It's party time on Wall Street — risk is still in with investors. But if you're going to take on massive risk, you'd better at least get paid for the gamble.
That's exactly what these wild stocks have delivered: massive volatility, but also big-time gains for thrill-seeking investors. There are 16 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, including gadget memory card maker SanDisk (SNDK), industrial giant Textron (TXT) and First Solar (FSLR) that have stocks that are among the very most volatile over the past year, that have also delivered market-beating gains, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.
To make the list, the stocks needed to be among the 25 stocks with the highest betas over the past year. Beta is a statistical gauge that measures when a stock's volatility is greater than the stock market. The stocks also needed to increase in value by more than the S&P 500, 17.7%, over the past year.
Beating the market was a cakewalk for some of these turbo-charged stocks. For instance, SanDisk's beta the past year is 2.0, meaning its price movements have been twice as volatile as those of the stock market. But while SanDisk investors have gotten a ride of their life, they've at least gotten a huge reward, too. Shares of SanDisk are up 73.4% over the past year, not quite a double, but well above the nearly 18% gain of the S&P 500.