The stock prices for 46 public companies in the custom electronics space collectively fell 11.8 percent in 2015, faring much worse than the general U.S. stock market for the year.
Stricken by extreme volatility all year, the S&P 500 ended the year down 0.73 percent. It was the first negative year since 2008, when the S&P fell a horrible 38.49 percent. 2015’s decline follows three years of double-digit gains. Meanwhile the Dow Jones industrial average was down 2.23 percent for the year. Again, its first losses in seven years. The Nasdaq composite fared better, delivering a 5.7 percent gain.
For companies in the custom electronics business, either as retailers, manufacturers, distributors or component providers, it was a rough year. There were some winners however. Indeed, 14 of the 46 companies in the list showed positive stock price performance last year. It should be noted that most of the companies on the chart are not pure-play custom electronics players but that usually represents just one small portion of their broad product reach; therefore, in most cases neither the growth or the drop in stock price can be directly attributed to the custom electronics industry.
The 2015 performance follows a year in which CE stocks rose 5.3 percent in 2014.
For this year’s list (See Full Chart), Planar has dropped off since it was acquired by Chinese LED company Leyard in the fall. Among the handful of newbies on the list this year is pure-play Alarm.com, which debuted in June 2015. The company’s stock price begins 2016 at $16.68, which is just 20 cents or about 1 percent lower than its IPO debut at $16.88.
Let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers for 2015.
Google/Alphabet — Up 44%: Surprise, surprise … we all know that Google rules the world so it’s not too surprising to see that Google/Alphabet stock performed the best in 2015. The company, which makes the Nest thermostat, Nest Protect smoke detector and Nest Cam surveillance cameras, saw its stock rise 44 percent last year.
Broadcom — Up 34%: This chipmaker is a key player in the wireless networking space, supplying components for leading manufacturers like Pakedge.
Home Depot — Up 26%: This rise has little to do with custom electronics other than integrators reporting obtaining as much as 10.5 percent of their products from retailers like Home Depot.
Time Warner Cable — Up 22%: Providers of entry-level security/home automation systems, the cable giant’s stock rose a healthy 22 percent in 2015. That was following a 13 percent increase in 2014.
Ascent Capital (Monitronics) — Down 68%: The company is experiencing growth (about 5 percent) but it’s not enough for analysts. The company recently acquired LiveWatch vide monitoring and demand for Monitronics’ HomeTouch home automation services was “solid” with a 75 percent take rate in Q2 among new customers. To date, 39 percent of Monitronics’ total client base subscribes to HomeTouch.
Sharp Electronics — Down 59%: Sharp has hit tough times, as have many display manufacturers. Recent reports indicate that the Japanese government was involved in buying stock to keep the company going. Sharp sold its Mexico television factory to Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense for $23.7 million in July 2015.
HH Gregg — Down 52%: The electronics retailer with more than 200 stores and a strong online presence has seen its stock get cut in half two years in a row, from $14.46 per share to start 2014 to $7.57 to start 2015 to just $3.66 to begin this year.
Toshiba — Down 51%: Even though the world saw a giant Toshiba electronic billboard over the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the Japanese company’s stock fell by more than half to just $2.04 per share in U.S. dollars. Makers of laptops and 4K TVs, the company was rocked by an accounting scandal in 2015.
Which CE stocks are you bullish (or bearish) on for 2016? Let us know in the Comments section below.