Wall Street's roaring these days, picking up where last year's gains left off. The S&P 500 is now up 33% since the start of last year, but that doesn't mean every investment is paying off these days. There were more than 120 stateside exchange-listed stocks hitting new lows last week.
Five Below (FIVE -3.06%), Aurora Cannabis (ACB 1.99%), and Six Flags Entertainment (SIX 2.23%) are some of the more surprising stocks that just hit fresh 52-week lows. Let's dive into why the market has cooled on these former market darlings.
Shares of trendy discounter Five Below took a hit after the company announced disappointing results for the peak holiday selling season. The good news is that sales rose 13% for the two-month period ended on Jan. 4. The bad news is that it grew its store count by roughly 20% over the past year.
Same-store sales slipped 2.6% for the holiday shopping period, problematic on its own but even more troublesome because Five Below was targeting positive comps for the current quarter just a month earlier. Sales really had to flop during the final few weeks of December for Five Below to fall so woefully short of its earlier goal of 2% to 3% in store-level growth.
Five Below was rocking the past few years, offering teens, pre-teens, and young-at-heart thrifty grown-ups a superstore full of trendy items that, true to to its moniker, sell for $5 or below. Five Below realizes it may have to rethink its concept, especially now as it's testing a zone in its stores offering merchandise for as high as $10 apiece. But it also won't give up on its heady expansion strategy, aiming to open roughly 180 new stores in the upcoming fiscal year. It goes without saying that the key for Five Below to bounce back is to get back to posting positive comps.
Marijuana companies may be all about the highs, but Aurora Cannabis traded as low as $1.50 on Monday. It was still reeling from the back-to-back analyst downgrades near the end of the prior week, as Bank of America and Piper Jaffray lowered their ratings on the battleground stock.
Aurora Cannabis did bounce back as the week played out, following a bullish note from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic. He thinks the recent pessimism is overdone and that the departure of its chief corporate officer last month could be a positive development. He also sees Aurora's financial situation improving later this year, and he's sticking to this bullish overweight rating.
Six Flags Entertainment
This is the offseason for most of Six Flags' regional amusement parks, and it's been a rough month on the news front. The company revealed that Riverside Investment Group, the Chinese developer that was supposed to provide a new revenue stream by building Six Flags-licensed water parks and amusement parks, was in default on its required payments to Six Flags.
Aside from the hiccups overseas, Six Flags also warned that its financial results for the fourth quarter will decline by as much as $10 million from the prior year's showing. This isn't as bad as if Six Flags was falling short during its potent summer quarter, but it still adds insult to injury. Analysts at B. Riley and Jefferies put out cautious notes, warning investors to brace for a likely dividend cut. A lower price for Six Flags may prop up its yield to the point that it attracts dividend investors, but that's not going to happen if folks thinks the payouts are about to get slashed.