5 Worst-Performing S&P 500 Stocks of 2011

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The S&P 500, the most followed benchmark for U.S. equities, has risen a paltry 1.1% this year. What's worse, the index has fallen 7.2% from its 52-week high, which was reached two months ago, though many stocks have dropped even more.

Technology has been the worst-performing sector. Semiconductor bellwether Micron ( MU) tumbled 14% June 24, following a weaker-than-expected earnings report, and Oracle ( ORCL) declined 4% as its hardware unit's sales missed analysts' estimates. With the S&P 500 trading at its cheapest level in months, the laggards merit attention.

The following five stocks have been the worst-performing S&P 500 companies so far this year. Most are selling at extremely cheap prices as fundamentals, such as sales growth, have deteriorated amid a so-called soft patch in economic growth.

Investors, concerned about these companies' future performance, have abandoned the stocks. Although their concerns may prove to be justifiable, pessimism provides an opportunity for those who think the equity market will rebound along with economic growth.

The following five stocks are worthy of consideration.

5. Tellabs ( TLAB) is a communications-equipment maker, building access products for broadband and offering network consulting services. Tellabs swung to a first-quarter adjusted loss of 3 cents a share, missing analysts' forecasts, albeit marginally. Sales dropped 15%, also missing the consensus, sending Tellabs' shares down 9% in reaction.

Tellabs is pouring money into mobile Internet research and development, boosting investment 16% in the first quarter, now equivalent to an eye-catching 25% of sales. While management is taking aggressive action, such action suggests that the current product portfolio is waning in relevance, hurting sentiment for the stock, which has now bounced up 11% from a 52-week low. Of the 23 analysts covering Tellabs, just two advise clients to purchase its stock.

Tellabs ranks as one of the worst-rated stocks in the S&P 500. It is notably cheap, selling for a book value multiple of 0.8, a sales multiple of 0.9 and a cash flow multiple of 10. But, value is no guarantee of performance. Analysts forecast a second-quarter adjusted loss of 2 cents a share and a 20% drop in sales, presenting risk. Tellabs has plummeted 35% in 2011.

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4. Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK) offers retail-banking services in New Jersey and New York. Hudson's stock has stumbled in 2011, falling 38% so far, extending last year's 7.2% decline.

Hudson suffered a first-quarter loss of $556 million as the company paid off debt. Although that was a positive move, it dampened investors' enthusiasm. Furthermore, the board cut the quarterly dividend.

Since these negatives are now behind the company, putting its business and stock on a more a sustainable upward trajectory, Hudson is attractive. Its current 8-cent quarterly distribution still translates to a 4.1% dividend yield. The stock is cheap. It trades at a forward earnings multiple of 9.5. Analysts are pessimistic, with just one rating the stock "buy." They expect a 35% dip in second-quarter earnings.

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3. Akamai Technologies ( AKAM) is a riches-to-rags story. Having soared 86% in 2010, the stock has dropped 37% in 2011. Akamai was in positive territory during January, but an industry correction and a disappointing first-quarter report walloped the shares.

Akamai, which provides products to accelerate and improve delivery of content over the Internet, offered an outlook that disappointed investors.

The company beat consensus earnings and sales estimates in both of the previous quarters, but management's second-quarter guidance for both sales and earnings narrowly missed Wall Street's forecast. The stock is now cheap relative to peers.

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2. AIG ( AIG), still majority-owned by the U.S. government, has suffered a stock-price drop of 51% in 2011 after having rallied 47% in the fourth quarter of 2010. AIG is down 23% in the past 12-months.

The abnormal volatility is a reflection of both operating performance and speculators' interest in the stock. AIG swung to a first-quarter adjusted profit of $1.30 a share, outperforming the consensus estimate.

Despite the bottom-line beat, AIG's stock declined after the release, as sales dropped 6%. AIG tried to repurchase high-yielding Maiden Lane II assets, now belonging to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for a bit less than $16 billion. Investors were encouraged by the move, deemed a step towards independence. When the offer was rejected by the Fed, AIG's stock sold off. Then, the U.S. government sold 200 million shares, creating oversupply.

AIG is still in the process of whittling down operations, paying off debt and refining its business model. Investors, impatient with the turnaround lag, have apparently lost interest in 2011. Costing a free-cash-flow multiple of just 0.3, AIG's stock is cheap.

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1. Monster Worldwide ( MWW) provides online-employment services, running job-posting Web sites in North America, Europe and Asia.

Hurt by the recession, Monster's net sales have dropped 11%, annualized, since 2008 as its stock delivered an annualized decline of 18%. Despite evidence of an improving job market, Monster has continued to struggle. It posted GAAP losses for the first three quarters of 2010, but broke even in the fourth. Monster swung to an adjusted first-quarter profit of 5 cents a share, beating consensus for 2 cents, but its stock fell 7.8% in reaction, as sales missed and guidance remained lackluster.

Analysts have a generally favorable view of Monster, which garners nine "buy" calls, five "hold" recommendations and two "sell" ratings. The stock isn't cheap, despite underperformance, costing a forward earnings multiple of 17, a book value multiple of 1.4, a sales multiple of 1.7 and a cash flow multiple of 15 -- peer-group discounts, but premiums to S&P 500 averages. Monster has a beta value of 2.1, tending to double the market's day-to-day movements.

-- Written by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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