5 Companies That Destroyed Shareholders in December

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This was the last week of trading for 2015, and over the course of this year many a shareholder was stung, whether it was due to falling oil prices or a market correction. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were relatively flat on the year, but they did have their ups and downs. Much of this recent fluctuation can be attributed to the strengthening dollar, dropping oil prices and the Federal Reserve rate hike. As a result, many shareholders have taken punishment in some form, but some have been absolutely obliterated.

24/7 Wall St. has tracked four companies in which shareholders were destroyed last week. Some of these companies have seen their markets caps drop sharply.

Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) was having a rough time already, but guidance did not help matters here. All those analysts who had defended shares took it on the chin. Despite having been $90 before the end of November, the good news is that after dropping to around $50.00 the buyers came in and bought it back up off the lows. Imagine how bad its December would have been had it the buyers stayed away. Shares of Bluebird were trading at $66.05 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $129.73 and a 52-week trading range of $48.85 to $197.35. Over the course of December the stock dropped roughly 25%.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) had woes before December, but the instances of Montezuma’s revenge just got worse. This may be the maturing of a great growth company story, where the ability to deliver food under strict guidelines just gets ever harder as your footprint expands. The only good news is that Chipotle is now nearing the bottom of that suspected max-downside level. The bad news is that things have worsened, and they have not yet stabilized — so maybe the downside needs to be reevaluated. Chipotle was trading near $580.00 before the end of November, but the stock was close to $481.00 on the last day of December, down more than 16% for the month. That $758.61 high seems all but a distant memory. Shares were trading at $480.06, near the 52-week low of $479.00. The consensus price target is $574.50.


Encana Corp.

(NYSE: ECA) was last seen down roughly 40% in December. It was the victim of falling oil prices among other things. Encana announced in mid-December that it expects to close the sale of its DJ Basin assets to Crestone Peak Resources in the second quarter of 2016. Even with this sale, Encana is in desperate need of some cash to pay off its debt. More heartache could be ahead if this company can’t pull itself together. Shares were trading at $5.03. The consensus analyst price target is $9.59, and the 52-week trading range is $4.65 to $14.73.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) had to chop its dividend to deal with a more challenging time ahead. Its shares were down almost 40% in December and under $15.00 late on the last trading session of 2015. Tax-loss selling likely added some pressure here, but whether that means buying interest will arise in January remains to be seen. Kinder Morgan shares were trading at $14.88, within a 52-week range of $14.22 to $44.71. The consensus price target is $21.60.

WisdomTree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) may have fallen handily in December, but that may be a swinging shift in the currency expectations around interest rates more than anything the company has done. Wisdom Tree even will be launching new currency-hedged exchange traded funds (ETFs). This stock was trading closer to $22 at the end of November, but was under $16.00 late on the last trading day of December, down roughly 26% for the month. Shares traded at $16.08 on Thursday, with a consensus price target of $21.56 and a 52-week range of $14.09 to $26.23.