Why Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., Monster Beverage Corporation, and DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Nearly six in 10 stocks fell on the stock market today, as investors cautiously watched the development of both the Russia-Ukraine conflict and escalating violence on the Gaza Strip. On top of that, an avalanche of corporate earnings are set to be unleashed this week, so investors will also have a chance to react to those in the coming days. Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) , Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST  ) , and DaVita HealthCare Partners (NYSE: DVA  ) shareholders, however, weren't content to wait on earnings to sell off their positions. Each stock ended as one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) Monday, as the S&P itself shed 4 points, or 0.2%, to end at 1,973.

Coal and iron ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources shed 4.7% today after the embattled company released a letter to shareholders suggesting how they should vote in an upcoming shareholders meeting. For many moons now Cliffs Natural Resources has been at the wrong end of a relentless PR war. Casablanca Capital, an activist investor that owns just over 5% of shares, has been sharply critical of the company's board, which, in a nutshell, Casablanca alleges is incompetent, power-hungry, self-interested, and destructive to shareholder wealth. The top brass at Cliffs has defended itself vigorously, but wrote an open letter to shareholders today reducing the number of recommended Cliffs-appointed directors to seven from nine, with the remaining four spots ceded to Casablanca. The letter warned that if Casablanca's nominees got the majority of the board seats, they would engage in a "fire sale" of the company's assets, destroying shareholder value. Yikes.

Monster's line of zero calorie, zero sugar products are growing in popularity. Image source: Monster Beverage

Shares of energy drink giant Monster Beverage Corporation lost 4.5% Monday after the stock was downgraded by Morgan Stanley to "equal weight" from "overweight." While the investment bank cited slowing trends and a full valuation for its downgrade, energy drinks were actually the fastest-growing segment of the carbonated drinks market in the U.S. last year, which is why recent speculation has swirled around the company's appeal as a buyout candidate. Monster Beverage does carry a heavier litigation risk than most in the non-alcoholic beverage industry, and just today it issued a statement asserting a lack of evidence in its involvement in the 2011 death of Oklahoma teen Jason Hamric.

DaVita HealthCare Partners is the last and least-severe of today's decliners. Shares of the kidney care company fell 3.9% Monday, also on the heels of analysts that downgraded the stock from outperform to market perform. Raymond James said that a recent executive shakeup at the company created short-term uncertainty, but that DaVita, because of its business model and free cash flow consistency, remains in a strong long-term position. This sort of rationale -- which assumes that market-timing is both possible and potentially lucrative -- is just one of the many reasons the advice of Wall Street analysts shouldn't be heeded by patient, long-term investors.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3037737, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 1:17:40 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

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.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,609.84 -44.93 -0.27%
S&P 500 1,984.95 -2.71 -0.14%
NASD 4,814.99 2.29 0.05%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 1:07 PM
^GSPC $1984.99 Down -2.67 -0.13%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
CLF $3.95 Up +0.22 +5.90%
Cliffs Natural Res… CAPS Rating: ***
DVA $76.13 Down -0.52 -0.68%
DaVita, Inc. CAPS Rating: *****
MNST $139.04 Down -0.97 -0.70%
Monster Beverage CAPS Rating: ***