The 25 Most Battered Blue Chip Stocks by Ben Taylor, Find The Company
The first month of 2016 trading brought some distinct highs and lows. Verizon stock climbed 11 percent after the company reported strong quarterly results. Macy’s — which saw its stock drop significantly in 2015 — also got off to a great start in 2016. Hedge fund manager Jeff Smith said the stock was undervalued, and speculated the company’s massive real estate holdings could be spun off. The stock jumped 12 percent in the first few weeks of the year.
But the success of the two companies has been the exception, not the rule. On the whole, the market is down, with nearly 75 percent of the S&P 500 in the red since the new year.
With this in mind, the data geeks at FindTheCompany turned to FinancialContent and Zacks Investment Research to find out which big companies have been hit the hardest. Specifically, we set out to find the 25 most battered blue chip stocks in the opening weeks of 2016. So-called blue chip stocks are typically stable and high quality — they tend to represent companies with a long history of consistent earnings. As such, it’s particularly notable when a blue chip stock takes a double-digit hit in just over a month of trading.
For our purposes, we looked at all the components of the S&P 500, then ranked the list by percent change from January 4 (the first day of 2016 trading) to February 5. The 25 stocks on this list emerged as the biggest losers.
As we’ll see, energy companies dominate the list of losers. U.S. oil prices are approaching 12-year lows, and America’s biggest energy corporations are paying the price. While some analysts predict a rebound in the near future, it’s hard to say just how low the sector will go before stocks pick back up. Meanwhile, a few notable tech companies also made the list, a symptom of the industry’s volatile, month-to-month stock swings.
Note: We rounded each stock price percent change to the nearest tenth, but broke ties by looking at the nearest hundredth place, where necessary.
#25. Western Digital Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -24.1%
Ticker Symbol: WDC
The data storage company’s stock price has been falling consistently since late 2014. The declining PC market and move to cloud storage likely doesn’t help.
#24. Harman International Industries Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -24.1%
Ticker Symbol: HAR
Harman International Industries — which makes smart, connected products for automakers — weathered a spate of negative press when a former executive was charged with insider trading.
#23. Owens-Illinois Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -24.4%
Ticker Symbol: OI
While the most recent earnings report was a bit more promising, the glass and bottle manufacturer recently saw its stock hit a 12-year low after a series of poor quarterly results.
#22. Netflix Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -24.7%
Ticker Symbol: NFLX
From “Orange Is the New Black” to “Master of None,” critics have praised Netflix’s big investment in original programming. Still, the company missed its new U.S. subscriber goals, and that’s likely one thing that has investors concerned for the time being.
#21. Illumina Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -25.0%
Ticker Symbol: ILMN
Illumina missed revenue targets and saw a drop in demand for genomic research in international markets (like Japan), possibly leading to the stock decline.
#20. CF Industries Holdings Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -26.0%
Ticker Symbol: CF
The fertilizer seller has seen a drop in demand, which doesn’t help quarterly earnings. But beyond the bottom line, investors remain uncertain about the pending acquisition of overseas rival OCI, which might contribute to the shaky stock price.
#19. Qorvo Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -26.6%
Ticker Symbol: QRVO
Chip supplier Qorvo relies on big tech companies for business — particularly Apple. A recent Qualcomm deal likely spooked investors, and the stock price has fallen as a result.
Change in Stock Price: -26.6%
Ticker Symbol: WRK
With containerboard pricing dropping — and a downgrade from “buy” to “neutral” from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch — paper and packaging company WestRock has seen a significant stock drop.
#17. CBRE Group Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -27.0%
Ticker Symbol: CBG
The reasons for CBRE Group’s stock price drop aren’t entirely clear, but seem to be in line with the broader real estate investment market decline. The stock, like the market, was performing fairly well just before January.
#16. Lincoln National Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -27.1%
Ticker Symbol: LNC
After missing fourth-quarter profit forecasts, insurance and investment company Lincoln National saw its stock dip.
#15. Tesoro Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -28.8%
Ticker Symbol: TSO
Tesoro has done well for an oil and gas company, with several years of rising stock price despite the general industry decline. But the market conditions seem to have caught up with Tesoro over the last three months.
#14. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Change in Stock Price: -29.1%
Ticker Symbol: RCL
Royal Caribbean Cruises not only missed profit projections, but also had to weather the dollar’s increasing strength — problematic for a company that relies on many foreign passengers.
#13. Delphi Automotive PLC
Change in Stock Price: -29.2%
Ticker Symbol: DLPH
The United Kingdom auto parts manufacturer enjoyed a strong start to 2015, as well as a stock uptick near the end of the year. The price drop in January 2016 looks more like a regression to the mean than anything.
#12. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -29.5%
Ticker Symbol: VRTX
January wasn’t a good month for biotechnology, and Vertex — a pharmaceutical company that treats cystic fibrosis, among other diseases — likely suffered as a result.
#11. TripAdvisor Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -29.7%
Ticker Symbol: TRIP
TripAdvisor’s transition to “instant booking” is an ambitious — and potentially lucrative — move, but investors remain uneasy about the feature’s potential success. The company’s stock price appears to be down as a result.
Change in Stock Price: -29.8%
Ticker Symbol: COP
With oil prices dropping to 12-year lows, ConocoPhillips is one of many victims.
#9. BorgWarner Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -30.3%
Ticker Symbol: BWA
Another auto parts supplier, Borgwarner has suffered alongside Delphi Automotive, largely for the same reasons.
#8. Legg Mason Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -30.5%
Ticker Symbol: LM
Legg Mason’s stock price has been dropping gradually since early 2015, but a late-October revenue report seems to have accelerated the decline.
#7. Alliance Data Systems Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -31.1%
Ticker Symbol: ADS
With two recent negative revisions on earnings, it’s possible that investors got nervous with Alliance Data Systems’ stock. The company provides private-label credit cards, loyalty programs and other marketing solutions.
#6. United Rentals Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -31.9%
Ticker Symbol: URI
As the largest equipment rental company in the world, it’s likely that United Rentals suffers when equipment-heavy industries are trending down — industries like construction and energy.
Most battered blue chip stocks – #5. Marathon Oil Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -34.0%
Ticker Symbol: MRO
Add Marathon Oil to the ongoing list of energy companies hit hard by dropping oil prices.
Most battered blue chip stocks – #4. The Williams Companies Inc.
Change in Stock Price: -34.8%
Ticker Symbol: WMB
The Williams Companies — yet another energy corporation — saw its stock price rise through July 2015, despite the trend in the industry. But the all-encompassing drop has finally hit this oil powerhouse, too.
Most battered blue chip stocks – #3. Marathon Petroleum Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -37.0%
Ticker Symbol: MPC
January looks particularly awful for Marathon Petroleum Corporation (not to be confused with Marathon Oil), though the company’s stock performed well through the end of 2015, to the energy company’s credit.
Most battered blue chip stocks – #2. Ensco PLC
Change in Stock Price: -38.0%
Ticker Symbol: ESV
Ensco PLC stock tends to mirror the energy sector as a whole, with a falling stock price ever since late 2013.
Most battered blue chip stocks – #1. Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Change in Stock Price: -38.2%
Ticker Symbol: CHK
It’s no surprise the second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S. (behind ExxonMobil) tops the list of battered stocks, a standard bearer for the energy industry as a whole. ExxonMobil is insulated by its financial might and downstream divisions (ex: retail, as opposed to oil drilling), but Chesapeake doesn’t have that luxury.