The Biggest U.S. Stock Market Gainers of Q2 2015

u.s. stock marketPlagued with a laundry list of economic woes, ranging from a cash-strapped Greece to a looming interest rate hike, the U.S. stock market shifted to wait-and-see mode and did little in the second quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out Q2 2015 with a 0.9% loss. The S&P 500 Index ended with a 0.2% decline.

The Nasdaq Composite, however, bucked the trend and gained 1.8%, marking its 10th straight quarterly gain. The tech-heavy benchmark in Q2 logged its first records since the dot-com glory days of 2000. Those records stoked renewed interest in the Nasdaq and helped the index pull ahead of the pack.

So it isn't a great surprise the bulk of U.S. stock market winners in Q2 are Nasdaq-listed stocks.

Here's a look at the top five U.S. stock market gainers (by percent growth) in Q2, what drove their gains, and if they have the legs to run higher still.

5 Biggest U.S. Stock Market Gainers in Q2

U.S. Stock Market Winners, No. 1: Geeknet Inc. (Nasdaq: GKNT) surged a stratospheric 153.7%, or $12.08, to $19.94 in Q2. The Fairfax, Va.-based company bills itself as an "online retailer for the global geek community." Merchandise (which gamers call "loot") it offers ranges from a Han Solo mini-fridge and "Star Wars" T-shirts to Minecraft collectibles and Captain America hoodies. Sending GKNT shares soaring was GameStop Corp.'s (NYSE: GME) June 2 announcement it's buying Geeknet for $20 a share. That means Geeknet is no longer a play, but GameStop could be a winner. The company said the GKNT acquisition is expected to add an immediate $100 million-plus in annual net sales. GameStop aims to grow collectibles into a $500 million business within three years. At $44.37, GME shares are up 31.01% year to date. The median analyst rating on GME is "Strong Buy," with $48 price target, according to Zacks Investment Research.

U.S. Stock Market Winners, No. 2: Altisource Portfolio Solutions SA (Nasdaq: ASPS) shares soared 139.2% in Q2, rising $17.92 to $30.79. Altisource operates as a marketplace and transaction solutions provider for the U.S. real estate, mortgage, and consumer debt industries. Shares rose amid a string of positive U.S. stock market data showing the housing market is in recovery mode. Altisource shares, however, have taken a beating over the last year, down 72.9% amid its association with Owcen Financial Corp. (NYSE: OCN) and lawsuits over OCN's treatment of homeowners facing foreclosures. Any legal trouble will hinder its performance in Q3.

U.S. Stock Market Winners, No. 3: Ltd. ADS (NYSE: WBAI) shares rose 129.9%, or $14.02, to $24.81 in Q2. Based in Shenzhen, China, WBAI provides online sports lottery services in the People's Republic of China. WBAI rose along with the red-hot Chinese stock market, up more than 150% over the last 12 months. Shares got an additional boost in June after Tsinghua Unigroup took a 15.2% stake in the company. Investors should tread carefully here. China's stock market has recently turned cold, WBAI's net income has been deteriorating, and earnings per share growth is weak. Deutsche Bank recently downgraded shares to "Sell" from "Hold."

U.S. Stock Market Winners, No. 4: Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: SRPT) shares climbed a meteoric 129.1%, or $17.15, to $30.43 in Q2. This biopharmaceutical company focuses on the discovery and development of RNA-based therapies for rare and infectious diseases. Its lead product candidate is Eteplirsen, used for the treatment of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). In late June, SRPT completed the submission of a new drug application to U.S. regulators seeking the approval of Eteplirsen. That followed a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May to alleviate concerns about the drug. Oppenheimer just reiterated its "Outperform" rating on SRPT with a $45 price target. At $30.10, shares are up a sizzling 108.02% year to date.

U.S. Stock Market Winners, No. 5: Alliance One International Inc. (NYSE: AOI) shares jumped a whopping 117.4%, or $12.91, to $23.91 in Q2. Founded in 1904, AOI purchases, processes, packs, stores, and ships leaf tobacco for cigarette manufacturers and other consumer tobacco products worldwide. The North Carolina-based company is also involved in processing and selling flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos, which are used in international brand cigarettes. Shares popped in early June after the company reported fiscal Q4 net income of $3.8 million, up from a loss in the same period a year earlier. Goosing earnings was a deal announced in November with Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM). AOI will supply U.S. tobacco to the tobacco titan as PMI adopts a new leaf procurement model in the United States and Canada. Earnings are expected to grow 358% this year, up from 82.83%, which could juice shares. No analyst recommendation data is available.
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