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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Top 10 best stocks in the past 10 years

After looking at the list, a couple of things jump out at us. First, priceline (NASDAQ: PCLN ) and WisdomTree (NASDAQ: WETF ) were able to offer innovative products and services, which disrupted their industries in major ways. Learning more from Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School professor who is an expert on disruptive innovation, might be a wise resolution for all investors.
1. WisdomTree Investments (Nasdaq: WETF)Market Cap $736 Return Return is percentagechange – dividend adjusted [12/07/2002-12/07/2012] Data from CapIQ. 5,482%WisdomTree operates as an exchange-tradedfunds sponsor and asset manager. It’s now theseventh largest ETF provider, and has benefitedfrom the incredible rise of this revolutionaryand disruptive investment product.
2. NewMarket Corporation (NYSE: NEU) MarketCap $3,588 Return Return is percentagechange – dividend adjusted [12/07/2002-12/07/2012] Data from CapIQ. 5,546%Through its subsidiaries, NewMarket operatesin the petroleum additives and real estatedevelopment businesses. The company hasbeen able to grow its net income by 31% peryear over the past five years.
3. priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) Market Cap $30,760Return Return is percentage change – dividendadjusted [12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data fromCapIQ. 6,639% This disruptive online travelcompany let travelers name their own priceand that revolutionary approach led toastronomic gains for investors. This has beenone of Fool co-founder David Gardner’s biggestwinners.
4. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Market Cap $488,059Return Return is percentage change – dividendadjusted [12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data fromCapIQ. 7,097% Apple didn’t just put togetherone of the most remarkable decades of anypublic company in the world today -- it puttogether one of the most remarkable decadesby a public company in all of human history.
5. DXP Enterprises (Nasdaq: DXPE) Market Cap$654 Return Return is percentage change –dividend adjusted [12/07/2002- 12/07/2012]Data from CapIQ. 9,404% DXP is engaged inthe business of distributing maintenance,repair, and operating products, equipment andservice to industrial companies. It may soundboring, but the company has been able togrow sales from $125 million in 1996 to $807million in 2011.
6. Arabian American Development Company(NYSE: ARSD) Market Cap $178 Return Returnis percentage change – dividend adjusted[12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data from CapIQ.9,488% The company’s principal businessactivity is the manufacturing of variousspecialty petrochemical products. Itsimpressive record of earnings per share growthhas ultimately resulted in great performancefor the stock.
7. TGC Industries (Nasdaq: TGE) Market Cap $164Return Return is percentage change – dividendadjusted [12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data fromCapIQ. 9,536% TGC is engaged in thegeophysical service business of conductingthree-dimensional surveys for clients in the oiland gas business. Formerly one of BusinessWeek’s fastest-growing small companies, it sawits share price soar from 2002 to 2007.
8. Terra Nitrogen Company (NYSE: TNH) MarketCap $3,881 Return Return is percentagechange – dividend adjusted [12/07/2002-12/07/2012] Data from CapIQ. 10,155% TerraNitrogen is a limited partnership that producesnitrogen fertilizer products. The company hasbenefited tremendously from the long-termshift towards nitrogen fertilizers.
9. SBA Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: SBAC)Market Cap $8,864 Return Return ispercentage change – dividend adjusted[12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data from CapIQ.12,019% SBA owns and operates wirelesscommunication towers in theU.S., Canada, Costa Rica, and other high-growth markets. Its primary business is in siteleasing, which has allowed the company toachieve remarkable growth.
10. Monster Beverage Corp (Nasdaq: MNST)Market Cap (in millions) $9,042 ReturnReturn is percentage change – dividendadjusted [12/07/2002- 12/07/2012] Data fromCapIQ. 19,958% Formerly Hansen Natural,Monster Beverage has benefited from thegrowing demand for natural soda and energydrinks. Recent growth has

Secondly, boring, old energy and materials companies were well-represented on the list. This might be a good thing to remember the next time a shiny social networking IPO dominates the news coverage for several months.

Finally, when looking for the best stocks of the next decade, be on the lookout for meaningful trends. Some trends -- like the increasing use of the Internet for buying goods and services -- might be quite obvious. Other trends, however -- like the long-term shift to nitrogen fertilizers, which helped Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH ) make our list -- may not be so obvious.

There isn't, alas, some facile formula for finding the great stocks of the future. With discipline, imagination, and perhaps a bit of luck, it might be possible, however, to discover big winners that can turbocharge the overall returns of your portfolio.

One big question on a lot of investors' minds is whether Apple can continue its remarkable run. In our latest premium report, The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, lays out both the bull and bear cases for Apple. To get all of his latest thinking on Apple, simply

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , which ranks seventh on our list of top-performing stocks over the past decade, is one huge exception, of course. Just 10 years ago, Apple had a market cap of $5.4 billion. Today, it has the No. 1 market cap in the world, and is one of the most respected and recognizable brands around. And in just the past 10 years, the company has introduced both the iPhone and iPad, two products that have transformed our culture in countless ways.

Many of the other top stocks were indeed small and obscure, however. Eight of the companies were valued below $100 million a decade ago. And four of the companies still have market caps below $1 billion, even with the remarkable returns they were able to generate over the past decade.
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