Jim Cramer has said and done a lot of neat and not so neat things over the years. However, one of the cool acronyms that he has coined is FANG, short for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google.
There's no denying that the market has taken to FANG. Two of the four stocks have more than doubled so far this year, and all of them have handily beaten the market in 2015.
The soil is fertile for a repeat performance in 2016, but first let's take a closer look at the monster year the four dot-com darlings have been having. Here are the year-to-date gains through Thursday night's close.
- Facebook: 36%
- Amazon: 113%
- Netflix: 146%
- Alphabet: 40%
The average gain of 84% is pretty spectacular, especially since the S&P 500 is up by a mere 1% so far in 2015. Naysayers will argue that the stocks have gotten ahead of themselves. All four of the stocks trade at trailing earnings multiples north of 30. However, the same trends that have helped push the shares higher through 2015 will only intensify in the year ahead.
Facebook continues to find ways to milk more money out of its engaged audience. Revenue has climbed 41% over the past year, even though its active user base has only increased by 17% in that time.
Amazon has built one of the more impressive invisible moats in cyberspace. There are tens of millions of people paying as much as $99 a year for the right to receive all Amazon-warehoused goods in two days at no additional cost. Now it's expanding its initiatives for fresh groceries and same-day delivery. Bricks-and-mortar retailers are trying to follow suit, but it's not easy to be competitive on price given the high overhead of physical stores.
Netflix was the S&P 500's biggest gainer in 2013, and it's on track for a repeat performance in 2015. Most of its growth is coming overseas, and 2016 promises a needle-moving push into Asian markets.
Google broke up Cramer's acronym when it changed its name to Alphabet earlier this year. Alphabet is the one expected to grow the slowest of the four companies next year, but it's also the one trading at the lowest forward multiple. Along the way it's sitting pretty as the search engine of choice in most leading countries.
All four companies will continue to benefit from the migration to the Internet in general and mobile in particular. It's OK to get excited about the way the stocks have performed this year, but don't assume that the party ends in 2016.