2020 has been a tumultuous year for investors, with many companies suffering substantial drops in value. While Tesla has made headlines due to Elon Musk’s controversial tweets and how they have affected the company’s stock price, Tesla was not the biggest wealth destroyer of 2020. In fact, some investors saw much bigger losses with Apple and Microsoft suffering more than double the losses experienced by Meta shareholders.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) suffered its worst year since 2008, losing nearly 47% of its value from January to December 2020. Apple price started in 2022 at $177.57. Today, Apple traded at $142.16, so the price decreased by -20% from the beginning of the year. The forecasted Apple price at the end of 2022 is $148 – and the year to year change -17%. The rise from today to year-end: +4%. For many investors, Apple was seen as a safe bet for long-term investments, so this rapid decline came as a major surprise. The primary reason for this drop was Apple’s sluggish performance in China, which accounts for around 20% of its revenue. With Chinese consumers increasingly turning away from iPhones in favor of cheaper alternatives from Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei, Apple was unable to keep up with demand and saw its profits fall significantly in 2020.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) went through a similar ordeal in 2020 and ended up losing over 30% of its value on the year. Microsoft’s shares fell 7.7% last October 2022. That decline added to a tough year for owners of the software giant’s shares, which are down 26% so far in 2022 while the broader market is lower by 16%. The decline came as investors grew worried about a weakening sales environment in key parts of Microsoft’s business, including video games and productivity software and due to a combination of factors including slowing sales growth and increased competition from rivals such as Google and Amazon in cloud computing services. Despite these issues, Microsoft still managed to remain profitable due to their focus on cloud-based software services such as Azure and Office 365 which helped offset any losses incurred by their traditional Windows product line.
Finally, Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:META) lost an astounding 87% of its value between January and December 2020 due to several factors including declining interest rates, higher than expected loan delinquencies, and concerns about COVID-19’s impact on their business operations. This took Meta’s stock price from nearly $80 per share at the start of 2020 – making it one of the biggest losers among publicly traded companies in 2020. Based on 38 Wall Street analysts offering 12 month price targets for Meta Platforms in the last 3 months this year. The average price target is $148.26 with a high forecast of $260.00 and a low forecast of $80.00. The average price target represents a 28.24% change from the last price of $115.61.
Conclusion: While Tesla did experience a significant drop in value during 2020 (-20%), it still pales in comparison to other major tech stocks like Apple (-47%) or Microsoft (-30%). However, no company had it worse than Meta Financial Group which lost an astonishing 87% of its value over the course of 12 months – making it far and away the biggest wealth destroyer among all publicly traded companies during this tumultuous year for investors worldwide. It is clear that while some stocks were able to weather turbulent market conditions better than others, no one emerged unscathed from this roller coaster ride that was 2020 on Wall Street.