Market Returns: 2011's Worst Performing Stocks

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(Written by Rebecca Lipman. Data sourced from Bloomberg and Finviz.)

Investors know 2011 was a tough one for the markets. Between troubles at home and abroad the market jerked in every direction with no rhyme or reason.

As of December the S&P 500 had netted 0.9% — and actually lost 1% if dividends aren’t included, reportsBloomberg.


There were names who were more caught up in the bear market than others. In fact, 43 names on the S&P500 index lost more than a third of their value.

Given the extremity of the figures Bloomberg decided to analyze the S&P 500 returns as of Dec. 2 to determine which stocks were best and worst to shareholders in 2011.

Let’s take a look at 2011′s 10 worst performers and what Bloomberg has to say about them (for the year’s top performers, click here):

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1. Monster Worldwide, Inc. (MWW): Provides online employment solutions worldwide. Market cap of $993.28M. Yearly performance: -68.9%. In January the company projected disappointing estimates for 2011 earnings. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the company's sales growth to slow from 25.5% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2011 to 0.35% in 2012's first quarter.

2. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): First Solar, Inc. manufactures and sells solar modules using a thin-film semiconductor technology. Market cap of $2.76B. Yearly performance: -63.3%. Prices have fallen for solar panels as demand from Europe has slowed and Chinese producers boost output. Three U.S. solar companies, including Solyndra, declared bankruptcy in 2011.

3. Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Provides subscription based Internet services for TV shows and movies in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $3.87B. Yearly performance: -62.2%. Despite shares rising an astonishing 442% from the beginning of 2010 until July 2011, customers didn't like changes to the pricing and terms for services. The company lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter of 2011.

4. MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (WFR): Engages in the development, manufacture, and sale of silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry worldwide. Market cap of $882.70M. Yearly performance: -62%. The company faces downturns in its solar and semiconductor industries. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimate that revenue will drop 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012.

5. Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANR): Engages in the production, processing, and sale of coal in the United States. Market cap of $4.31B. Yearly performance: -59.8%. In August, executives said they would have difficulty getting planned cost savings from the addition of Massey Energy in June. In September, they warned that production would be lower than expected.

6. Bank of America Corporation (BAC): Provides banking and financial services to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, corporations, and governments primarily in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $52.76B. Yearly performance: -57.5%. Shares plunged in August after Standard & Poor's cut the U.S. government's AAA credit rating. "To deal with what Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan calls a "new normal" of less profitable retail banking, he is cutting $5 billion in annual costs, including about 30,000 jobs."

7. United States Steel Corp. (X): Produces and sells steel mill products in North America and Central Europe. Market cap of $3.73B. Yearly performance: -52.1%. "Amid uncertainty about the global economy, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the company's revenue growth to slow from 14.2 percent in 2011 to 3.2 percent in 2012."

8. American International Group, Inc. (AIG): The company operates property and casualty insurance networks worldwide and conducts activities in the U.S. life insurance and retirement services industry. Market cap of $44.37B. Yearly performance: -52%. AIG, one of the receivers of the government's big bailout, has yet to pay back most its loans. "On Nov. 4, Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche cited a "perfect storm" of tough market conditions and natural disasters that required higher insurance payouts."

9. Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. (HCBK): Operates as the bank holding company for Hudson City Savings Bank that provides a range of retail banking services. Market cap of $3.16B. Yearly performance: -52%. Low interest rates are making life difficult for this bank that specializes in jumbo mortgages. "Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimate that earnings will fall 35% in 2011, while net revenue will drop 21%."

10. Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW): Provides insurance, wealth management, investment, and financial solutions in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $3.07B. Yearly performance: -50.8%. The company saw its U.S. mortgage insurance business continue to weigh on its shares. But Citigroup analyst Colin Devine said investors were overly worried about the risk of a Genworth bankruptcy. "Insolvency is not a legitimate threat," he wrote. 



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets


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