Top Performing Stocks Over the Last 35+Years

The stock market is vast and the possibilities are endless. For example, just consider the many ups and downs over the last 35+ years. There have been huge success stories both individually and for the stock market as whole. On the flip side, there have been huge crashes for the entire market, as well as for many individual stocks. One thing is for sure with the stock market; there are no guarantees. Of course, there are some big names that have been doing well for years, along with some other names that might not receive the same notoriety as some of the bigger named companies, but their success is just as real.

Publicly Traded Since 1980

M&T Bank Corporation released a very interesting table recently, whichdetails the best performing stocks since 1980. To clarify, this table does not include any stocks that have gone public since 1980; so many of the best performing stocks in the last 37 years do not appear on the list. It does however take into account all 567 U.S.-based stocks that have been publicly traded since that year. While some of the names on the list will not surprise anyone, there are some others that could make you look twice.

Who Leads the Way?

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at who made the list.

Rank Company Name Industry Annual Return

Rank Company Name Industry Annual Return
1 Eaton Vance Corp. Financials 23.3
2 TJX Companies Inc. Consumer Discretionary 23
3 Hasbro, Inc. Consumer Discretionary 22.2
4 Stryker Corporation Healthcare 22
5 L Brands, Inc. Consumer Discretionary 20.8
6 Progressive Corporation Financials 20.8
7 Valspar Corporation Materials 20.7
8 Mylan N.V. Healthcare 20.0
9 Gap, Inc. Consumer Discretionary 19.9
10 Danaher Corporation Healthcare 19.8
11 vWal-Mart Stores, Inc. Consumer Staples 19.7
12 State Street Corporation Financials 19.6
13 Sherwin-Williams Company Materials 19.6
14 Equifax Inc. Industrials 19.6
15 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Financials 19.6
16 M&T Bank Corporation Financials 18.9
17 Robert Half International Inc. Industrials 18.9
18 Constellation Brands, Inc. Class B Consumer Staples 18.7
19 Graco Inc. Industrials 18.7
20 Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Consumer Discretionary 18.7
21 Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Consumer Staples 18.6
22 Aflac Incorporated Financials 18.6
23 Flowers Foods, Inc. Consumer Staples 18.5
24 Astronics Corporation Industrials 18.4
25 Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Consumer Staples 18.3
26 V.F. Corporation Consumer Discretionary 18.0
27 RLI Corp. Financials 17.9
28 Applied Materials, Inc. Information Technology 17.9
29 Raven Industries, Inc. Industrials 17.9
30 HollyFrontier Corporation Energy 17.8

Interesting Facts
You can make several observations from this list, and each person might find different points of interest. Here are just a couple.Berkshire Hathaway, which is led by one of the world’s richest men, Warren Buffett, had to settle for number 15 on the list, and it trailed three other stocks in the financials sector. Meantime, financial stocks dominate the list, with seven different entries. Industrials and consumer stocks are also very common on the list, while only two materials companies made the top 30