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3 Stocks That Underperformed in 2021

By Rachel Warren, Jason Hall, and Toby Bordelon - Jan 13, 2022 at 7:15PM

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Three investors share their picks.

Despite a robust year for the stock market in 2021, it's fair to say that many top stocks across all sectors have had their fair share of rough days amid the increased volatility of recent months.

In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Dec. 20, Fool contributors Jason Hall, Toby Bordelon, and Rachel Warren each discuss a stock that fell below expectations in 2021 -- and all for very different reasons. 

Jason Hall: Three stocks that deserve some coal in their stocking. Toby, kick us off.

Toby Bordelon: I was going to recycle something I already said, I'd actually say Activision could use some coal [laughs]. But let's move on. We've already [laughs] hit them once this show. I'm going to go with Boeing (BA 3.52%). They have pretty bad this year, man. Delays in the Dreamliner, delays in the Starliner. Investigations. They can't get their act together.

I think they just need to reset, and maybe getting some coal in your stocking is what you need to get management's head around the idea that we just need to just reset this whole thing and figure something else out.

Jason Hall: Rachel.

Rachel Warren: You know how Yahoo named, I think their stock of the year was Microsoft. Apparently they also did a survey, and the worst company of the year as the product of their survey, was Facebook, also known now as Meta (FB 1.83%). If you had to have a company that deserves a little coal in their stocking this year, I would have to go with Facebook. I've said it many times, I love the business.

The platform continues to be problematic as has been evidenced in recent months by the firestorm that Facebook continues to be under. And it seems that those issues were the reasons that the individuals surveyed by Yahoo voted Facebook or Meta the worst company of the year.

But the interesting thing was on a positive note, about 30% of the Yahoo Finance readers who responded to the survey said that Facebook could redeem itself. One respondent said that Facebook would redeem itself by acknowledging and apologizing for what it did, donating a sizable amount of profits to a foundation that'll reverse its harm.

As what's been alleged that it knew that there were issues with its platform that were causing mental health and issues in younger users. I don't know, I wasn't really surprised. I chuckled when this report came out. I think it's been a rough few months. I think the company will continue to flourish. But I think a little coal might be in order. [laughs]

Jason Hall: I don't want a company that had a scandal in January that wiped out, I don't know, $9 billion of investor capital -- and the stock is still down more than 75% over their direct intentional fraud -- to get missed because it happened in January. Luckin Coffee (LKNC.Y 0.54%), guys.

They don't need coal on their stocking. You know what they need? They need some poo from the Santa's reindeer in their stocking. [laughs] Guys, this company intentionally committed fraud.

They altered their books to report better numbers than the company was actually delivering. Seriously, I'm going to show you guys the chart here.

You look at the beginning of the year, this company for a brief period was worth over $12 billion. But call it $10 billion was like the peak period from their scammy, BS, fraudulent, false, inflated-result high.

Then it fell off a cliff because, well, fraud. Roughly a $2.5 billion company today. Here's the thing. They settle with the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission]. This is a Chinese company, right? They're not even traded on the U.S. exchange anymore, just over-the-counter.

But they settle with the SEC, admitted no fault, as it always happens when they settle. $180 million. I mean, they don't have any more money than that, obviously, because all of their results were a lie.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
$132.23 (3.52%) $4.50
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$195.13 (1.83%) $3.50
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$273.24 (2.76%) $7.34
Activision Blizzard, Inc. Stock Quote
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
$78.20 (0.27%) $0.21
Luckin Coffee Inc. Stock Quote
Luckin Coffee Inc.
$9.30 (0.54%) $0.05

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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