Like horns on a bull, the numbers all pointed in the same direction – up – for shares of South Carolina’s publicly traded companies in 2013, reflecting the banner year for U.S. stocks.
Not one company in this small club ended on a down note.
A fictional $10,000 investment spread evenly across the unsanctioned Palmetto State industrial index last year would have grown to about $13,930 by the time the stock market closed the last day of the year.
This speculative grouping of 21 South Carolina-based employers is limited to those that list their shares on major stock exchanges, namely the Nasdaq and the Big Board.
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The company that posted the tiniest increase also happens to be one of the biggest publicly traded businesses in South Carolina. SCANA Corp., the Cayce-based owner of S.C. Electric & Gas, eked out a gain of less than 3 percent from wire to wire in 2013.
Also in the Midlands, fast growing SCBT, which merged last year with Charleston’s First Financial Holdings, gained 60 percent to $66.51. Hartsville-based Sonoco jumped 37 percent to $41.72. And First Community Bank in Lexington saw a 24 percent increase to $10.40.
Elsewhere around the state, investors in Rock Hill’s 3D Systems relished the fattest 2013 payoff. Shares of the fast-growing, three-dimensional printing machine maker soared 161 percent to nearly $93 last year.,
As a whole, Palmetto State stock prices rose about 39.3 percent on average last year.
That was enough to handily beat two of the three major U.S. indexes: The S&P 500 ended up 29.6 percent, for its best year since 1997, while the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average turned in its top performance since 1995 with a 26.5 percent increase.
Of course, it isn’t wise to risk hard-earned dollars in a narrow, state-focused investment strategy. But once a year it can be fun to keep score.
Staff writer Kristy Eppley Rupon contributed.