobile: Up 112%
Mobile gaming is a fickle beast. Smartphone-fueled diversions come and go in popularity, but Glu Mobile has proven itself to be a reliable hit factory. The same game developer that dazzled players in 2014 with Kim Kardashian: Hollywood continues to raise the bar these days with its Design Home interior decorator and Tap Sports Baseball that continues to grow in popularity with every annual installment.
Mobile gamers may have short attention spans, but Glu Mobile has the pulse on what players are craving. Glu Mobile has raised its guidance for four consecutive quarters.
RingCentral: Up 60%
There is no industry too bland to shake up, and that includes the old-school company phone. RingCentral is a cloud-based platform offering next-gen enterprise communications solutions. Sign up for a RingCentral plan -- the options start at just $15.99 a month -- and an inbound call to an IP phone can be redirected to PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
Revenue growth is accelerating for the second consecutive year after at least five straight years of decelerating top-line gains. RingCentral is excelling at the "beat and raise" art. It's trouncing analyst earnings expectations and boosting its guidance. Momentum remains on RingCentral's side.
LivePerson: Up 62%
The next time you're on a website and an online chat window pops up, there's a fair chance that LivePerson's there to provide proactive support. Companies turn to LivePerson because it offers assistance instantly and affordably. Growth had stalled at LivePerson when it was updating its platform, but it's in a good groove again. Revenue has risen by 14% for three straight quarters.
New Age Beverages: Up 206%
One of this year's hottest stocks is a small distributor of functional and natural beverages. New Age Beverages' stock has more than tripled this year, with most of its gains coming after it announced that it would be introducing a new line of cannabidiol (CBD)-infused beverages.
One of the roadblocks that's kept most stateside retailers from stocking the new line is the legalization of hemp, but a big hurdle was cleared late last week when Congress passed the farm bill that includes provisions for the legalization of hemp production.
New Age Beverages is making the most of its newfound popularity. It recently announced the deal to acquire Morinda, a much larger beverage company with a strong global footprint. The pieces are coming together, and we'll see how they fit in the year ahead.