Why ConAgra Foods, Inc., Coach, Inc., and Express Scripts Inc. Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

From consumer goods to healthcare, these three names finished as the worst in the stock market today.

Jun 18, 2014 at 7:48PM

Several much-awaited statements from the Federal Reserve sent the stock market higher today, as investors cheered the central bank's projections -- projections that don't call for meaningful increases in short-term interest rates until 2015 or 2016. Although all 10 sectors of the market advanced today, shares of ConAgra Foods, (NYSE:CAG), Coach, (NYSE:COH), and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) finished as the three worst stocks in the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) today. The S&P, for its part, added 14 points, or 0.8%, to end at a record high, 1,956.

Packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods plunged 7.3% on Wednesday, finishing as the biggest laggard in the entire 500-stock index. The sudden decline came as the company warned investors that its earnings in the fiscal fourth quarter would come in far below prior estimates. The results of the fiscal fourth quarter, by the way, will be reported next Thursday, so ConAgra's warning didn't give investors much time to react before the undoubtedly disappointing news next week.


Source: Coach website.

Lastly, shares of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts shed 2.2% on Wednesday. The stock was hit on news that its own CEO, George Paz, disposed of more than a quarter of his shares on Friday. While this revelation sounds drastic at first, last Friday's move is simply a result of the reimbursement structure in corporate America. Stock options are often used as incentives to lure highly sought-after executives, and George Paz's sale of Express Scripts stock last week was routine in that sense. His options allowed him to buy hundreds of thousands of shares at $26.68, only to immediately turn around and sell those shares for $71.21apiece, turning a profit of more than $30 million. While the practice is in some sense "routine," it still robs the company of $30 million it could've had if it just sold the shares on the open market.Shares of luxury retailer Coach also suffered today, losing 4% in trading. Coach actually managed to lose ground before managing investor sentiment, as Barclay's analysts lowered their price target from $48 to $45 per share. Coach will undoubtedly try to impress the public tomorrow at its investor day on Thursday, but it may take something rather shocking to reverse public opinion. Coach has been steadily losing market share to competitors -- most notably Michael Kors -- in recent years. Coach's decline could amplify if its strategy of embracing outlets and cutting prices at its retail locations ends up diluting the brand.

Warren Buffett's biggest fear is about to come true
Warren Buffett just called this emerging technology a "real threat" to his biggest cash cow. While Buffett shakes in his billionaire boots, only a few investors are embracing this new market, which experts say will be worth over $2 trillion. It won't be long before everyone on Wall Street wises up, and that's why The Motley Fool is releasing this timely investor alert. Click here to learn more about what's keeping Buffett up at night and the one public company we're calling the brains behind the technology.

John Divine owns shares of Michael Kors Holdings. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Coach, Express Scripts, and Michael Kors Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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