Year in Review: 10 Stocks That Shot Up in 2023

Here are 10 of the best performing stocks that skyrocketed in the right direction in 2023.
Updated April 11, 2024
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As 2023 ends, the stock market has delivered a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but some clear winners stand out. The S&P 500, after a robust November, is on the cusp of all-time highs, boasting a remarkable 19% gain for the year. Within this dynamic landscape, several stocks have stood out, defying expectations and crafting their own narratives of success. Whether just starting to invest or a serious investor, let's unravel the trajectories of 10 captivating stocks that emerged as the stars of 2023 and explore the factors fueling their ascent.

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1. Affirm Holdings Inc. (AFRM)

Affirm, a prominent buy now, pay later (BNPL) service provider, has etched its success story against the backdrop of a booming BNPL landscape. Offering short-term installment loans without interest, Affirm's revenue surge of 37% and a gross merchandise value of $5.6 billion in the 2024 fiscal first quarter underscore its prowess. The overall BNPL industry is on the rise, and Affirm is at the forefront. As the go-to BNPL choice, Affirm's stock skyrocketed by a staggering 255.8%, cementing its position as a force to be reckoned with.

2. Planet Fitness (PLNT)

Everyone knows Planet Fitness — the basic, no-frills gym that costs only $10 for a basic membership. The company has expanded with a growth strategy that includes doubling its membership base at home and abroad. New gyms have popped up nationwide, and the company reported a 27% increase in revenue for the second quarter of 2023. The stock’s current 1-year earnings-per-share (EPS) increase stands at a whopping 91.7%, with a 5-year annual EPS forecast of a 197.7% increase. Looks like the $10 membership wave is here to stay.

3. Vita Coco Company, Inc. (COCO)

The popular coconut water company many love has had an astronomical rise since its initial public offering in 2021. The stock is up 97% for the year, and analysts expect higher sales in 2023 than how they closed out in 2022. These are all good signs as the company looks forward to 2024. 

4. NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)

A stock market darling for the better part of the last two years, this processing powerhouse isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Nvidia creates graphic processing units in gaming, artificial intelligence, and many other computer applications. It is one of the best-performing stocks of the last year, with an enormous 208% increase this year. Analysts predict a 5-year average EPS increase of another 112%.

5. MoonLake Immunotherapeutics (MLTX)

MoonLake Immunotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company, has emerged as a beacon of hope in inflammatory diseases. Positive mid-stage results for sonelokimab in treating hidradenitis suppurativa ignited a 97% surge in late June. The release of positive 24-month data and groundbreaking phase 2 results for treating psoriatic arthritis fueled a stellar 318.2% gain, positioning MoonLake as a rising star in biotechnology.

6. Mercado Libre (MELI)

The Argentine company based in Uruguay operates like for Latin America and operates in 18 countries. It also offers financing services, advertising, and shipping services. The stock jumped an impressive 86% this year and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace. The company also provides shipping, advertising, and financing services. Analysts expect EPS to grow 43.3% in 2024 after second-quarter profits doubled due to higher sales and user volume.

7. Symbotic Inc. (SYM)

Symbotic's trajectory in 2023 aligns with the enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in supply chain optimization. Boasting a remarkable 60% revenue growth in the fiscal fourth quarter and achieving its first-ever positive adjusted EBITDA, Symbotic has earned its stripes. With a staggering 342.9% gain, Symbotic reflects the growing enthusiasm for AI and its transformative potential in the world of logistics.

8. Golden Heaven Group Holdings Ltd. (GDHG)

Amidst the excitement, Golden Heaven, a Chinese amusement park operator, stands out as an unexpected sensation. Despite skepticism triggered by short-seller concerns in November, Golden Heaven's meteoric rise of 438.2% defies convention. The company's reported financial metrics and park traffic have raised eyebrows, but its undeniable market performance speaks volumes.

9. ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)

ImmunoGen's narrative in 2023 revolves around groundbreaking strides in cancer treatment. Positive phase 3 data for Elahere in treating platinum-resistant ovarian cancer fueled an 83% rally in May. The climax came in November with pharmaceutical giant AbbVie's planned $10.1 billion buyout at $31.26 per share, propelling IMGN to an unparalleled 491.7% year-to-date gain.

10. Carvana Co. (CVNA)

Carvana, an online used car sales platform, epitomizes the influence of social media traders in 2023. Despite lackluster business performance, the stock's short squeeze triggered by social media traders led to a 560.8% gain. The echoes of the Reddit-fueled rallies from years past reverberate, showcasing the enduring impact of collective retail investor enthusiasm.

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Bottom line: What lies ahead?

As we bid farewell to the whirlwind of 2023, some clear themes emerge amongst the winners. You may be able to build wealth by investing in software that supports artificial intelligence and biotech/pharma. Companies that offer cost-effective and efficient services are highly favored in a high-interest-rate-high-price-environment. While many companies still say they will delay going public, the stock market looks to have multiple strong segments to consider investing in 2024 and beyond. 


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Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.