These were the 5 Best Performing S&P 500 Stocks in 2021

: MRNA | Moderna, Inc. News, Ratings, and Charts

MRNA – The benchmark S&P 500 Index surged nearly 27% in 2021. Prominent S&P 500 stocks Moderna (MRNA), Fortinet (FTNT), Devon Energy (DVN), Signature Bank (SBNY), and Marathon Oil (MRO) were the best performers in the index last year.

The benchmark S&P 500 index, which is widely seen as the best representation of the broader market, delivered a 27% return in 2021, beating Nasdaq 100 and Dow Industrial Average (DJIA). 

In fact, the S&P 500 index beat the Nasdaq 100 and DJIA indexes by the widest margin in 24 years last year. This is the sixth time in history that the S&P 500 index outperformed both the major indexes in a year.

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA), Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT), Devon Energy Corporation (DVN), Signature Bank (SBNY), and Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) emerged as the best-performing stocks in the index of 2021. Let’s discuss these stocks further in detail.

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA)

MRNA is a biotechnology company that develops therapeutics and vaccines based on messenger RNA to treat infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and auto-immune diseases. As of March 9, 2021, the company had 13 programs in clinical trials and a total of 24 development programs in six modalities.

On December 27, 2021, MRNA announced a revised supply agreement with the government of South Korea for 20 million doses of MRNA’s COVID-19 vaccine or an updated booster vaccine candidate, if authorized. MRNA expects to deliver 15 million doses in the third quarter of 2022. This supply agreement should enable MRNA to gain a wide market reach in the coming months.

For its fiscal 2021 third quarter, ended September 30, 2021, MRNA’s total revenue increased 3065% year-over-year to $4.97 billion. The company’s operating income came in at $3.56 billion, compared to a loss of $235 million in the prior-year period. Its net income came in at $3.33 billion for the quarter, versus a $233 net loss in the year-ago period. Its EPS came in at $7.70, compared to a $0.59 loss per share in the prior-year period. As of September 30, 2021, the company had $5.55 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

Analysts expect the company’s EPS to increase 1423% year-over-year to $25.93 in the fiscal year 2021, ended December 31, 2021. The consensus revenue estimate of $17.17 billion for the same fiscal year represents a 2037.7% rise from the prior-year period. MRNA’s EPS is expected to grow at a 16.8% rate per annum over the next five years. The stock gained 143.1% last year and closed yesterday’s trading session at $215.23.

It is no surprise that MRNA has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our POWR Ratings system. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 distinct factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

The stock has an A grade for Quality, and a B grade for Growth and Value. Click here to see the additional ratings for MRNA’s Stability, Sentiment, and Momentum. MRNA is ranked #27 of 473 stocks in the Biotech industry.

Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT)

FTNT provides broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions and offers security subscription, technical support, professional and training services worldwide. The company sells its security solutions to channel partners and directly to various customers in telecommunications, technology, financial services, education, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.

In an announcement dated December 20, 2021, seven service providers – Convergia, Eastern Communications, Halo Global, Lintasarta, Ooredoo Qatar, PLDT, and Transtelco – have added FTNT’s Fortinet Secure SD-WAN to their managed service portfolios. FTNT’s industry-leading Secure SD-WAN solution enables MSSPs to deliver high-value security-driven networking services to customers, improve their digital acceleration and grow their business by uniquely meeting customer needs. FTNT expects to witness a wide market reach in the coming months.

FTNT’s total revenue for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended September 30, 2021, increased 33.2% year-over-year to $867.20 million. The company’s total gross profit came in at $656 million for the quarter, representing a 28.2% year-over-year improvement. Its non-GAAP operating income came in at $223.60 million, up 25.2% from the prior-year period. FTNT’s non-GAAP net income came in at $165.90 million, up 14.1% from their year-ago period. Its non-GAAP EPS increased 12.5% year-over-year to $0.99. The company had $1.85 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2021.

The consensus EPS estimate of $3.91 for the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021, represents a 16.7% rise from the prior-year period. It surpassed the consensus EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Analysts expect FTNT’s revenue to rise 28.6% year-over-year to $3.34 billion in the same fiscal year. FTNT’s EPS is expected to grow at a rate of 16.8% per annum over the next five years. The stock gained 141.9% last year and ended yesterday’s trading session at $303.49.

FTNT’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an A grade for Quality. Click here to see the additional ratings for FTNT (Growth, Sentiment, Stability, Value, and Momentum). The stock is ranked #10 of 27 stocks in the Software – Security industry.

