NEW YORK (
) -- The S&P 500 may be up more than 9% year-to-date, but not everything rises with the tide.
Here's a roundup of the index's
. The companies range from a video-game maker to an energy supplier, to a tire maker. Their losses ranged from 8.4% to 18.7%, as of Feb. 28.
That's a stark contrast to the average year-to-date percentage change of stocks on the Russell 3000: up 13.6%, according to a report by Bespoke on Feb. 17. Tech stocks are leading the gains with materials, consumer discretionary, industrials and energy sectors following closely behind.
The sector that's performed the worst is utilities, which on average have declined 1.6% on the Russell 3000.
Still, that's nothing compared to losses behind these stocks. Reasons for their downturns range from missed earnings results, to negative corporate announcements and poor management. Some of the names are leftover from our list of
ten worst-performing S&P stocks in January.
TheStreet Ratings puts many of the worst performing stocks on hold. However, there are a few names that analysts say may be worth a look for investors who can take a long term position. Are there bargains in the lot? Click through to the end for the worst-performing stock so far this year:
: This company produces steel and other metals like titanium and titanium alloys, nickel-based and superalloys. Rising sales helped net income more than double last quarter. However, the company estimated a weaker 2012 forecast than Wall Street was looking for. Alleghany said that it believes raw material prices will be less volatile in 2012. It thinks sales will total at least $5.7 billion this year. Analysts estimate $5.78 billion, according to FactSet.
: Shares tumbled after the company missed fourth quarter earnings estimates in January. Analysts are concerned that demand for Allegheny's product may weaken if economic growth eases. But, six out of 10 analysts have a strong buy rating on the stock, according to TheStreet Ratings.
The company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 a share in late February.
9. ENTEGY ( ( CEG))
: Entergy produces and distributes electric power. It is the second-largest nuclear generator in the U.S., and is headquartered in New Orleans, La. The company missed fourth quarter earnings and guided lower than analysts expected for the full year. Shares have declined since the turn of the New Year when the stock hit more than $73 a share. Recently, the stock was trading at $66.91.
: Most analysts (11 out of 14) have a hold rating on the stock.
"While utility earnings remain solid, the company's merchant energy business remains under considerable pressure due to a weak pricing environment," writes equity research firm J.J.B. Hilliard. "Moreover, Entergy indicated that at current sold and forward prices with its existing asset portfolio and in-the-money hedges that will roll off in the coming few years, this business is expected to deliver declining earnings over the next few years."
The firm is neutral on the stock although it notes that the company offers a "solid and above industry average 4.8% dividend yield."
For investors with a lot of patience, here's what J.J.B. Hilliard has to say: "Longer term, we still think Entergy is a well-managed company with solid long-term prospects. The company continues to generate large cash flows and expects to return $4 to $5 billion to shareholders through dividends and/or share buybacks over the next several years."
8. CONSTELLATION ENERGY ( ( CEG))
: Constellation Energy supplies power, natural gas and other energy products across the continental U.S. The company is getting bought by
, the largest nuclear plant operator in the U.S., for $8 billion. The deal, announced last year, will combine Exelon's generation fleet with Constellation's retail marketing business.
: The company reported a loss of $583.6 million in the fourth quarter and missed on profit expectations, hurt in part by restoration costs due to hurricane Irene. Revenue declined 15% year-over-year to $2.95 when Wall Street was looking for $5.89 billion. Investors will have to follow closely how Constellation is doing in its generation business and NewEnergy retail operations. The company was
downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold on Tuesday.
"Based on Exelon's current annual dividend of $2.10 per share, Constellation shareholders would receive an approximate 103% increase over the current Constellation dividend," according to a report by Standard & Poor's. "Our 12-monthtarget price of $40 is an approximate reflection of the terms of the merger agreement, based on the recent price of Exelon's shares."
According to research by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the company is already trading in line with Exelon. Its merger still needs to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, what's thought to be the biggest hurdle, and an okay from the Public Serve Commission of Maryland, has been cleared.
Company profile: Goodyear Tire, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, makes and sell tires for a number for cars, buses, mining equipment and more.
The company's strengths are robust revenue growth and earnings per share growth. However, it has a weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Its profit declined 71% in the fourth quarter and missed estimates. TheStreet
rates the stock a hold.
The company may have a tough first quarter because of weakening global demand for tires, according to analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Goodyear also got hurt from disruptions due to floods in Thailand and closure of the company's Union City plant. However, "costs in Union City will likely reverse course subsequent to 1Q12 benefiting 2Q12-4Q12 earnings by $15 million year-over-year," says KeyBanc.
The outlook is less than inspiring. KeyBanc says that Goodyear is cutting back on production because of a weak near-term outlook. Production volume may be flat to down 2% for the year.
