Study rates NH stocks among the best

Average annual return is almost double national average

How have the public companies based in New Hampshire performed since the recession compared to those in other states? Among the best, at least when compared to similarly sized small cap stocks, according to a report by personal finance technology company SmartAsset.

From January 2010 to March 2015, the stocks of eight companies headquartered in New Hampshire had an annual return of 16.5 percent, almost twice the 8.4 percent rate of small caps nationwide. At the same time, New Hampshire stocks are less volatile, 37.9 percent compared to 49.4 percent.

New Hampshire companies easily outperformed those in every other state in New England, with only firms in Iowa, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Indiana in the same class.

New Hampshire public companies also outperformed companies of all sizes, which averaged a return rate of 11.5 percent and a volatility rate of 37.2 percent.

SmartAsset only looked at public companies that were still being traded in 2015, so it left GT Advanced Technologies off its list. The Merrimack company, whose stock had been trading on the Nasdaq exchange was delisted after filing for bankruptcy in October 2014. GTAT, whose stock traded at about $5 a share in 2010, was selling for roughly 30 cents a share in March 2015.

But the stock of another Merrimack-based firm, PC Connection, received the best rating in the state, with an average annual return of 30.8 percent, and volatility of 34.5 percent, giving it a stock performance index of 51.3 percent. (Nationwide its stock ranked at 113th out of at least 1,000 companies.)

Salem-based Standex was close behind PC Connection, with a 29.3 percent return, resulting in a stock performance index of 48.6 percent, followed by Unitil with a 39.3 percent stock performance index.

Meanwhile, Nashua-based iCAD had both the lowest return rate, at 5.3 percent, and the highest volatility, at 63.8 percent, making it the lowest-performing stock in the state, with a 27.2 performance index.

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