Stocks That Took The Biggest Hit: In the beginning of the pandemic, the stock market was a veritable rollercoaster – one day, we’re up; the next, we’re down. And it went on like that for several weeks. Who would have thought back in February that a virus could have the power to not only move markets, but to blast the whole of the global economy?
Of course, there was fear on Wall Street in the opening stages of the outbreak. Then, as if by ignorance or intervention – the markets began to ignore the virus, even though it was literally sweeping the globe.
But by the end of February, investors and market analysts alike were well past denial – the S&P 500 saw its fastest 10% decline in history. The virus had indeed caused a reckoning.
In March, volatility was expected rather than something to succumb to. March 9th saw a loss of over 7%, which triggered a rarely used rule – all stock trades were halted for what seemed like an unbearably long fifteen minutes.
Whether we’re beyond this sell-off hump or not remains to be seen. Of the stocks hardest hit, the sell-off was inextricably linked to COVID-19. Here are five of the many stocks that took the biggest hit from the Coronavirus.
Bank of Hawaii Hurt By Fewer Tourists?
Bank of Hawaii’s doesn’t stand out as a popular stock on the tip of most investors’ tongues but it’s certainly been popular among sellers.
Bank of Hawaii’s net income for Q1 was $34.7 million – a 41% drop from 2019 Q4. Currently, BoH doesn’t have a good growth outlook, and that has hurt share prices.
It’s no surprise that all things Hawaii may suffer in light of COVID. After all, Hawaii thrives on tourism and fewer flights means the local economy will suffer, which in turn translates to higher business defaults, inability to pay back loans, and ultimately Bank of Hawaii may be on the hook.
Investors Concerned About HCA Hospitals Capacity?
HCA Healthcare, a Nashville-based stock, saw a 10% drop in mid-April. Other Nashville area healthcare stocks aren’t faring so well either.
Fast-forward to mid-May, and HCA’s stock prices tumbled a further 48%. At its highest point in 2020, HCA stock was priced at $151 per share. By mid-May, this stock closed at just over $77 per share. It’s the lowest HCA has traded since November of 2017.
The simple reason is investors are concerned that the number of patients will exceed the capacity of the hospitals to care for them adequately.
But, as stated, HCA isn’t the only stock to report losses. And healthcare isn’t the only industry to feel the brunt of the pandemic.
Some reports have shown the worst percentage losses since the late 1980s. What’s most concerning about the drop in price of healthcare stocks is that it’s the individuals in these occupations that are on the front lines helping care for those who’ve contracted the virus or are at the forefront of discovering ways to stop the spread.
For instance, Brookdale’s Senior Living, Incorporated operates the most senior living facilities in the United States with over 750 care facilities in 45 states.
As the largest operator of hospitals in the nation, HCA has over 180 hospitals and 2,000 care sites.
Will The Work-At-Home Trend Hurt Boston Properties?
Boston Properties’ stock took a hit earlier this month, trading their at their lowest for the year at just $71.77 on May 14. As of April 30, stock prices were $96.47.
Investors are concerned that the work-at-home trend will accelerate and leave office space vacant, which would negatively impact Boston Properties – its CEO claims this trend is overstated however.
While the stock appears to have bounced from its mid-May lows, it pays to take a look at how a stock performs over a longer period of time. Over the past five years, Boston Properties’ stock has plummeted over 30%.
Occidental Petroleum Crashed With Oil Prices
Major Occidental investors like Carl Icahn strongly disagreed with the company’s Anadarko Petroleum acquisition – and history has proven them right.
Since the deal closed, the heavily indebted Occidental has suffered financial woe after financial woe. Most recently, it cut its dividend almost entirely.
Not only is the company’s target valuation from its acquisition likely gone up in smoke, but it’s fighting for its very survival now. And the price of oil is hurting it too.
Even major shareholder Warren Buffett agreed to ease the financial burden on the company by taking shares instead of payment on his warrants.
It’s safe to say OXY stock took a big hit but it’s not clear whether it will recover any time soon.
Armstrong World Industries Has Had A Bad, Bad Year
Armstrong World Industries hasn’t had the best year. The company’s highest stock price was recorded on February 24, 2020 at $111.46 per share – but its lowest ever value came in the same quarter, coming in at $62.03 on March 23, 2020. That’s more than a 42% loss in a month’s time.
Compared to last year at the same time, total sales is down just over 18% and total revenue compared to last year’s Q1 report shows a loss of nearly 7%.
Armstrong is smack in the middle of a startling trend that has befallen many stocks this year – a deep, wide trench.
Going by its current trend, further declines are expected of about 19.5% for the next quarter, and share prices could drop as low as $40.50.
Stocks That Took the Biggest Hit: Final Thoughts
Even in a bear market or a recession, some agile companies are either resilient enough to make it through dark times, or have the luck of being in the right industry at the right time. Zoom, Amazon, Teladoc are all headline examples of companies thriving at this time.
Brick-and-mortar stores, asset-heavy companies like Occidental Petroleum, and companies (ex-Amazon) tethered to consumer spending may all suffer as the economy weakens.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.