Yesterday, I took a look at a few stocks that have more than doubled so far this year. Now let's examine some of the investments that have gone the other way.
Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES), Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), and Fossil Group (FOSL -1.58%) have all seen their shares more than cut in half this year. It was a rough first half for all three companies. Let's dive deeper to find out where they went wrong.
There doesn't seem to be any relief for shareholders of the fast-casual chain specializing in Mediterranean eats. Zoe's Kitchen has shed 53% of its value this year, hitting a fresh new low on Thursday. The stock has moved lower in six of the past seven months, and it's trading lower again so far in July.
Zoe's Kitchen has been stumbling over the past year, either falling short of expectations or lowering its guidance through the last few quarters. One of the few things that Zoe's Kitchen had going for it -- an impressive streak of 28 quarters of positive comps -- was snapped after a rough first quarter.
The 161-unit chain is still expanding, and its unique cuisine helps it stand out. Zoe's Kitchen became a broken IPO the moment it buckled below $15 earlier this year, and the long road back will likely involve turning comps back to positive and a quarter where it doesn't hose down its outlook.
Ascena Retail Group
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are struggling these days, and that's something that Ascena investors know all too well. The parent company of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, and Dress Barn is struggling, and its stock has surrendered more than two-thirds of its value in 2017.
Folks aren't shopping at Ascena's stores the way they used to, and comps plunged a brutal 8% in its latest fiscal quarter with declines across all of its concepts. Ascena is closing stores, and it's also hoping to score rent reductions out of landlords in this challenging climate for mall operators. The trend is not its friend, but Ascena's strong brands can't be ignored during this fire sale.
Wrists aren't for traditional watches these days. Smartwatches and fitness trackers are all the rage, and it's not a surprise that the once-trendy Fossil has seen its timepiece sales grow cold. Fossil's sales peaked in 2014, and it's posted nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in revenue.
Fossil tried to shift away from designer watchers by making a splash in leather goods and jewelry, but those categories are actually fading even faster. Revenue fell 12% in its latest quarter. Fossil remains profitable, but investors and customers have moved on.