The market swoons and slides from time to time. Indeed, in the last few days it has fallen significantly from its highs for the year. The S&P 500, as represented by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY), is down marginally year-to-date and off about 4% from its late April highs. Yet some stocks are still performing exceptionally well. And which sector contains the best performing stocks on the year? As unbelievable as it sounds, it's still the financials.
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Yes, even after the Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) charge sheet sent ripples through the market last week, spurring a fall in the sector of over 11% from its April highs, as measured by the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE:XLF), the top spots in the broad market are held by financials with negative annual earnings. Here are the best of them.
Strategic Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:BEE) operates as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that owns and operates upscale and luxury hotels globally. Year to date the company's stock has added more than 180%, and more than 275% in the last twelve months. The stock pays no dividend and currently has cumulative earnings for the year.
Management reports that despite the negative EPS, there has been a marked upsurge in demand for high end lodging and continued improvement is expected throughout the year.
Fords Cash Injection Closes Funding Gap
Pacific Capital Bancorp (NASDAQ:PCBC) is a California based retail banking operation that, like Strategic Hotels, offers no dividend and negative earnings. The company materially strengthened its capital position recently by way of a $500 million cash injection from Ford Financial Fund, L.P. This cash infusion was sorely needed as Pacific Capital has been struggling with massive losses since the second quarter of last year.
PCBC's shares are up over 140% since New Year's, and nearly 40% in just the last week's trade - bucking the general market's trend in emphatic fashion.
RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE:RAS) has negative EPS numbers for the year and also pays no dividend. The company is engaged in real estate management, as well as consulting and financing for the real estate industry at large. It operates as a REIT and is up better than 185% for 2010. Over one third of the company's shares are institutionally held.
Who said negative earnings have to weigh on a stock's price? Remember, the market is a forward-looking, discounter of news. What's to come is far more important than what was. (To learn more, check out How To Evaluate The Quality Of EPS.)
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