Investing

The Worst Performing Large Stocks of 2014

Jon C. Ogg

With 2014 another strong year for stocks, and with the bull market nearing six years old, investors have to be wondering what to expect in 2015. Many stocks have risen 50%, 100% and even higher. Then there are the dogs as well — many large and well-known companies have seen their stocks get cut by more than half.

24/7 Wall St. wanted to evaluate he prospects for the companies that have fallen by more than half. While we tried to keep a $5 billion floor, the reality is that the drops were severe enough in some of these companies that they fell under a $5 billion market cap. Will that continue in 2015?

It should be unsurprising that many of these biggest losers, even among mid-cap and large-cap stocks, are either tied to oil and gas or they were American depositary shares (ADSs) of companies that are either Russian or have large exposure to Russia. Other large losers are ADSs tied to other emerging markets that have been under pressure.

Furthermore, 24/7 Wall St. has just featured the best large stocks that doubled in 2014.

VimpelCom Ltd. (NASDAQ: VIP) shares were down just over 70% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $3.67, with what appears to be a $7 billion market cap, and a 52-week range of $3.09 to $13.00. VimpelCom has exposure in far more countries than just Russia, but it is one of the top Russian telecom players — with outside markets of Italy, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Central African Republic, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada and Zimbabwe. VimpelCom’s shares have now bounced handily, but the stock is still down close to 70% from its 52-week high. We could spend time analyzing it, but as goes Russia’s stock market and currency, so goes VimpelCom. Mobile Telesystems is effectively in the same boat and was not covered due to investors treating them largely the same.

ALSO READ: How the US Is Hurting Oil, and Why It Will Rise in 2015

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: NUS) shares were down 70% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $39.51. Analysts have a consensus price target of $55.43. The stock has a 52-week range of $38.12 to $140.50 and a market cap of $2 billion. Nu Skin may have China to thank for much of its woes. Investors who see a stock fall from $140 to $40 are understandably unforgiving. Despite growth in prior years, 2014 revenue was projected to be down almost 20%, with another drop of about 1% more in sales in 2015. Its high yield of 3% is high only due to a massive stock drop. Being valued at an expected 10 times earnings sounds cheap, as long as you know that is due to no growth expected. Deutsche Bank has reportedly given it a favorable view recently and valuation based on new products for Asia.

Seadrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL) shares were down about 68% so far in 2014, at the most recent close of $12.16. The stock has a consensus price target of $22.71 and a 52-week range of $10.55 to $41.29. Seadrill was the first of the offshore drillers to come clean with a suspension of its dividend. To show just how sensitive this was, the former dividend would generate a yield of 35% or so now if it was still being paid. As goes oil’s price, so goes Seadrill — or so everyone hopes. The company has a market cap of nearly $6 billion.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was down a sharp 65% year-to-date at Wednesday’s close of $32.11. Analysts have a consensus price target of $45.10, but the 52-week range is $27.46 to $97.28. Despite the drop, it still has a market cap of over $3 billion. 3D Systems was supposed to be the leader in the 3D printing boom. Revenues are still expected be up 30% in 2014 and 2015, but the reality is that valuations just could not be sustained. The question is if 30 times expected 2015 earnings is “cheap enough” for a high-growth stock that is now a former high-flyer that crashed and burned.

ALSO READ: The 7 Worst Investments of 2014

National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) was last seen down 64% in 2014, as of Wednesday’s close at $1.99. This Greek bank stock supposedly has a consensus price target of $3.94, but we would be leery of any hard numbers based on analysts valuing the stock in New York and in Greece. With a 52-week range of $1.76 to $5.98, NBG has a market cap of almost $7 billion. What can be said about NBG other than that it is the only major Greek bank to be listed on a primary exchange in the United States? Greece seems to be the perpetual battleground nation of the PIIGS, with the least certain future in the euro. New elections being called prematurely was the latest issue to suck these shares lower, but the reality is that Greece could just keep doing this over and over.