Last year was a great year for the equity market, but there were still 156 stocks in the S&P 1500 that finished down on the year. Of those 156 companies, 29 (highlighted in the table below) finished down more than 25% on the year. As shown, almost half the stocks (14) that were down more than 25% were small caps, ten were mid caps, and just five (BTU, CLF, EW, NEM, and TDC) were large caps. JC Penney started the year as a large cap stock, but in the midst of its 54% decline in 2013, the stock was moved down to the S&P 400 Mid Cap index.
So how have last year's biggest losers done so far in 2014? So far, not so bad. The average return of these 29 names through yesterday's close was a drop of 0.7% campared to a decline of 1.2% for the S&P 1500. The biggest winners from last year's heap of biggest losers include Royal Gold (RGLD), Cincinnati Bell (CBB), Newmont Mining (NEM), and American Eagle (AEO) which are all up more than 4% so far in 2014. It's still early in the year, but last year's biggest losers are off to a relatively good start.