CHART TOPPING

Domino’s stock has outperformed Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon this decade

It’s 2010. You’re an eager investor presented a choice between two stocks: Google or Domino’s Pizza. Where do you put your money?

You should have gone with your gut.

In an incredible feat for a pizza company, Domino’s share price growth has outperformed all of the world’s largest tech companies so far this decade. An investment in Domino’s at the start of 2010 has grown by more than 2,000% to date, leaving the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple in the dust.

In fact, since Domino’s swapped its crappy old pizza recipe for a better-tasting one in late 2009, the fast-food chain has been killing it—rising by an order of magnitude more than the overall market:

Actually, compared with every stock listed in 2010 on the NYSE or Nasdaq of a decent size—a current market cap of $1 billion or more, a universe of nearly 2,300 companies—Domino’s performance since 2010 beats all but three of them. (You can check out the top 50 at the end of this article.) The pizza chain is topped only by two medical companies (Accelerate Diagnostics and Acadia Pharmaceuticals) and Patrick Industries, a furniture and building materials group.

So what gives?

Domino’s will tell you that the answer is more complex than dough—part of a “longer story arc” of many changes and improvements from over the years. But there’s no doubt the company began its turnaround when it finally admitted to itself—and the world—that it was guilty of selling a bad product. They confessed as much in a December 2009 ad:

For years, Domino’s excelled not at high-quality pizza, but in getting low-quality pizza to customers quickly. Most of its ingredients were canned, frozen, or pre-made, making it easy to toss together a sub-par pie. But being quick only carries so much charm. The company’s pizza gained a reputation for its cardboard-like consistency, and in one taste test was described as being on par with pies served at Chuck E. Cheese. (Food prepared for eight-year-olds’ birthday parties does not set a very high bar.)

Fast-forward seven years and Domino’s has a market cap of around $9 billion, propelled by its new pizza recipe and menu items such as chicken wings and salads.

There’s only one other consumer-facing company that’s performed about as well as Domino’s in recent years, and it sort of makes sense. Think about it. What is a person most likely doing while chowing down on home-delivered pizza? Possibly binging on Netflix:

Correlation? We’ll leave that one to the financial analysts.

Top 50 NYSE/Nasdaq companies (with current market cap >$1bn) ranked by share price growth since Jan. 1, 2010:

Company Price change (%)
Patrick Industries 4,273
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals 2,717
Accelerate Diagnostics 2,676
Domino’s Pizza 2,092
GTT Communications 2,000
Netflix 1,753
Jazz Pharmaceuticals 1,728
Nexstar Media Group 1,583
Incyte Corporation 1,530
Neurocrine Biosciences 1,514
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 1,480
Ulta Beauty 1,473
Stamps.com 1,326
ABIOMED 1,316
MarketAxess Holdings 1,266
Western Alliance Bancorporation 1,244
LendingTree 1,239
Silicon Motion Technology 1,220
Taro Pharmaceutical Industries 1,178
United Rentals 1,174
Akorn 1,159
Broadcom Limited 1,110
Dycom Industries 1,050
BofI Holding 1,046
Pacific Premier Bancorp 1,045
Wabash National Corporation 1,003
Lithia Motors 998
Alaska Air Group 997
Constellation Brands (Class A) 920
8×8 920
Constellation Brands (Class B) 919
Dorman Products 919
Sinclair Broadcast Group 890
DexCom 887
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen 868
XPO Logistics 855
Texas Pacific Land Trust 839
Gray Television 820
Cognex Corporation 813
Cambrex Corporation 812
Acadia Healthcare Company 802
Sirius XM Holdings 785
Cantel Medical 771
Cirrus Logic 769
Repligen Corporation 751
Manhattan Associates 747
Middleby Corporation 746
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated 736
Charter Communications 728
China Biologic Products 727
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