Struggles of Top Performers in the S&P 500 in 2023


Despite facing challenges such as high inflation and industry-specific obstacles, the three major U.S. indexes are expected to end the year with gains. However, not all stocks have fared well. Let’s take a closer look at the five worst performers in the S&P 500 as we approach the end of 2023.


FMC, an agricultural-sciences company, has experienced a significant decline of 49% in its shares this year. This performance puts FMC on track for its worst year on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

In October, FMC revised its financial guidance downward before releasing its third-quarter earnings report. The company attributed this decision to “substantially lower sales volumes in Latin America.” FMC also adjusted its forecasts for the fourth quarter and full year accordingly.

However, there is hope for FMC in the future. In November, the company provided a preliminary outlook for 2024, which included a revenue range of $4.65 billion to $4.85 billion. This forecast surpasses the $4.58 billion estimated by analysts for 2023, as reported by FactSet.

Enphase Energy

Enphase Energy, a manufacturer of inverter systems for solar panels, has seen its stock fall by 48% in 2023. This decline marks Enphase Energy’s worst year since 2016.

The solar industry as a whole has faced difficulties throughout the year, largely due to higher interest rates. These rates have made it more challenging for individuals to finance larger home-improvement projects involving solar panels.

These struggles have contributed to the underperformance of FMC and Enphase Energy in the S&P 500 this year. Despite these setbacks, both companies hold the potential for improvement in the future.

Enphase Implements Restructuring Plan

Earlier this month, Enphase disclosed its plan to implement a restructuring strategy aimed at reducing operating costs. As part of this plan, the company will be cutting its workforce by approximately 10% and shutting down operations at two contract-manufacturing plants.

Dollar General Faces Challenges

Dollar General, a discount retailer, has experienced a challenging year with its stock declining by 46%. This marks the first annual decline for the company. Various factors such as underwhelming earnings, guidance cuts, macroeconomic difficulties, and rampant shoplifting have contributed to this decline. In an effort to address these issues, former CEO Todd Vasos will be returning from retirement to take over from current CEO Jeff Owen.

Moderna and Pfizer Stock Decline

Moderna and Pfizer, renowned vaccine makers, have seen their stock prices plummet by 46% and 45% respectively in 2023. These are the worst years on record for both companies after experiencing significant growth during the pandemic. However, there is hope for a rebound in the near future.

According to FactSet, the average analyst price target for Moderna stock is $125.23, but it is currently trading at around $100. Similarly, Pfizer stock has an average price target of $31.26, while it is currently trading at about $29.

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