Why Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd., and The ADT Corporation Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

This is an exciting time for the planet Earth, as billions of people around the globe turn their attention to the world's most popular sport: something Americans decided to call soccer. Maybe all the excitement surrounding the beginning of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is to blame for the lull on Wall Street today. Why get worked up about stocks when you can be serenaded by the sweet sound of deafening vuvuzelas? Investors in Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX  ) , Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: KORS  ) , and The ADT Corporation (NYSE: ADT  ) certainly weren't worked up, as each stock finished as one of the worst in the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) . The S&P, for its part, added 1 point, or 0.1%, to end at 1,937.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals shed 8.7% after a pessimistic analyst report from Bernstein research. The biotech company, which sells treatments for hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis, will likely catch heat from shareholders if Phase 3 trials for its cystic fibrosis treatment don't paint an upbeat picture. Vertex Pharmaceuticals already markets a drug called Kalydeco in the EU and U.S., but the company's studying a combination of Kalydeco and another drug called VX-809 in hopes that the combo might be more effective. According to scientists at a cystic fibrosis conference in Sweden this weekend, those hopes are possibly misguided.

Shares of luxury fashion retailer Michael Kors lost 3.8% on Monday, ending as another notable laggard in the S&P 500. Michael Kors has been a lousy stock to bet against in the last year, as shares soared nearly 50% and the company continued to gobble up market share from industry big wigs like Coach. Now it looks like Kors has an up-and-coming rival of its own to worry about: Vince Holding, which just posted a 32% jump in sales in the first quarter as the company swung to a profit.

The ADT Pulse touch screen. Source: ADT

The last of the day's laggards, ADT Corporation, saw its stock fall 1.8% today. Revenue growth at the home security company has been precariously decelerating since 2011, when sales grew by 20%. Last year sales grew by just 2.5%. A rapidly changing industry in which newer, sexier entrants embracing things like do-it-yourself installation and smart energy management solutions are flipping the business on its head. ADT isn't exactly behind the curve; it's promoting ADT Pulse, which lets consumers remotely adjust their thermostats. That said, money talks, and ADT hasn't yet proved that it can execute on the concept emphatically enough for Wall Street to fall in love with it.

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John Divine

Fool since 2012, unique fingerprints since birth. Age 7: Put lifetime savings ($18.37!) in the bank, became disillusioned with low interest, and a fascination with the stock market was born.

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9/3/2015 11:03 AM
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