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It was a mixed year on Wall Street, but some big tech stocks performed well. Photo: Shutterstock
It was a mixed year on Wall Street, but some big tech stocks performed well. Photo: Shutterstock

It was a mixed year on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were relatively flat for the year, with each falling slightly. The S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent, and the Dow was off 2.2 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, however, was a bright spot as large tech titans surged, most notably: Amazon.com.

The Seattle online retailer and cloud computing powerhouse — whose CEO Jeff Bezos speaks of the company’s long-term thinking and willingness to be “misunderstood” for long periods of time — was a Wall Street darling in 2015. The stock soared 117 percent during the year.

Of the 22 tech stocks tracked by GeekWire, 12 showed positive gains in 2015.

Alder BioPharmaceuticals (ALDR)

The Bothell biotechnology company went public in May of 2014, pricing at $10 per share in the IPO. Alder is working on a rheumatoid arthritis drug, as well as treatments for migraines.

2015 close: $33.03, up 13.5 percent on the year. $1.44 billion market value.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon was in the news a lot in 2015
Jeff Bezos of Amazon was in the news a lot in 2015

Amazon.com (AMZN)

Amazon was everywhere in 2015, expanding into nearly every industry imaginable: delivery, devices, entertainment and more. In 2014, Amazon’s stock lost 22 percent of its value, but the company soared like no other in 2015 as Jeff Bezos and crew established themselves as perhaps the most dominant (and feared) tech company on the planet.

2015 close: $675.89, up 117 percent. $316 billion market value.

Blucora (BCOR)

The Bellevue company, formerly known as InfoSpace, cut its InfoSpace workforce by 10 percent in August 2015 and then two months later announced a major strategy shift in which he indicated plans to divest InfoSpace and its e-commerce business Monoprice. As part of the shift deeper into financial services, CEO Bill Ruckelshaus is expected to leave the company. All of that change sent Blucora’s stock into a tailspin.

2015 close: $9.80, down 29 percent. $401 million market value.

Blue Nile (NILE)

A ho-hum year for the online diamond ring retailer, which continued its experiment into physical retail.

2015 close: $37.13, up 3.1 percent. $428 million market value

Bsquare (BSQR)

Under the direction of CEO Jerry Chase, Bellevue-based Bsquare continued repositioning to ride the wave around the Internet of Things industry.

2015 close: $6.09, up 33 percent. $73 million market value.

cray-xcseriesCray (CRAY)

The Seattle supercomputer maker landed some blockbuster contracts in 2015, including a $53 million deal with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, but the stock still fell.

2015 close: $32.45, down 5.8 percent. $1.3 billion market value.

Data i/O (DAIO)

A tough year for the Redmond maker of inline production device programmers, which has been in business since 1972.

2015 close: $2.52, down 25 percent. $20 million market value.

Expedia (EXPE)

Expedia CEO Dara with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

It was a big year for the Bellevue online travel giant, which announced plans to move its headquarters to Seattle and then acquired rival Orbitz for $1.6 billion in September and then purchased HomeAway for $3.9 billion in December. Wall Street applauded the moves.

2015 close: $124.30, up 45.6 percent. $16 billion market value.

F5 Networks (FFIV)

Perhaps the strangest story of the year emerged from this quiet tech giant, whose newly-appointed CEO Manny Rivelo resigned after five months for what was described as “personal conduct matters.” Longtime CEO John McAdam returned to helm the company temporarily, but many mysteries remain about what the new year will bring for this company. Who will be the new CEO? Will F5 sell?

2015 close: $96.96, down 25.6 percent. $6.8 billion market value.

Google/Alphabet (GOOG)

googlenewlogoThough technically not headquartered in Washington state, Google’s presence in the region continues to grow with more than 1,000 employees split between Kirkland and Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. In the coming year, it will be fascinating to watch the battle for the cloud between Microsoft, Amazon and Google. The biggest move of the year? Google morphed into a new conglomerate known as Alphabet, in order to better recognize its many business interests.

