In a humiliating move that may only equal being tossed out of a supermarket express checkout line for trying to sneak through 11 items instead of 10 or less, Winn-Dixie
It's a lot like when someone lands a top score in a video game. The name at the bottom gets rubbed out, and at a market cap of $580 million, Winn-Dixie was already whistling plankside.
It's not as if we didn't see the gradual demise of the once-proud grocer with its impressive half-century streak of dividend hikes coming. Six years ago, with the stock trading close to $40, we featured the stock critically in our Daily Trouble space. The stock has gone on to surrender more than 85% of its value.
So what's the beef with the company that once proclaimed its staff "The Beef People"? As the name implies, this is a Southeastern chain, far removed from the labor struggle that roughed upSafeway
Yet failing to duplicate the welcome shopping experience of rival Publix as well as missing out on the warehouse club deals being put out by discounters like Costco
It had to know its destiny all along. From store closings and quarterly losses to tapping its creditors for a fatter line of credit and coping with the insulting valuation metric of trading less than its book value, Winn-Dixie had to know that it just wasn't going to live up to its victorious ticker symbol.
So there's no point in whining about wood splinters as the company paces toward the wet business end of the S&P 500 plank. The upside of the plunge? It will be the first time in years that Winn-Dixie makes a splash.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does most of his shopping at Publix, even though Winn-Dixie has a location that's nearer to his home. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out tomorrow's great growth stocks today.