CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) shares recently traded at around $12. With shares having seen lows of about $22 in late 2008, it briefly went up to $45 in late 2010. Since that time it has seen a period of endless negatives, with lower highs and lower lows. At least its new chief executive and financial officers have purchased shares at recent 20-plus-year lows. CenturyLink is still a $13 billion company. Being a communications leader isn’t always so great, and the $30-ish billion acquisition of Level 3 in 2017 has somehow not helped matters for shareholders.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) may have fared better than some rival companies in oil and gas, but this is the largest public U.S. oil and gas stock, with a current market cap of $340 billion. Its stock bottomed out around $67 in March of 2009 and went on to break under $60 by mid-2010. After briefly hitting $100 in 2013, Exxon is now at about $80. It even used $31 billion or so in stock to acquire XTO Energy in 2010 to lock up its huge position for when natural gas would be a leader again.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has been the poster child of disappointment heading into and after the Great Recession. Because it was so deeply tied into corporate and consumer finance, it was always treated like a bank running an industrial company. And the mix of the businesses changed handily under Jeff Immelt and has continued to change under two other CEOs. GE stock went under $7 in March 2009, after peaking at $40 in 2007. It was back to challenging $30 by 2015, but after a year or so the problems became much more public and much more apparent. GE shares bottomed out again around $7 in December of 2018, and they were at $9.75 on last look. GE has worth $85 billion in market value, but it was booted out of the Dow Jones industrial average and is a shell of its former self.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is not quite the same GM as it was before the Great Recession. It had to go through a government bailout in bankruptcy. After closing down lines and right-sizing its operation, GM came public again in a late 2010 initial public officer at $33 per share. Its stock initially tried to go up to $40, but it sank to $20 in 2011 and 2012 before recovering. GM has been range-bound between $30 and $40 since 2013, and it was last seen at $38.50 a share with a $54 billion market cap.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was a $130 stock in mid-2008, and the stock bottomed out at $75 in November of 2008 and was closer to $90 in March of 2009 during the V-bottom for the rest of the market. After reaching $200 in 2012 and 2013, nothing has worked. Not even getting Warren Buffett as a large holder, and not the endlessly buying back stock before abandoning that $20 in earnings per share goal. Now shares are near $137, with a $122 billion market cap. CEO Rometty has run IBM since 2012, and more than a few shareholders have to be wondering why none of the new initiatives (including a large Red Hat acquisition announcement) have managed to offset the bleed of its core IT-services operations. IBM won’t even bother to report its backlog with earnings any longer.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) has been a global leader in generic drugs for years, but it has had some missteps that have hurt long-term shareholders. Teva was close to a $45 stock around the V-bottom, and its shares did manage to rise to $70 by mid-2015. The stock was under $30 by May of 2017, and then they slid further to almost $10 before recovering. With shares at $15.75 on last look, investors who went big into Teva may have never known it was a bull market at all. Teva’s market cap is $17 billion.