In 1999, an obscure Cayman-Islands based realty firm refashioned itself into Xcelera.com, a dot-com holding company. The stock immediately skyrocketed--to a peak value near $12 billion (in Mar. '00).
The magnitude of this runup is truly staggering, and perhaps unparalleled. In articles such as NY Observer journalist Christopher Byron wrote [boldface added] "...Xcelera’s stock price soared from 30 cents per share to $223 per share--which is to say, rose by more than 74,000 percent in value--which is, I would suspect, the "greatest one-year rise of any exchange-listed stock in the history of Wall Street."1
To illustrate, a lucky shareholder with an initial $100 investment would have seen that amount quickly balloon to $74,000!
Commentary from analysts and writers (including a Microsoft MoneyCentral journalist owning shares) helped propel this mania. This also came amidst a market fervor for all things dot-com, partly fueled by investment banks routinely recommending lousy stocks (in order to boost banking revenue).
However, I challenged popular sentiment by arguing the stock was dangerously overhyped, as detailed in this 3-page stock analyst report and 1-page newswire.
I was promptly deluged with hate emails, nearly 100 of them, many from frenzied daytraders seeking quick riches (as opposed to investors with a long-term view). This was documented in "Stock Rage"--a feature story in Individual Investor Magazine--as well as a goofy hate mail wall I created.