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These were the worst performing ASX 200 shares in 2019

James Mickleboro
crashed rocket

In 2019 the S&P/ASX 200 index was a great place to invest your money.

Despite a disappointing end to the year, the benchmark index recorded a gain of just over 20% excluding dividends.

Unfortunately, not all shares on the index climbed higher last year. Here’s why these were the worst performing ASX 200 shares in 2019:

Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC)

The Costa Group share price was the worst performer on the ASX 200 in 2019 with a 64.1% decline. Investors sold off the horticulture company’s shares last year after it made countless downgrades to its earnings guidance. One of its downgrades was for its calendar year 2019 guidance. This has been revised down to an adjusted net profit of just $28 million, compared to its previous guidance of $57 million to $66 million. In addition to this, its falling profits put pressure on its balance sheet, leading to Costa undertaking a $187 million capital raising at a significant discount to its share price at the time.

Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

The Pilbara Minerals share price crashed 55.2% lower in 2019. The lithium miner’s shares have come under heavy selling pressure this year due to a further collapse in the price of the battery-making ingredient. Lithium prices have fallen heavily due to softening demand and growing supply. Unfortunately, prices have continued to weaken in the final quarter of 2019 and have been tipped to slide further in 2020. This could mean another tough year ahead for Pilbara Minerals.

Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX)

The Mayne Pharma share price was out of form again in 2019 and fell 43.9%. Investors were selling the pharmaceutical company’s shares after a poor performance in FY 2019 and a disappointing start to the new financial year. In FY 2019 Mayne Pharma posted a 1% decline in revenue to $525.2 million and a reported net loss after tax of $280.8 million. This was due largely to a non-cash pre-tax charge of $351.7 million relating to its intangible generic assets. FY 2020 hasn’t been any better for the company, with management recently revealing that revenue fell 16% to $153 million during the first four months of the financial year. This has been caused by sustained pressure on generic drug pricing due to aggressive contracting behaviour from three major buying groups.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM)

The St Barbara share price was a disappointing performer in 2019 with a 40.2% decline. The catalyst for this share price weakness was issues at its Gwalia mine. These issues led to the company reducing its production materially, which ultimately resulted in a sharp decline in profits and an increase in costs in FY 2019. Not even the $768 million acquisition of Canadian miner Atlantic Gold was able to stop its share price decline.

The post These were the worst performing ASX 200 shares in 2019 appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2020