Going postal: The surprising stock that's doubled this year

Ship it!

With a 135 percent rise this year, the third-best-performing stock in the broad S&P 1500 index is an unexpected name: Stamps.com.

Investors might be surprised to hear "stamps" and "best-performing" in the same sentence. But one of the few analysts who covers the company says that the stock has little to do with the art of licking small rectangles, or with your uncle's philately hobby.

"The name is almost a misnomer at this point," Bill Sutherland of Emerging Growth Equities said in a Wednesday "Trading Nation" segment. "Today, it's focused for the most part on the e-commerce shipping world, and on some new enterprise applications, and that's really what has made the company and the stock really begin to stand out."

As Sutherland explains it, Stamps.com is really a derivative e-commerce play. After all, if you sell a tangible product over the Internet, you'll have to ship it, and Stamps.com allows you to do that simply and at a discount to U.S. Postal Service rates, since Stamps.com is one of three vendors that has an arrangement with USPS allowing it to sell discounted postage online.

It is no coincidence, then, that in the list of best year-to-date S&P 1,500 performers, Stamps.com comes just one spot above e-commerce behemoth Amazon.

The company has also bolstered its business with a series of acquisitions, most recently that of shipping technology company Endicia from Newell Rubbermaid.

Endicia "has a very strong focus in e-commerce shipping, and a much larger customer base, and that's really going to be the fuel for the story going into 2016," Sutherland said.

While the analyst says he is looking forward to more visibility around Endicia's financials, on the whole, he remains positive on the surging stock.

"I just believe that with the way trends are going, these guys have just found themselves in the right place in the right time — and they're good."

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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