The 4 Worst Performing S&P 500 Stocks in 2021

Widely regarded as the best representation of the broader market, the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY) delivered nearly a 27% return in 2021 and beat the Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) by a wide margin. However, while the S&P 500 index performed well, many member stocks struggled.

Concerns related to Covid-19, high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and expected tightening of monetary policy led to investors dumping shares of overvalued and fundamentally weak stocks of the benchmark.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS), Viatris Inc. (VTRS), MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX), and Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN) were the worst-performing of the S&P 500 index last year. Let’s take a look at these stocks.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS)

LVS is a developer and operator of destination properties (integrated resorts) that feature accommodations, gaming, entertainment and retail, convention and exhibition facilities, celebrity chef restaurants, and other amenities. It also offers players club loyalty programs at its properties, which provide access to rewards, privileges, and members-only events.

On July 12, 2021, LVS announced plans to build a digital gaming investment team that will enable it to become a strategic investor in digital gaming technologies focused primarily on the business-to-business space. As digital gaming and other related offerings are in the early stages of development, the current efforts could help the company generate significant long-term benefits.

For its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended September 30, 2021, LVS’ operating loss came in at $316 million, indicating a 39.6% decline from the prior-year period. While its adjusted net loss decreased 22.9% year-over-year to $346 million, its adjusted loss per share decreased 23.7% to $0.45. As of September 30, 2021, the company had $41 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Analysts expect the company’s EPS to remain negative in the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021. Over the past year, the stock has lost 37.8% and closed yesterday’s trading session at $36.97.

In terms of forward EV/Sales, LVS is currently trading at 9.61x, 568.3% higher than the 1.44x industry average. In terms of forward Price/Sales, LVS is currently trading at 6.61x, 451.5% higher than the industry average of 1.20x.

LVS’ weak prospects are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall rating of D, equating to a Sell in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 different factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

LVS has a D grade for Value and Stability. Click here to see additional POWR Ratings for LVS’ Sentiment, Quality Growth, and Momentum. Of 32 stocks in the D-rated Entertainment – Casinos/Gambling industry, LVS is ranked #29.

Viatris Inc. (VTRS)

VTRS is a healthcare company that develops, licenses, and distributes brand and generic drugs, complex generics, biosimilars, and active pharmaceutical ingredients worldwide. The company offers drugs to treat infectious and non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, oncology, immunology, CNS agents, cardiovascular, antidiabetics, and proton pump inhibitor areas. It distributes its products through pharmaceutical wholesalers, retailers or distributors, and institutional, specialty and e-commerce pharmacies.

On November 16, 2021, VTRS and Biocon Biologics Ltd., a subsidiary of Biocon Limited, an India-based pharmaceutical company, announced the U.S. launch of interchangeable biosimilars SEMGLEE injection and Insulin Glargine injection to help control high blood sugar in adult and pediatric patients. This launch will allow the companies to improve the accessibility, availability, and adoption of biosimilars in the U.S.

As of September 30, 2021, the company had $756.60 million in cash and cash equivalents. The stock has lost 20.2% over the past year and ended yesterday’s trading session at $14.44.

VTRS’ POWR Ratings are consistent with this bleak outlook. The stock has a D grade for Momentum and Quality. In addition to the POWR Rating grades I’ve highlighted, one can see VTRS ratings for Value, Growth, Stability, and Sentiment here. The stock is ranked #58 of 190 stocks in the F-rated Medical – Pharmaceuticals industry.

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX)

MKTX operates an electronic trading platform for institutional investors and broker-dealer firms worldwide. The company offers access to global liquidity in U.S. investment-grade bonds, U.S. high-yield bonds, U.S. Treasuries, municipal bonds, emerging market debt, Eurobonds, and other fixed-income securities. It also offers a range of trading-related products and services, auto-execution and other execution services, and connectivity solutions.

In an announcement dated November 17, 2021, MKTX added Egypt (EGP), Hong Kong (HKD), and Serbia (RSD) to its Emerging Markets (EM) local markets offering. The number of active participants trading Emerging Markets debt across the MarketAxess platform also reached a record of over 1,300 firms in the third quarter. As investors are increasing their exposure to emerging markets, this addition should enable MKTX to enhance local debt trading.

MKTX’s total revenues for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended September 30, 2021, came in at $162.09 million, indicating a 1.2% year-over-year decline. The company’s operating income came in at $74 million, down 15.7% from the prior-year period. Its net income came in at $57.96 million, representing a 14.5% year-over-year decline. Its EPS decreased 14.6% year-over-year to $1.52. The company had $432.72 million in cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2021.

Analysts expect the company’s EPS to decline 9.6% year-over-year to $7.10 in the fiscal year 2021 ended December 31, 2021. MKTX has lost 31.6% over the past year and closed yesterday’s trading session at $370.02.

MKTX’s 20.79x forward EV/Sales is 618.2% higher than the industry average of 2.89x. In terms of forward Price/Sales, MKTX is currently trading at 21.18x, 510.7% higher than the industry average of 3.47x.

MKTX’s POWR Ratings reflect this bleak outlook. The stock has a D grade for Growth, Value, and Sentiment. Click here to see the additional ratings for MKTX (Stability, Quality, and Momentum). The stock is ranked #7 of 12 stocks in the F-rated Financial Marketplaces industry.

Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN)

PENN owns and manages gaming and racing properties, retail and online sports betting operations, and operates video gaming terminals, focusing on slot machine entertainment. The company also operates an online sports betting app, social casino, bingo, and online casinos and owns and operates horse and harness racetracks.

On December 22, 2021, PENN opened a $111 million state-of-the-art Hollywood Casino Morgantown, the fourth gaming and entertainment facility in Pennsylvania. The company is looking forward to applying the next technology at all its casinos and offers premier gaming in this regional entertainment destination.

For its fiscal 2021 third quarter, ended September 30, 2021, PENN’s net loss came in at $86.10 million, down 39% from the prior-year period. Its EPS came in at $0.52, indicating a 44.1% from the year-ago period. The company had $2.73 billion in cash as of September 30, 2021.

The stock has lost 46.4% over the past year and ended yesterday’s trading session at $46.61. PENN’s forward EV/Sales ratio of 2.99 is 108.3% higher than the 1.44x industry average. In terms of forward Price/Sales, PENN is currently trading at 1.44x, 20.3% higher than the industry average of 1.20x.

PENN’s POWR Ratings are consistent with this bleak outlook. PENN has a D grade for Stability and Sentiment. In addition to the POWR Rating grades I’ve highlighted, one can see PENN’s ratings for Growth, Quality, Momentum, and Value here. The stock is ranked #12 of 32 stocks in the D-rated Entertainment – Casinos/Gambling industry.


LVS shares were trading at $37.97 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $1.00 (+2.70%). Year-to-date, LVS has gained 0.88%, versus a -1.37% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: Sweta Vijayan

Sweta is an investment analyst and journalist with a special interest in finding market inefficiencies. She’s passionate about educating investors, so that they may find success in the stock market. More…

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