Devon Energy Corporation (DVN)

DVN is an independent energy company that primarily engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the U.S. It operates approximately 3,942 gross wells.

DVN’s total revenues for its fiscal 2021 third quarter, ended September 30, 2021, increased 224.8% year-over-year to $3.47 billion. The company’s non-GAAP EBITDA came in at $952 million, versus a loss of $29 million in the year-ago period. DVN’s non-GAAP net income came in at $733 million for the quarter, compared to a loss of $12 million in its year-ago period. Its non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.08, versus a $0.04 loss per share in the prior-year period. The company had $2.14 billion in cash and equivalents as of September 30, 2021.

Analysts expect the company’s EPS to be $3.38 for the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021, representing a 3855.6% rise from the prior-year period. It surpassed Street EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. The consensus revenue estimate of $11.93 billion for the same fiscal year indicates a 147.1% year-over-year improvement. DVN’s EPS is expected to grow at a rate of 25% per annum over the next five years. The stock gained 178.6% last year and closed yesterday’s trading session at $46.61.

DVN’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an A grade for Momentum, and a B grade for Growth. Click here to see the additional ratings for DVN’s Stability, Sentiment, Quality, and Value. DVN is ranked #44 of 78 stocks in the B-rated Energy – Oil & Gas industry.

Signature Bank (SBNY)

SBNY is a full-service commercial bank that serves privately owned business clients and their owners and senior managers. The bank offers business and personal banking products and services and investment, brokerage, asset management, and insurance products through its Signature Securities Group Corp subsidiary.

SBNY’s total interest income for its fiscal 2021 first quarter, ended September 30, 2021, increased 15.4% year-over-year to $555.72 billion. The company’s pre-tax income came in at $327.02 million, up 63.8% from the prior-year period. While its net income increased 74.3% year-over-year to $241.42 million, its EPS increased 48.1% to $3.88. The company had $28.84 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2021.

The consensus EPS estimate of $14.59 for the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021, represents a 46.5% rise from the prior-year period. For the same fiscal year, analysts expect SBNY’s revenue to improve 29.3% from the prior-year period to $1.98 billion. It surpassed Street EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s EPS is expected to grow at a 6.3% rate per annum over the next five years. The stock gained 139% last year and closed yesterday’s trading session at $341.

SBNY’s POWR Ratings reflect its solid prospects. SBNY has a B grade for Momentum. In addition to the POWR Ratings grades we have just highlighted, one can see the ratings for SBNY’s Growth, Value, Stability, Quality, and Sentiment here. SBNY is ranked #49 of 52 stocks in the B-rated Northeast Regional Banks industry.

Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

MRO is an independent international energy company that engages in the exploration, production, and marketing of crude oil and condensate natural gas products, such as liquefied natural gas and methanol. It also owns and operates 32 central gathering and treating facilities, and the Sugarloaf gathering system, a 42-mile natural gas pipeline through Karnes and Atascosa Counties.

MRO’s total revenues and other income for its fiscal 2021 third quarter, ended September 30, 2021, increased 92.7% year-over-year to $1.45 billion. The company’s income from operations came in at $347 million, versus a loss of $242 million 6.84 billion, up 59.2% from the prior year. Its adjusted net income came in at $310 million, compared to a loss of $219 million in the prior-year period. Its adjusted EPS came in at $0.39, versus a $0.28 loss per share in the prior-year period. The company had $485 million in cash and equivalents as of September 30, 2021.

Analysts expect the consensus EPS estimate for the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021, to be $1.33, representing a 214.7% rise from the prior-year period. It surpassed Street EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. The consensus revenue estimate of $5.22 billion for the same fiscal year indicates a 69.2% year-over-year improvement. The stock gained 146.2% last year and ended yesterday’s trading session at $17.21.

MRO’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an A grade for Momentum, and a B grade for Growth and Quality. Click here to see the additional ratings for MRO’s Stability, Value, and Sentiment. MRO is ranked #26 of 78 stocks in the B-rated Energy – Oil & Gas industry.


MRNA shares were trading at $220.11 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $4.88 (+2.27%). Year-to-date, MRNA has declined -13.34%, versus a -1.03% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Sweta Vijayan


Sweta is an investment analyst and journalist with a special interest in finding market inefficiencies. She’s passionate about educating investors, so that they may find success in the stock market. More...


More Resources for the Stocks in this Article

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SBNYGet RatingGet RatingGet Rating
MROGet RatingGet RatingGet Rating

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