5 Familiar, Surprising Stocks That Suffered a Lot in 2014
Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that disappointed investors this year.
3D Systems (DDD) -- Down 63 percent in 2014
Three-D printing is cool, and eventually it will go mainstream. However, investors who bid up shares of 3D Systems and its rival 3-D printer specialists in 2012 and 2013 have been out of luck this year. Revenue growth has decelerated, margins have contracted, and the printers are still too slow and expensive for mainstream audiences.
3D Systems was a market darling before stumbling this year. Investors saw the shares triple in 2012 before doubling again in 2013. However, product delays and reduced guidance have been balloon-popping pins given all of the air in the stock through the end of last year.
The Container Store (TCS) -- Down 60 percent in 2014
The Container Store went public 13 months ago, and the last 11 months have been disastrous. Sales growth has decelerated sharply, and it wouldn't be growing at all if it wasn't for the home-goods store's expansion initiatives. Store-level sales are clocking in with year-over-year declines, and outlooks have been uninspiring.
The Container Store disappointed investors in each of its first three quarters as a public company, and excuses -- blaming everything from calendar shifts to winter snowstorms -- have been hard to swallow in light of other chains doing just fine.
SodaStream (SODA) -- Down 57 percent in 2014
Soda consumption in this country has been slipping for a decade, but investors flocked to SodaStream's 2010 IPO on the premise that the Israeli company's namesake maker of carbonated beverages would succeed in selling the advantages of homemade soda over store-bought pop.
SodaStream's Wall Street debut accompanied its push into the U.S. retail market, and it was able to stir up some welcome buzz during the early years. Things began to turn late last year, and what started out as having to divert some unsold units to other countries and discount retail channels during last year's holiday season has turned into a stateside disaster. North American sales plunged 41 percent in SodaStream's latest quarter. The company is holding up better internationally, particularly in Europe, which accounts for more than half of its sales. However, I'd want to see a turnaround start to take place before buying back into SodaStream.
Twitter (TWTR) -- Down 39 percent in 2014
Twitter is as popular as ever, but the same thing can't be said about the investment. Shares of the social media speedster popped when it went public late last year, but the challenge of monetization has scared away Mr. Market in 2014.
Ignore the stock chart and this has been a good year for Twitter. Revenue has more than doubled through the first nine months of the year, and Twitter is finally profitable on an adjusted basis. However, the hefty valuation when the year began left investors hungry for more than they have been seeing out of the dot-com icon.
Coach (COH) -- Down 35 percent in 2014
Shoppers can be fickle, and this has been a rough year for a couple of retail chains. Let's talk Coach. The maker of high-end handbags and related accessories has fallen out of favor with consumers. Affluent and trendy shoppers with money to burn on a new purse are flocking to Kors (KORS) and Kate Spade (KATE), leaving Coach products behind in the process.
Coach has been struggling since last year, but the continuing decay of its fundamentals throughout 2014 proves that this isn't a temporary fluke. It's closing dozens of underperforming stores as it warns of a double-digit sales decline this fiscal year. Coach has a lot to do if it wants to get its brand back on track.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of SodaStream. The Motley Fool and owns shares of 3D Systems, Coach, Michael Kors Holdings, SodaStream, The Container Store Group and Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Want to make 2015 a winning investment year? Check out The Motley Fool'sone great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.