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6 big stocks devour Apple!

Matt Krantz
Apple tops $700 billion

Apple just nailed it—and became the first $700 billion U.S. company. But there are less obvious stocks doing even better.

There are six stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500, including video-game maker Electronic Arts, telecom Frontier Communications and grocery store chain Kroger that have outperformed Apple in terms of stock-price gains, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ. These are the only stocks in the S&P 500 that have generated price gains that exceeded Apple's both this year so far and over the past 12 months.

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The fact there are are just six stocks that have beaten Apple tells you just how staggering the Apple stock run as been. Shares of Apple have risen 10.5% already this year bringing the gain to 61.5% over the past 12 months.

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But investors that have strayed a little from the Apple cart have found some big wins. The stock that's beaten Apple by the widest margin over the past year is Electronic Arts. Shares of the video-game maker are up 104% over the past year and nearly 17% already this year. Not bad for a company that critics said would be wiped out due to the proliferation of low-quality games downloaded to smartphones. The company reported net income of $847 million during the twelve months ended December. That's a remarkable turnaround from the $36 million the company lost during the same period a year ago.

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Frontier Communications is another stock that makes Apple look like it's sitting still. The Connecticut-based provider of telecom services is up 24% already this year bringing its one-year gain to 82%. But it's doing even better than that – since on top of the stock gains – Frontier pays a dividend yield on 5.2%. Compare that with the relatively paltry 1.6% yield at Apple.

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Could these stocks keep up their amazing run? Don't necessarily count on that. Analysts' average 18-month price targets are below current stock prices for four of the six Apple-beaters. If these price targets are right, several of these stocks are ahead of themselves.

But people said that about Apple, too, and look at that stock $700 billion later.

Stocks apple CHART 150211 EC

Company 1-year % Ch. YTD % Ch. Upside to Wall St. tgt.
Electronic Arts103.70%16.50%0.20%
Frontier Comms.82.30%23.80%-10.40%