Chart: The 20 Top Stocks of 2020, by Price Return and EPS
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Chart: The 20 Top Stocks of 2020 by Price Return

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The 20 Top Stocks of 2020

The Briefing

  • In 2020, a handful of companies thrived in the face of the pandemic
  • Medical stocks made up nine of the top 20 stocks, followed by seven in the Tech/Online category

Chart: The 20 Top Stocks of 2020, by Price Return and EPS

In the whirlwind of the pandemic, most businesses experienced chaos. From shuttered physical stores to the rapid rise of online activity, only a select few companies successfully weathered the storm.

We look at the 20 top stocks of 2020 by price return (% change), and earnings per share (EPS), which is an indicator of a company’s profitability.

EPS is calculated by dividing a company’s profit by its outstanding shares of common stock. The higher an EPS value, the more profitable a company is deemed.

A Closer Look at the Leaderboard

Tesla’s value surged in 2020, as it raked in 743.4% in returns—the highest of any stock. In fact, it’s the only automaker to enter this list.

RankCompanyIndustry% ChangeEPS, Q3’2020
#1Tesla IncOther (Auto Manufacturer)743.4%$0.27
#2Fiverr International LtdTech/Online (Retail)730.2%-$0.01
#3Twist Bioscience CorpMedical (Biotech)572.8%-$0.36
#4Enphase Energy IncOther (Solar Energy571.5%$0.28
#5Peloton Interactive Cl ATech/Online (Leisure)434.2%$0.20
#6Moderna IncMedical (Biotech)434.1%-$0.59
#7Curevac N VMedical (Biotech)406.7%N/A
#8Sunrun IncOther (Solar Energy)402.4%$0.28
#9Zoom Video Comm Cl ATech/Online (Software)395.8%$0.66
#10Sea Limited Ads Cl ATech/Online (Retail, Leisure)394.9%N/A
#11Denali Therapeutics IncMedical (Biotech)380.6%-$0.54
#12Beam Therapeutics IncMedical (Biotech)380.2%-$0.69
#13Pinduoduo Inc Cl A AdsTech/Online (Retail)369.8%-$0.10
#14Silvergate Cap Corp Cl AOther (Finance/Banks)367.1%N/A
#15Schrodinger IncMedical (Service)365.8%$0.05
#16Fate Therapeutics IncMedical (Biotech)364.6%-$0.68
#17Bilibili Inc Cl Z AdsTech/Online (Leisure)360.4%-$0.45
#18Inari Medical IncMedical (Service)359.4%N/A
#19Alx Oncology Holding IncMedical (Biotech)353.7%N/A
#20Cloudflare Inc Cl ATech/Online (Software)345.4%-$0.09

Zoom comes out on top with $0.66 in earnings per share. This is likely a result of society’s increased reliance on its videoconferencing capabilities, a trend that became clear quite early on last year.

Notable Stocks by Category

If we look at the overall categories, the medical industry pulled in nine of the top 20 stocks in 2020. As the world scrambled to develop an immunization against COVID-19, Moderna was one of the first companies to get there, announcing a vaccine with 94.1% efficacy. As a result, the company showed an impressive 434% in returns.

The Tech/Online category came in second, although slightly more diversification is found here, ranging from software to retail and leisure:

  • In the growing global gig economy, Fiverr’s platform connects freelancers with those in need of their services.
  • Peloton is tapping into the lucrative home fitness market, particularly with people now spending more time at home.
  • Sea Ltd. is a Southeast Asian conglomerate with business verticals across ecommerce, online gaming, and digital payments.

One final interesting observation is that of the stocks in the Other category, two of them deal in the business of solar energy, exhibiting high returns and similar EPS values, likely from a global shift towards cleaner energy sources.

Where does this data come from?

Source: 2020 Price Return (% Change) values are from Investors Business Daily
EPS values come from Macrotrends, the latest data reported by all companies is from Q3’2020.
Methodology: All stocks on the list have an average daily trading volume of 100,000 shares or more and were priced at $12 or higher at the start of the year. Closed-end funds were excluded. Prices and other data shown are as of Dec. 31, 2020. N/A means that EPS data for that company was unavailable.

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Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

Developing countries are creating wealth like never before, but the majority of the world’s ultra-wealthy people still live in the United States.

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The Briefing

  • According to Credit Suisse, there are now 218,200 people globally with assets over $50 million.
  • The majority (53%) of the world’s ultra-wealthy people live in the U.S.

Top 20 Countries With the Most Ultra-Wealthy Individuals

New data from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report shows that there was an “explosion of wealth” last year.

The global population of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) grew by 46,000 to a record of 218,200. The report notes that UHNWIs benefited from a surge in the value of financial assets last year.

