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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.
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.
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.
Read More You need to see this Apple news
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.
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.