BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A year that began with optimism for the stock market has turned into a rout. The worst performer on the benchmark S&P 500 Index has lost two-thirds of its value.Things are so bad that the 10 biggest laggards have fallen at least 50% this year.
3. American International Group ( AIG) shares are down 60% this year. The company, which averted collapse three years ago during the financial crisis, thanks to a government bailout, is a much smaller company than back then and is now focused primarily on its property-casualty and life-insurance businesses. It's been showing signs of improvement as it posted earnings of $1 per share in the second quarter. Its future growth is seen as limited given that it sold off most of its interest in its highly profitable Asian life insurance unit in order to raise cash. Its current annualized return on equity is about 7%. AIG has a $41 billion market value, but the government is still disposing of its preferred shares of the company that it bought in the crisis, which may serve to water down prices for some time. Its shares get four "strong buy" ratings and eight "holds," from analysts, per TheStreet Ratings.
5. U.S. Steel ( X) is the second-largest steel company in America and ranked among the top 20 globally. Its shares are down 58% this year, giving it market value of $3.6 billion. The company is mostly self-sufficient since it owns sources of the iron ore and coke needed to make steel and that gives it a big cost advantage over competitors. But demand is highly dependent on economic growth both at home and internationally. In the most recent quarter, it posted earnings of $1.04 per share, helped by higher prices for its end products. Analysts give U.S. Steel six "strong buy" ratings, one "moderate buy," four "holds," one "moderate sell," and one "strong sell," according to TheStreet Ratings.
7. Akamai Technologies ( AKAM) is a provider of Internet content delivery network solutions that speed up Web site performance for its customers, which include e-commerce companies, enterprises, and media and entertainment companies. Its shares have fallen 54% this year, resulting in a market value of $4 billion. The company has seen a slowdown in the businesses of many of its customers and increased competition from telecommunications providers with their own solutions to the technological issues facing Internet content deliverers. Essentially, it's a company that has to keep reinventing itself through new products and services if it is to continue growing. Analysts give its shares eight "strong buy" ratings, two "moderate buys," 11 "holds" and one "moderate sell," according to survey by TheStreet Ratings.
9. Janus Capital Group ( JNS) provides investment-management services to individuals and institutional investors. Its shares are down 52.5% this year, resulting in a market value of $1.1 billion. It had about $170 billion in assets under management at the end of the second quarter, making it a medium-sized asset manager in an increasingly competitive and consolidating industry. Janus offers growth and value equity mutual funds as well as fixed-income funds. The bear market has hit the company hard, as equities make up 90% of its assets under management and retail investors make up more than 70% of its managed-assets customers, and they have been bailing out of stocks this year. Analysts give it four "strong buy" ratings, six "holds," three "moderate sells," and one "strong sell," according to TheStreet Ratings.