These increases are more than double the increases recorded in any other year this century. – Global Wealth Report 2022

The majority of ultra-wealthy individuals already reside in the United States, but 2021 saw a staggering increase of 30,470 people bring added to this exclusive ultra-wealthy category in the country.

Country/regionNet Worth of $50–$100MNet Worth of $100M–$500MNet Worth of $500M+
🇺🇸 United States103,66935,7401,726
🇨🇳 China20,01311,4111,282
🇩🇪 Germany6,0523,354318
🇨🇦 Canada3,4721,912123
🇮🇳 India3,0241,750210
🇯🇵 Japan3,3731,41188
🇫🇷 France3,2371,31485
🇦🇺 Australia2,9471,576109
🇬🇧 United Kingdom2,7871,278110
🇮🇹 Italy2,5741,253103
🇰🇷 South Korea2,4501,319117
🇷🇺 Russia2,1341,488253
🇨🇭 Switzerland2,11598792
🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR1,7901,139127
🇸🇪 Sweden1,8661,01976
🇹🇼 Taiwan1,87491293
🇪🇸 Spain1,50966651
🇧🇷 Brazil1,23874995
🇸🇬 Singapore97457073
🇳🇱 Netherlands1,10047128

China and India will likely see their ultra-wealthy populations increase dramatically, but still have a long way to go before catching up to the United States.

The biggest increases, aside from the U.S., were China (5,200), Germany (1,750), Canada (1,610), and Australia (1,350).

Decreases in UHNWI populations were more rare, but did occur in a few cases. United Kingdom (-1,130), Turkey (-330), and Hong Kong SAR (-130) saw the biggest drops.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2022

Data note: All amounts in USD

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Recent research provides insight into the top cyberattacks that businesses faced in 2021. See the results in this infographic.

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Ranked: The Top Cyberattacks Against Businesses

Cyberattacks hit a record high in 2021, continuing the momentum that had developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. One reason for this increase is the shift to remote work, which has opened up new vulnerabilities. Home networks are typically less secure, and the rapid rise in the use of online services means security is falling behind.

In this graphic sponsored by Global X ETFs, we’ve visualized survey results showing the 10 most successful types of cyberattacks in 2021.

The Results

These results are from a 2021 whitepaper by Osterman Research, a market research firm focused on cybersecurity. They surveyed 130 cybersecurity professionals from mid and large-sized organizations to see which types of attacks were the most prominent.

Type of AttackPercentage of respondents (%)
Business email attack was successful in tricking a lower-level employee53%
Phishing message resulted in a malware infection49%
Phishing message resulted in an account being compromised47%
Domain name was spoofed to perpetrate phishing campaigns38%
Ransomware was detected before it could be activated34%
Business email attack was successful in tricking a senior executive28%
Domain name impersonation resulted in a third-party being compromised16%
Phishing message resulted in a ransomware infection14%
A ransomware attack was successfully launched10%
A ransomware attack rendered internal IT systems non-operational10%

Source: Osterman Research (2021)

The report notes that these figures may be understated because organizations are likely to downplay their security incidents. Organizations may also lack the capability to detect all types of cyberattacks.

The Impact of Phishing Attacks

Phishing refers to an attack where the perpetrator pretends to be a trusted entity. These attacks can be carried out over email, text message (SMS), and even social media apps. The goal is often to trick the victim into opening a malicious link.

According to the whitepaper, opening malicious links can result in credential theft or ransomware infections. Credential theft is when attackers gain access to internal systems. This is incredibly dangerous, as it allows attackers to commit fraud, impersonate company officials, and steal data.

A powerful tool for preventing credential theft is multi-factor authentication (MFA). This method requires users to provide multiple verification factors to access a resource (instead of a single password).

The Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack that involves blackmail, often for financial gain. For ransomware to be successfully planted, attackers must first gain access to a company’s networks.

Access can be gained through phishing, as discussed above, or alternate means such as compromised software updates. One such attack impacted over 57,000 Asus laptop owners in Russia after hackers created a malicious update tool on an official Asus server.

Cybercriminals have become increasingly ruthless in how ransomware attacks are executed.
– Osterman Research

Researchers have warned that ransomware attacks are becoming more dangerous and sophisticated. In addition to locking organizations out from core systems, hackers are also stealing data to increase their leverage. If a ransom is not paid, the stolen data may be published or even sold to the highest bidder.

Under Siege

The rising frequency and sophistication of cybercriminal activity is a major threat to the world.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Risks Report, ransomware attacks have increased by 435% since 2020. Furthermore, there is an estimated shortage of 3 million cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

To catch up, businesses and governments are expected to increase their spending on cybersecurity over the next several years.

The Global X Cybersecurity ETF is a passively managed solution that can be used to gain exposure to the rising adoption of cybersecurity technologies. Click the link to learn more.

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