Equinix was the best-performing data center stock for 2012, more than doubling in value over the year. The 103 percent gain for Equinix was the headline in a mixed year for publicly-held companies in the data center sector, with excellent gains for some companies while some of the historic bellwethers for the industry trailed broader market indicators.
Equinix (EQIX), which provides colocation and interconnection services in major markets, benefited from its announcement that it will convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT) and issue a special dividend to shareholders when it completes the process, probably in 2014. The company also continued to show progress in its efforts to build industry-specific "ecosystems" in its data centers, which serve as connectivity hubs for key vertical markets including financial services, cloud computing, and content delivery. Equinix shares had improved by 25 percent in 2011.
Interxion (INXN) and Rackspace Hosting (RAX) each gained more than 70 percent in value during the year, reflecting ongoing interest in companies supporting the growth of cloud computing. Interxion provides data center space and interconnection services in major European markets, while Rackspace is a leading player in public cloud computing services and was the sector's top performer in 2011 .
Here's a look at the full-year performance chart for our Data Center Investor list of stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7.26 percent for 2012, while the S&P 500 finished up 13.4 percent for the year and the NASDAQ index improved by 15.91 percent.
Among the data center REITs, CoreSite Realty (COR) also recorded its second consecutive year of solid gains for its investors, with a 55 percent gain following on a 30 percent uptick in 2011. Two of the sector's historic leaders, Digital Realty Trust (DLR) and DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), trailed the market this year. Digital Realty shares gained 1.8 percent, while DuPont Fabros ticked down by 0.2 percent for the year.
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