Investing: Digital Realty Best of Bleak 2008

Data Center Investor: A final look at 2008, when all 13 stocks on our list lost ground, and only Digital Realty Trust (DLR) managed to beat the Dow.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the 2008 performance of data center stocks is that it can no longer get any worse. All 13 stocks we track at the Data Center Investor showed losses for the year, with only Digital Realty Trust (DLR) outperforming the Dow (-33.8%) and S&P 500 (-38.5%). The performance list shows a clear bias toward the industry's most established players, reflecting a "flight to quality" on the part of investors in the sector. The top five performers are all known quantities with track records that predate the dot-com boom and bust.

At the other end of the spectrum are DuPont Fabros and NaviSite, two companies that have been active in the business for many years but saw their shares take a beating during the fourth quarter selloff. The board and management team at DuPont Fabros remain confident of a comeback, and have been active purchasers of the company's shares in recent weeks.

What about the fourth quarter of 2008? It's not a quarter most investors will be keen to remember, but here's a look at the chart, which shows content delivery network and interconnections providers faring the best:

Remember to track our Data Center Investor channel for performance updates on data center companies. For tracking individual stocks, you can use the "Companies" link in our navigation bar, or just type the company's ticker symbol into our search box.

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