2015 close: $778.01, up 44.1 percent. $528 billion market value.

Immune Design (IMDZ)

The Seattle cancer research company raised $60 million in a July 2014 IPO, pricing shares at $12. The stock is still doing better than that IPO price, though shares fell a bit in 2015.

2015 close: $20.08, down 34.7 percent. $404 million market value.

Breakout biotech company Juno Therapeutics celebrates its 2014 IPO.
Breakout biotech company Juno Therapeutics celebrates its 2014 IPO.

Juno Therapeutics (JUNO)

The high-flying Seattle biotech upstart, which went public in 2014, saw its shine fall off a bit in 2015.

2015 close: $43.97, down 15.7 percent. $4.4 billion market value.

Marchex (MCHX)

Another tough year for the Seattle online advertising company. Longtime CEO Russ Horowitz announced his departure in February.

2015 close: $3.89, down 15.2 percent. $163 million market value.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company's annual shareholders meeting. (GeekWire Photo.)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. (GeekWire Photo.)

Satya Nadella continued his transformation of the software giant. A new version of Windows was released, and new hardware products announced. Has Microsoft recovered its mojo? Many are believing again in Redmond.

2015 close: $55.48, up 19.4 percent. $443 billion market value.

Microvision (MVIS)

Shares of the maker of display technology performed well in 2015.

2015 close: $2.86, up 64.3 percent. $135 million market value.

NanoString Technologies (NSTG)

The Seattle maker of genetic research tools was relatively flat in the stock market in 2015.

2015 close: $14.71, up 5.5 percent. $286 million market value.

Outerwall (OUTR)

Redbox president Mark Horak left Outerwall in 2015 as the company's stock tumbled. (Redbox Photo)
Redbox president Mark Horak left Outerwall in 2015 as the company’s stock tumbled. (Redbox Photo)

A tough year for the maker of the Redbox and Coinstar kiosks, with the stock sinking last month after Redbox president Mark Horak announced his departure and Outerwall said that revenues were continuing to shrink amid lackluster demand for DVD rentals.

2015 close: $36.54, down 51.4 percent. $631 market value.

RealNetworks (RNWK)

Now under the direction of founder Rob Glaser, RealNetworks encountered strong headwinds in 2015. The Seattle streaming media pioneer still is struggling from an identity crisis, and Wall Street is having a tough time figuring out what the company is. In November, Real cut 10 percent of its workforce, amid the next phase in its “strategic plan.”

2015 close: $4.25, down 39.6 percent. $154 million market value.

Seattle Genetics (SGEN)

The Bothell biotech company had a strong year, with the stock surging. It also inked a $25 million licensing deal with Unum Therapeutics.

2015 close: $44.88, up 39.6 percent. $6.2 billion market value.

Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot at the Tableau Conference. (Courtesy Tableau Software.)
Tableau Software CEO Christian Chabot at the Tableau Conference. (Courtesy Tableau Software.)

Tableau Software (DATA)

The fast-growing data visualization pioneer continued to boom in 2015, and things do not appear to be slowing in 2016. CEO Christian Chabot told GeekWire last month that Tableau plans to hire as many as 1,000 new employees in 2016.

2015 close: $94.22, up 11.2 percent. $6.8 billion market value.

T-Mobile (TMUS)

T-Mobile continued to surge under CEO John Legere
T-Mobile continued to surge under CEO John Legere

Outspoken CEO John Legere continued his revitalization of the wireless carrier, and Wall Street stood up and noticed.

2015 close: $39.12, up 45.2 percent. $31.9 billion market value.

Zillow Group (ZG)

The online real estate giant closed its blockbuster acquisition of Trulia in 2015, and then went on to rejigger its corporate stock structure, creating a new corporate entity known as Zillow Group. Wall Street

2015 close: $26.04, down 21 percent. $4.15 billion market value.

Here’s a look back at the 2013 winners and losers, with Seattle-based Zillow leading the pack in 2013. And here’s a look back at the top tech stocks of 2014, with Alder BioPharmaceuticals on top.

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