Investing

5 Top (and Bottom) Performers in 2019 Among the S&P 500

The hard-hit retail sector places two companies on the list of worst performers, and the energy sector contributes one. A struggling IT solutions provider and a medical device maker round out the year’s worst S&P 500 stocks.

Gap

Over the past five years, while the Dow has added about 60% and the S&P 500 has added almost 58%, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) has dropped about 58%. The company’s plan to spin off its Old Navy stores may have ended with the November departure of the CEO and sliding sales at what have been the company’s best-performing stores. Shares dropped by almost 31% in 2019, and the stock closed at $17.82 on Monday. At the consensus price target of $16.35, Gap is overvalued and a further correction may be coming.

DXC Technology

The two-year-old company was formed from a combination of HP’s service business and the former Computer Sciences Corp. DXC Technology Co. (NYSE: DXC) shares plummeted in August following a lackluster earnings report and even the appointment of a new CEO a month later didn’t change investors’ outlook much. Shares are down 31.2% in 2019, and the stock closed at $36.58 on Monday. The price target of $38.50 implies an upside of 5.2%.

Occidental Petroleum

Earlier this year, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) spent around $57 billion in cash and stock to acquire Anadarko. The acquisition was widely panned by everyone but Warren Buffet, who kicked in $10 billion in exchange for preferred shares and an option on 80 million common shares at an option price of $62.50. Oxy’s shares have ended the year down about 34% and closed Monday at $40.70, against a price target of $49.55, implying an upside of 21.7%. Could happen if crude oil prices continue to rise.

Macy’s

The saddest story in retail this year may be the continuing collapse of Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M). The shares are down nearly 44% in 2019 and the company has lost some $19 billion in market cap since 2015. Macy’s has neither been able to differentiate itself from the mall-based crowd nor to figure out a way to draw more traffic to its mall stores. Shares closed Monday at $16.77, above the price target of $15.00. The company’s owned real estate may be worth more than its $5 billion market cap.

Abiomed

Medical device maker Abiomed Inc. (NASDAQ: ABMD) has the distinction of being the worst-performing S&P 500 stock in 2019. Shares are down 48.5% this year as the company’s heart pumps were first questioned then exonerated by the FDA, and then, in November, researchers reported that the chances of death increased when the heart pumps were used. Not only that, the Abiomed heart pump adds $15,000 to the hospital bill the researchers noted. Shares closed at $167.29 on Monday, against a price target of $226.50, implying an upside of more than 35%.