This year has been interesting for investors. Many of last year’s winners — including companies that helped keep us connected and engaged through the pandemic — have proved mortal in 2021. However, we’re seeing even some of the names that seemed to be logical beneficiaries of the economy reopening falter this year.
Disney (NYSE:DIS), Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER), and Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) are three household names that have declined in value this year, even as the major market indices have notched double-digit percentage gains. Not every stock climbs in a rising market, and more than 40% of U.S. exchange-traded listings are in the red this year. More than a quarter of the stocks have posted double-digit percentage declines in 2021. Let’s take a closer look at some of the surprising sinkers.
The loudest of high-fives when the economy started to get rolling again this year were probably exchanged in Disney’s boardroom. This is a company with the world’s leading theme parks, a strong niche with premium-priced family-friendly cruises, and movies that consistently top the box office. Its broadcasting arm fared well through the pandemic with folks sheltering in place, but naturally advertisers are willing to pay more now to reach viewers of ABC and ESPN when they know that consumers are open to spending money.
Disney stock is trading 15% lower in 2021, and it’s more than a little surprising. A knock on the media giant is that subscriber gains are slowing at Disney+, but it’s hard to be upset about a premium streaming service that has more than 118 million accounts within just two years of availability. With momentum building despite the sluggish share price, Disney is a prime candidate to turn things around in 2022.
It’s easy to see why Uber’s flagship personal mobility business slumped in 2020. Folks weren’t hailing drivers to take them to work, school, or social settings during the first few months of the pandemic. Uber Eats fared understandably well last year, but this is the year that both its original car-hailing business and its restaurant takeout delivery platform should’ve worked together to drive Uber higher. It didn’t happen. The stock is trading 14% lower in 2021.
The growth thesis has mostly played out as expected. Gross bookings hit an all-time high in last month’s third-quarter report, a 57% year-over-year surge. Reported revenue fared even better, up 72% to $4.8 billion. The year-over-year comparisons were going to be easy for its mobility segment, but the real surprise here is that its Uber Eats-led delivery segment saw its revenue nearly double over the past year. Uber Eats was able to boost its take rate considerably as it ramps up its offerings.
The red ink continues to be a problem, but the massive reported loss in its latest quarter was largely weighted by one-time markdowns for its equity investments. Uber did manage to return to positive adjusted EBITDA, and the road is clear for Uber to put the pedal …….