Today I look at the top performing FTSE 100 stocks from a one, three and five year perspective.  There’s no doubt the results throw up a few surprises.  Does your portfolio contain any of these stocks?

One year top performers

Over the last 12 months, the best performing stocks have been Fresnillo (+95%), Randgold Resources Limited (+66%), Paddy Power Betfair (+60%), Admiral Group (+46%) and Mediclinic International (+43%).

This is certainly a diverse selection of stocks and there’s every chance that investors who own a portfolio of ‘mainstream’ popular stocks might not own any of these stocks.

Fresnillo and Randgold Resources produce silver and gold, respectively, and their share prices have clearly been boosted by the market uncertainty over the last year. Indeed, on the back of the EU referendum result on Friday, Randgold spiked 28% higher, while Fresnillo jumped 12%.

Paddy Power Betfair has steamed ahead after the merger, while Admiral Group has enjoyed strong momentum after lifting its dividend by 16% for FY2015.

Mediclinic International has likely gone under the radar for many investors since joining the FTSE 100 in March. But with revenues forecast to power ahead over the next two years, it’s no surprise this stock is on the top performer’s list.

Three year stars

On a three year view, the best performing stocks on an annualised basis have been Hikma Pharmaceuticals (+37%pa) , DCC (+37%pa), Mediclinic International (+35%pa), London Stock Exchange Group (+30%pa) and Shire (+28%pa).

Once again, several of these stocks are not mainstream ones. Furthermore, many have been promoted into the FTSE 100 quite recently, which illustrates the importance of looking outside the FTSE 100 when looking for growth opportunities.

Headquartered in Jordan, Hikma joined the FTSE 100 for the first time last year, before being demoted from the index in March and then re-entering the index earlier this month. The company has an excellent record of generating strong shareholder returns and could certainly provide an alternative to the larger slow-burning healthcare stocks such as GlaxoSmithKline.

International sales, marketing, distribution and business support services group DCC has seen strong earnings growth in the last few years and the company’s promotion to the FTSE 100 in December last year has clearly generated extra interest in the stock.

London Stock Exchange Group jumped after acquisition interest from Deutsche Bourse earlier this year, although this merger may clearly face challenges after the recent Brexit vote.

Shire makes the ‘three year best performing’ list despite the company’s share price falling from over 5,700p in August last year to 4,100p today.

Five years champions

Lastly, over a five year period, the top performing stocks on an annualised basis are Ashtead Group (+47%pa), Barratt Developments (+34%pa), easyJet (+34%pa), Taylor Wimpey (+34%) and Persimmon (+33%pa).

There’s a clear theme here, with property development stocks taking three of the top five positions, even after all three companies were hit heavily on Friday after the EU referendum result.

International equipment rental group Ashtead claims the top spot after enjoying fantastic growth in earnings over the last five years, although it was starting from a low base after the Global Financial Crisis.

EasyJet joins makes the top five after seeing earnings rise dramatically in the last five years.  

Could this growth stock make the list?

Overall, there's no doubt that the top performing stocks over the three time periods are quite diverse. It shows that if you're looking for growth stocks, it pays to look outside the mainstream popular stocks such as Lloyds Banking Group and GlaxoSmithKline.

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Edward Sheldon owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.