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CAPE TOWN- The GO banking rates on Wednesday released a list of top financial performing companies that investors should consider investing in before next year.

- FACEBOOK took a top spot with a stock price of $167.41(R 2161.65).

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Facebook is known as “the social network,” even spawning a film of the same name. The financial performance of the company has been nothing short of spectacular. In the five years since its 2012 initial public offering, Facebook has been one of the best companies to invest in and has grown into the sixth-largest company in the world when ranked by market capitalization.


-RYANAIR HOLDINGS, a budget air carrier based in Ireland with a stock price of $115.10 (R 1486.21)

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Ryanair has been a pioneer in delivering affordable, short-haul, point-to-point service to the European market. In its 2017 annual report, Ryanair reported a 6% gain in net income, a 13% gain in traffic and an 11% drop in costs.

 
-SERVICE CORP. INTERNATIONAL, with the stock price of $35.36 (R 35.36) sitting at the third position of the list.

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Service Corp. International is North America’s largest provider of death-care services, including funeral, cremation and cemetery services. Consensus earnings estimates project the company will earn $1.46 (R18.85) per share in 2017, up from $1.29 (R16.66) in 2016. The resultant 12-month consensus price target is $40.50 (R522.95) per share.


-ALIGN TECHNOLOGY is a global medical device company with industry-leading innovative products such as Invisalign clear aligners, iTero Intraoral scanners, and OrthoCAD digital services that help dental professionals achieve the clinical results they expect and deliver effective, cutting-edge dental options to their patients.

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The company’s stock price stands at $168.61 (R 2177.14).  It is said that the company’s earnings continue to skyrocket, jumping 37.1 percent year-over-year as of the second quarter of 2017. Its revenue also is up 32.3 percent over the same period.


-MACY’S (M) with the stock price of $19.49 (R 251.66).

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The one-time elite retailer took a pummeling in 2015 and again in 2017 as a result of shoppers’ changing purchasing habits and competition from online sellers such as Amazon.

The company sports a 6.36% dividend. Meanwhile, the stock is already pricing in disaster for the company, trading 57.08% below its 52-week high.
Analysts forecast next year’s earnings to grow from $3.11 (R40.16) per share in 2017 to $3.34 (R43.13) per share in 2018, reflecting 7.4% earnings growth in an industry that is expected to post a 9.6% drop in earnings.


-NORWEGIAN CRUISE (NCLH) with a stock price of $55.78 (R 720.25).

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Norwegian Cruise Line is benefiting from a change in travel trends. Cruises once were seen as a vacation for older travelers, but now the millennial market is booming as well.

Looking forward, analysts are projecting earnings growth of 19.39% for 2017 and a five-year growth rate of 24.38%, along with a 12-month price target of $64 (R826.39) per share.


-COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION (COST) with a stock price of $157.08 (R 2028.26).

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Costco has been a steady performer in the stock market until just recently. In the summer of 2017, the stock dropped on news that Amazon had bought Whole Foods. This scared some investors, who feared that the Amazon-Whole Foods combination could take market share away from Costco.

It is said that even if this eventually happens, Costco will not feel such an impact anytime soon. Analysts still have earnings projections of $5.74 (R74.12) per share for 2017, with a consensus price target of $180 (R 2324.21).

 
-CHINA LODGING GROUP, LTD. (HTHT) with the stock price of $108.79 (R 1404.73).

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-China Lodging owns 12 hotel chains in the economy and mid-level market throughout China. Earnings have exploded at China Lodging, which has beaten earnings expectations in each of the last eight quarters. Forecasted earnings are expected to jump from $1.64 (R21.18)  per share in 2016 to $3.19 (R41.19) in 2017. The stock price has been on a tear as a result of these gains.


-SALESFORCE.COM (CRM) with a stock price of $90.76 (R 1171.92).

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Salesforce.com is the world's top customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Salesforce bases its CRM in the cloud, allowing IT managers to simply log in to the platform to begin connecting with customers. The company posted stock price gains of 65.68%, 31.33%, 7.47% and 32.19% from 2012 to 2015. Following a slight drop of 12.68% in 2016, the share price has rebounded strongly, up 32.63% for 2017.


-ALPHABET (GOOGLE) with a stock price of $910.67 (R 11758.84).  
  

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Alphabet is the parent company of Google, the well-known information services company. Even as a behemoth with $26 billion (R335.3bn) in quarterly revenues in the second quarter of 2017, the company still managed to grow those revenues by 23% year-over-year on a constant currency basis.

Since trading as its own separate company, Alphabet's share price has posted gains of 44.56% in 2015 and 1.71% in 2016.

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE