The Best Performing Stocks in 2022 (So Far)

The global stock market has endured heightened volatility for a while now, starting with the pandemic-induced sell-offs in March 2020 and continuing through record highs in the middle of 2021.

Global stocks have also experienced a rocky start to 2022, with the S&P 500 alone having depreciated by 7.4% since January. Many stocks are also struggling with increased costs and reduced earnings as the year progresses, placing their margins under increased and sustained pressure.

Popular options such as retail stocks are also being undermined by lower sales and reduced consumer confidence, and this trend shows no sign of abating anytime soon.

With this in mind, building a viable and profitable stock portfolio remains particularly challenging in the current climate. However, we can still address the best performing stocks of 2022 so far while highlighting those that may offer further value throughout the year.

The Best Performing Stocks in 2022 So Far

Let’s start by taking a look at the stocks that have performed particularly well through 2022 so far, and it should come as no surprise that the top three is entirely comprised of oil, gas and energy firms.

After all, firms within the energy sector have continued to benefit from disproportionately high oil and gas prices through 2022.

This trend has been accelerated by the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, during which time wholesale gas prices have more than doubled. So, here’s the top three performing equities in 2022 to date:

#3. RPC Inc. (RES)

RPC is an established oil and gas equipment company, and one that also provides a broad range of related energy services.

Unsurprisingly, RPC shares have trended steadily higher through Q1 in 2022, thanks largely to an increase in crude oil prices that have rocketed to their highest levels since the beginning of 2008.

These initial price hikes were followed by RPC’s latest revenue report at the end of January, which saw the brand record 80.5% earnings growth in Q4 2021. RPC is also expected to report sustained growth for much of 2022, thanks largely to increased activity levels and additional price increases through October at least.

To this end, the US rig count has already soared from 253 to 670 during the past 12 months alone, and when combined with soaring prices, have sent RPC shares 135% higher when compared to the same time last year.

#2. Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU)

The Peabody Energy Corp. has been rising steadily for more than a year now, recording 72% revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2021.

These increased earnings helped to complete something of a turnaround for what’s established as the world’s largest pure-play coal producer, which had yielded a $129 million net loss just 12 months previously.

As earnings soared, however, the corporation ended 2021 with a healthy net profit of $513 million in Q4, and it has continued this impressive growth trend through the first three months of 2022.

Current and future growth is also being underpinned by the raw price of coal, which has increased from 120.00 on January 3rd to 320.00 on April 12th. This equates to growth of more than 150% during a 13-week period, and this trend shows no sign of abating any time soon.

Over the course of the year, BTU stock is up 143.5% to date, making it an increasingly popular option among investors in 2022.

#1. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX)

Last, but not least, is NexTier Oilfield Solutions (NEX), which deals primarily in energy services and has also benefited from rising gas and oil prices in 2022.

Following updated and improved financial guidance issued in Q4 of 2021 (in the form of 25% quarterly revenue growth), the corporation’s stock climbed by 20% in January.

NexTier then reported 30% revenue growth in February, while projecting total revenue of between $330 million and $360 million by the end of the year (before interest).

Over the course of 2022 so far, NEX stock is up by an impressive 160.2%, making it this year’s best performing equity to date and a viable option for investors who want to buy in before the share price becomes too prohibitive.

What Other Stocks May Offer Value in 2022?

Of course, there are many reasons why investors may not want to invest in energy stocks. Some may be ethical investors, for example, who want to avoid assets involved with fossil fuels or those that are seeing their value increase on the back of armed conflict.

What’s more, it’s not certain that the recent growth of energy companies will be sustained indefinitely through 2022, despite the inability of governments to redress soaring gas prices and the unlikely nature of a ceasefire being agreed in Ukraine.

So, we’ve outlined some alternative stocks that may offer value through the remainder of the year, across a slightly broader range of markets. These include:

  • #1. Etsy Inc. (ETSY): Many viewed ecommerce craft brand ETSY purely as a pandemic stock buy, after its share price gained 300% through 2020 amid soaring demand. While the ETSY price may have declined from a 2021 peak of $279.53 on November 23rd to $114.25 on April 12th, it now arguably offers considerably greater value in relation to earnings and as a buy-and-hold investment. Remember, this brand also has a market opportunity in the billions, and it has only recently begun to scratch the surface in this respect.
  • #2. Pinterest (PINS): On a similar note, Pinterest may also offer considerable long-term value to investors following a difficult start to 2022. Despite losing 37% in share value since the beginning of the year and remaining 74% down on its 52-week high, PINS recently recorded a marked increase in the average revenue per user (ARPU) to the tune of 36%. This hints at increased monetisation through the site, and when combined with heightened international growth, suggests that Pinterest could be a viable target for investors across the board.
  • #3. MercadoLibre (OKOE): MercadoLibre is best known as the Amazon of Latin America, as it’s established as the market leading ecommerce space in the region. However, the company has a number of additional strings to its bow, operating a fast-growing payments platform (Mercado Pago), logistics services and a business lending service. This helps to support a consistent share price above $1,000, and while its value depreciated in March, OKOE has already rebounded to reach $1,150 as of April 12th.

The Bottom Line

As we can see, there are always ways to profit when investing in the stock market, regardless of the prevailing conditions or the impact of the wider macroeconomic climate.

2022 is no exception, with social and ecommerce platforms following in the wake of thriving energy stocks to offer considerable value to investors across the globe. Hospitality and leisure firms are also rebounding in 2022, after many saw their share prices plummet during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re unsure of which individual stocks to invest in this year, however, a solution may be found in index mutual and exchange-traded funds. These bundle related stocks together in a single fund, creating instant diversification across different countries and market sectors.

Investing in index funds is also relatively low cost and helps to minimise your exposure to risk, while enabling you to speculate on price movements and profit even as target markets or industries depreciate.

This is a recommended course of action if you’re new to the stock market, which is deceptively volatile and difficult to master when looking to back single equities.