Deep Dive: These are the 20 worst-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2020 — analysts see double-digit rebounds for five of them in 2021

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Deep Dive

The action is concentrated in one sector

The crash in demand for oil during the pandemic has pushed Valero’s shares down 41% during 2020. Above, Valero’s Houston refinery.


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(Updates story with year-end closing prices and consensus price targets.)

During the stock market’s March plunge, it may have been difficult for you to expect 2020 to end up as a good year for stocks, but incredibly low interest rates from the Federal Reserve, unprecedented federal spending to support the economy and investors’ enthusiasm for technology stocks did just that.

While many stocks did well, 198 of the S&P 500 Index’s
US:SPX
 components lost ground in 2020. Further down in this article, you’ll find a list of the 20 worst-performing S&P stocks. While Wall Street analysts remain downbeat on some of them for 2021, they foresee a significant recovery for others — particularly in one industry.

Here’s how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 performed in 2020, as the benchmark rose 16.3%:

Index

Price change – 2020

Information Technology

42.2%

Consumer Discretionary

32.1%

Communication Services

22.2%

Materials

18.1%

Health Care

11.4%

Industrials

9.0%

Consumer Staples

7.6%

Utilities

-2.8%

Financials

-4.1%

Real Estate

-5.2%

Energy

-37.3%

Source: FactSet

The coronavirus recession caused demand for oil to plummet, as the cruise industry has shut down and commercial air flights have plummeted. But production cuts have improved the balance between supply and demand. Here’s a chart showing continuous front-month futures quotes for West Texas crude oil this year:


FactSet

That’s a remarkable recovery; however, WTI still fell 21% in 2020. This explains why energy-sector companies make up more than half of the year’s list of the 20 worst-performing S&P 500 stocks through Dec. 28:

Company

Ticker

 Industry 

Price change – 2020

 Occidental Petroleum Corp. 

US:OXY
 

 Oil & Gas Production 

-58%

 Carnival Corp. 

US:CCL
 

 Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-57%

 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

US:NCLH
 

 Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-56%

 TechnipFMC PLC 

US:FTI
 

 Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-56%

 United Airlines Holdings Inc. 

US:UAL
 

 Airlines 

-51%

 Marathon Oil Corp. 

US:MRO
 

 Oil & Gas Production 

-51%

 Oneok Inc. 

US:OKE
 

 Oil & Gas Pipelines 

-49%

 HollyFrontier Corp. 

US:HFC
 

 Oil Refining/Marketing 

-49%

 Diamondback Energy Inc. 

US:FANG
 

 Oil & Gas Production 

-48%

 Schlumberger NV 

US:SLB
 

 Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-46%

 National Oilwell Varco Inc. 

US:NOV
 

 Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-45%

 American Airlines Group Inc. 

US:AAL
 

 Airlines 

-45%

 Apache Corp. 

US:APA
 

 Oil & Gas Production 

-45%

 Royal Caribbean Group 

US:RCL
 

 Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-44%

 Wells Fargo & Company 

US:WFC
 

 Major Banks 

-44%

 Vornado Realty Trust 

US:VNO
 

 Real Estate Investment Trusts 

-44%

 Simon Property Group Inc. 

US:SPG
 

 Real Estate Investment Trusts 

-43%

 Exxon Mobil Corp. 

US:XOM
 

 Integrated Oil 

-41%

 EOG Resources Inc. 

US:EOG
 

 Oil & Gas Production 

-40%

 Valero Energy Corp. 

US:VLO
 

 Oil Refining/Marketing 

-40%

Source: FactSet

Scroll the table to see all the data.

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage, charts, financial data and price ratios.

Here’s a summary of Wall Street analysts’ opinions about these stocks:

Company

Ticker

Share ‘buy’ ratings

Share neutral ratings

Share ‘sell’ ratings

Closing price – Dec. 31

Consensus price target

Implied 12-month upside potential

 Occidental Petroleum Corp. 

US:OXY
 

17%

66%

17%

$17.31

$16.73

-3%

 Carnival Corp. 

US:CCL
 

11%

68%

21%

$21.66

$17.95

-17%

 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

US:NCLH
 

35%

59%

6%

$25.43

$22.46

-12%

 TechnipFMC PLC 

US:FTI
 

70%

23%

7%

$9.40

$10.90

16%

 United Airlines Holdings Inc. 

US:UAL
 

39%

44%

17%

$43.25

$46.29

7%

 Marathon Oil Corp. 

US:MRO
 

33%

54%

13%

$6.67

$7.78

17%

 Oneok Inc. 

US:OKE
 

32%

56%

12%

$38.38

$37.30

-3%

 HollyFrontier Corp. 

US:HFC
 

36%

53%

11%

$25.85

$29.44

14%

 Diamondback Energy Inc. 

US:FANG
 

90%

10%

0%

$48.40

$60.03

24%

 Schlumberger NV 

US:SLB
 

70%

27%

3%

$21.83

$24.84

14%

 National Oilwell Varco Inc. 

US:NOV
 

44%

40%

16%

$13.73

$13.42

-2%

 American Airlines Group Inc. 

US:AAL
 

18%

27%

55%

$15.77

$11.36

-28%

 Apache Corp. 

US:APA
 

39%

58%

3%

$14.19

$16.00

13%

 Royal Caribbean Group 

US:RCL
 

33%

50%

17%

$74.69

$67.54

-10%

 Wells Fargo & Company 

US:WFC
 

48%

48%

4%

$30.18

$33.89

12%

 Vornado Realty Trust 

US:VNO
 

23%

46%

31%

$37.34

$41.55

11%

 Simon Property Group Inc. 

US:SPG
 

35%

65%

0%

$85.28

$92.00

8%

 Exxon Mobil Corp. 

US:XOM
 

27%

61%

12%

$41.22

$48.50

18%

 EOG Resources Inc. 

US:EOG
 

74%

26%

0%

$49.87

$63.47

27%

 Valero Energy Corp. 

US:VLO
 

91%

4%

5%

$56.57

$64.11

13%

Source: FactSet

So five of these companies have majority “buy” ratings, with analysts expecting the shares to rise by double digits over the next year. All are involved in oil or natural gas production or refining.

As always, if you see any stocks of interests, it’s important to do your own research to form your own opinion about a company’s prospects.

For more about 2020, click here for a list of this year’s best-performing stocks in the U.S. and here for a list of big winners that aren’t yet included in the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq-100
US:NDX
 indexes.

Don’t miss:20 of analysts’ favorite large-cap stocks for 2021, including GM, Facebook and Salesforce

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