The stock market was mixed Friday, showing once again a big disparity across different market benchmarks. Both the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.60%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.17%) posted gains and reached new all-time highs. Yet the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.92%) lost ground, though it finished the day well above its worst levels.
There's been a lot of hype in the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) for months, and many recent IPO stocks have soared. Yet in the past few weeks, many of those former highfliers have fallen back to earth. On Friday, three IPO stocks in particular took big hits for a variety of reasons.
Hitting the brakes
Shares of electric vehicle upstart Lordstown Motors (RIDE -4.29%) fell 17% Friday. The company was the latest target of a well-known research firm that looks at companies it believes are good candidates for short-selling.
Hindenburg Research has put other companies in the EV industry under its microscope, most notably Nikola (NKLA -4.65%). Friday's Hindenburg report on Lordstown made a series of allegations, calling the company's 100,000 pre-orders for its Endurance pickup truck "largely fictitious" and asserting that many sizable fleet orders were made by entities without the capacity to pay for the vehicles. Hindenburg has also talked with former Lordstown employees who say that the automaker isn't as close to production as management has indicated, suggesting that it's unlikely to meet its goal of starting production in September.
Investors are clearly taking the allegations seriously. Given what happened with Nikola, Lordstown finds itself in the uncomfortable position of having to prove itself. If it can't, then there could be more downside for this company, which just went public through a SPAC merger last October.
Poshmark (POSH) was also hit hard Friday, as its shares fell 20%. The high-end secondhand clothing retailer's fourth-quarter financial results weren't as strong as investors who bought into its January IPO had hoped.
Poshmark did show growth, with gross merchandise value rising 28% year over year and a 27% boost to revenue. The company eked out an adjusted profit of $0.05 per share for the quarter. For the full year, sales were up 28% and earnings came in at $1.25 per share on an adjusted basis. However, investors weren't happy with Poshmark's sales outlook, which was about 3% to 6% lower than they had expected to see.
Poshmark's business model appears appealing to many shoppers. However, it'll need to prove its ability to operate efficiently before the stock can start to regain some of the value it has lost in the weeks since its IPO.
No prescription for gains
GoodRx brought in plenty of revenue -- its top-line result was up 42% year over year. However, the company reversed a year-ago profit and posted a significant loss of nearly $300 million. Just about all of that loss was tied to stock-based compensation related to the company's September IPO.
Moreover, GoodRx issued guidance for the first quarter of 2021 that suggested a significant slowdown in future growth. Full-year revenue projections were also weak, with growth expected to fall to 35% from 2020 levels.
Investors are getting increasingly picky in judging the growth stocks they've chosen for their portfolios. The lessons of GoodRx, Poshmark, and Lordstown Motors on Friday should remind you always to know why you own a stock and to keep a long-term focus on your expectations for its underlying business.