: Frontier Communications offers voice, Internet, T.V. and other services to rural areas and small to medium sized cities.
The company reported better than expected fourth quarter results in mid-February. However, Frontier slashed its quarterly dividend by 47% to $0.10 a share. The company will be able to use its cash to de-lever as a result. But, analysts weren't expecting such a large cut.
: The greatest risk for investors is the company's deal with Verizon. According to Morningstar, the firm's acquisition of part of Verizon's fixed-line business has gone smoothly. "The firm has continued to generate solid cash flow, enabling it to support the dividend." However, it says, "the path to integration and turning around the Verizon assets remains long, though" and that meanwhile, the company has been losing access line customers.
TheStreet has a hold on this stock. Piper Jaffray is neutral on Frontier with a $5 price target. The stock is closed at $4.62 on Tuesday.
: Down 10.2%
: Exelon is a utility services holding company with subsidiaries in the energy generation and energy delivery businesses. The company still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its merger with
( CEG), which is expected to close before the first quarter of this year.
: The stock currently trades around $39 per share. Wunderlich Securities has a $45 price target and notes that it trades a discount to its peers. "Further, EXC's current 5.4% dividend yield should support the stock around $40," it writes. "The company's strong balance sheet and the dividend provide support for the stock in the very near term."
TheStreet has a
hold rating on the stock as do most analysts (11 out of 15).
: International Game Technology designs and markets electronic game equipment and online and mobile solutions for the casino gaming industry.
The stock almost reached $18 a share in mid-January before a recent downtrend. The company reported that its net income fell 33% in the most recent quarter, dragged down by fewer new North American casino openings. The results missed analysts' expectations, contributing to a sell-off.
: Gabelli & Company told investors to buy the stock and has a 2012 price target of $29, according to its report on Jan. 25. The company currently trades at $14.88. TheStreet has a hold on the stock.
3. APOLLO GROUP ( (APOL) )
: Apollo Group offers educational programs online and to colleges. The majority of the company is owned by Apollo Group and Carlyle. The stock price climbed to $58 a share in mid-January before tumbling to its current level of $44.
: The company is getting hurt by the economic environment. However, analysts at Sterne Agee say that they "believe the underlying trends are not that different from what we anticipated late last year," adding that the current year will see a trough in Apollo Group's earnings. The research firm forecasts that earnings per share will grow 10% to 15% in the long term and has a neutral rating on the stock.
Bad signs include worsening enrollment and lower revenue guidance for 2012. Investors should examine the company's fiscal second quarter report out on March 26.
: Electronic Arts is a game software and content maker. The stock has been in a downtrend since early November when shares reached $24 a share. In February, Electronic Arts announced that Eric Brown, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer, resigned.
: Wedbush has a 12-month price target of $29 on the stock, currently trading around $16.70. "Investors have been cool to the EA story for some time. We are hopeful that a change of Chief Financial Officer could lead to an improved investor relations strategy," writes the firm, which puts the company on its Best Ideas List.
1. SUPERVALU ( (SVU) )
: Supervalu is a grocery channel, operating under names like Acme, Shaw's and Farm Fresh. The stock's all time high was near $49 a share in 2007. Revenues have declined every quarter for several years.
: According to data by Bloomberg, the gap between the company's market price and average analyst price estimate as of Feb 24 is 19.6% with the average price target being $8. The stock currently trades at $6.51. Research firm R.W. Pressprich, which recommends a buy on the bonds of Supervalu, says that the company's revitalization plan will take several years to deem a success or failure. However, by its measure of debt reduction, the company has been making "substantial progress."
"In fiscal 2011, the year that ended on February 26, 2011, the Company reduced debt by $884mm. We are confident that the Company will achieve its target reduction of $500mm to $550mm for the fiscal year that will end next month," writes the firm.
TheStreet has a
sell rating on the stock with eight out of 13 analysts giving it a hold rating.
Pressprich says 2012 is "a year of transition" for the company. "The revenue line still remains challenged by a combination of factors, not the least of which is Supervalu's decision to transition its pricing model. We anticipate continued top-line pressure for the next several quarters with expense reductions and debt reductions providing the financial cushion to enable the merchandising plan to show a long-term benefit."
The revenue line still remains challenged by a combination of factors, not the least of which is Supervalu's decision to transition its pricing model. We anticipate continued top-line pressure for the next several quarters with expense reductions and debt reductions providing the financial cushion to enable the merchandising plan to show a long-term benefit.
>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Worst-Performing S&P 500 Stocks of 2012 portfolio on Stockpickr.
>>To see these stocks in action, visit the
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-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.
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