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Hottest stocks of the year

Hot Stock Minute
Hottest stocks of the year

It was a hot year for the stock market, in general, but there were some individual stocks that really scored in 2013. If you had any of these names in your portfolio, you could have doubled or tripled your money… or better.

Netflix (NFLX) is the big winner for 2013. The stock more than quadrupled in value on the back of new original programming like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn very publically made a fortune on his Netflix (NFLX) investment. Icahn cut his stake in the company from 9.4% to 4.5% when he unloaded nearly three million shares of Netflix for a profit of more than $800 million in October. To put that in perspective, thanks to a more than 300 percent rise in the stock, if an individual investor had invested $10,000 in Netflix (NFLX) at the beginning of the year, it would be worth more than $40,000 today. Not a bad idea to invest like a billionaire.

Another big winner in 2013 is Best Buy (BBY). The stock has more than tripled from where it started the year, recovering from a couple of years of steep declines and bucking assumptions that Amazon will bury Best Buy like it has other retail chains, like Circuit City. Best Buy has become the big brick and mortar that could. Whether the steep upward trend in the stock price can continue through 2014 remains to be seen, but investors in 2013 found a bargain in Best Buy (BBY). $10,000 invested in Best Buy at the beginning of this year would now be worth about $33,000.

Micron Technologies (MU) also did investors proud this year, more than tripling its stock price. The company is one of the biggest manufacturers of memory chips in the world. Investors in (MU) will have happy memories when they recall the dramatic run-up in Micron shares in 2013. The stock started the year trading slightly above $6 per share.  It's now trading at more than $20 per share. That means a $10,000 investment in Micron to start the year would also have resulted in more than $30,000.

And who would have thought an airline would be among the biggest winners of the year? It’s a new era for the industry after a great year for the sector. Combine industry consolidation, lower fuel prices, reduced labor costs and the result is a high-flying Delta stock. Delta (DAL) shares more than doubled in 2013. All those checked baggage and change fees added up for investors in the stock. $10,000 invested with Delta in January would now be worth more than $22,000.