As of March 31, there were 3,739 stocks in the Nasdaq Composite Index. And according to Finviz, around 1,600 of these are down 60% or more from their 52-week highs. Similarly, there are 500 companies in the S&P 500, and as of this writing, a whopping 42 of these supposedly stable stocks are down 50% or more from their 52-week highs.
There are an unusually high number of stocks down 50%, 60%, or more right now. Two such stocks that I own are Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) and Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON), which are down 80% and 94% from their respective highs.
If you, like me, own stocks that are down substantially, you’re likely wondering how long it will take to get back to breakeven. But this is the wrong question to ask. And we can look to dot-com bubble darling Micron Technologies (NASDAQ: MU) to help guide our thinking when deciding what to do with stocks like Peloton and Pinterest in this environment.
A stock market history lesson
Stock market bubbles happen when investors get too excited about stocks in the near term. Valuations jump higher and higher as investors frantically buy to avoid missing out. But eventually, the mood on Wall Street changes, buyers turn into sellers, and stock prices plummet.
The dot-com bubble swelled in the years preceding the year 2000. As the name suggests, investors were excited about many new internet companies. But tech stocks generally, not just internet companies, were seeing outsized gains. One of these tech stocks was semiconductor company Micron. From the start of 1995 until its peak in early 2000, Micron stock went up an astounding 775%.
The bubble finally popped in early 2000, and the Nasdaq Composite fell over 75% before it bottomed in 2002. For its part, Micron finally bottomed in early 2003 after it had fallen a stunning 93% from its all-time high.
Here’s the thing: Investors were behaving somewhat rationally when Micron stock was going up. The company’s trailing-12-month (TTM) revenue more than doubled from the start of 1995 to mid-2000. And it was profitable over much of that time with a slight increase in net income. These financials mean it was quantifiably superior to many of its dot-com bubble peers. Therefore, it wasn’t necessarily easy to spot a bubble forming around Micron, because the business was solid.
If you bought the peak with Micron
Let’s say you invested $5,000 in Micron stock exactly when it peaked in 2000 at around $95 per share. By 2003, your $5,000 investment was worth $350. Ouch.
If you held that stock, you finally reached breakeven in April 2021. Yes, it took 21 years for shares of Micron to regain their previous all-time high. And now, shares are back down 43% from their high. Double ouch.
From 2000 to now, Micron’s TTM revenue is up about 800%. And TTM net income was up over 1,800%. Therefore, the company has executed over the past 20 years. But investors who bought at the top of the dot-com bubble have watched their investment provide zero returns for over two decades.
What this lesson means for investors today
If you’re down substantially on an investment, the first thing I’d say is I’m sorry. Nobody enjoys losing money.
Next, I’d encourage you to avoid price anchoring — fixating on the price you paid. It may be painful to hear, but if you invested $5,000 in a stock that fell 93% (like Micron), that money is gone. It’s worth $350 today. And you can only evaluate your choices based on where we are now.
Here’s the wrong question: When will Micron make it back to my cost basis?
Here’s the right question: Is Micron the best place for long-term, market-beating returns from today’s price?
Of course, I’m not talking about Micron anymore. For me, I’m looking at Pinterest and Peloton. You might be looking at another stock in your portfolio. The point is that one must assess the business’s current prospects and ask whether they offer potential market-beating returns.
In Pinterest’s case, I believe it does offer market-beating potential. In the near term, advertisers may pull back spending as consumer discretionary income is challenged by inflation. But in the longer term, the Pinterest platform is uniquely positioned to offer better returns for advertising budgets than other platforms. Therefore, I believe demand will trend higher over the long run, to the benefit of shareholders today. And the company has over $2.6 billion in cash to weather any kind of storm on the horizon.
But I’m not so sure anymore about Peloton’s potential to beat the market. It’s true that its app just enjoyed a record month of adoption, which bodes well for future sales of exercise equipment. However, Peloton is where it is because of some bad managerial decisions from previous executives. New executives are in place, but it will take time for the new team to establish credibility with investors.
There’s a more hopeful takeaway from Micron’s story
Here’s the final takeaway: Part of investing the Motley Fool way is investing new money regularly, either in new stocks or in stocks you already own. If you bought Micron only once at its peak, then yes, it took 21 years to break even. But what if you added to your investment over time?
To avoid cherry-picking returns, let’s say you invested $1,000 in Micron five times — every July 15 from 2000 (the worst possible time) through 2004, instead of investing all $5,000 at the very top.
|Investment Date||Investment||Present Value|
|July 15, 2000||$1,000||$577|
|July 15, 2001||$1,000||$1,429|
|July 15, 2002||$1,000||$2,280|
|July 15, 2003||$1,000||$3,934|
|July 15, 2004||$1,000||$4,133|
As the chart shows, returns are vastly different for Micron investors who kept adding to their positions over time. To reiterate, Micron was growing during that time, and semiconductors have long been an important industry. Therefore, it made sense to add to that position, and overall returns were far superior for those who did.
This is my long-term plan for my positions that are down, like Pinterest. It’s important to watch the underlying business fundamentals and not be worried about the price per share. When the business is sound, it makes sense to add more money over time. And adopting this attitude can greatly alter the course of your investing career for the better.
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· Surgery Center of Pottsville in Schuylkill County to close after June 28, 2022
· Terrain on the Parkway offers 160 new 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments at 1625 Lehigh Parkway East in Allentown. Other amenities include a club room, fitness center, conference rooms and package lockers. Monthly rent starts at $1,575 with three-bedroom, two-bath units starting at $2,540.
· The former site of the flagship Hess’s department store will soon be home to another company with local roots. Lehigh Valley native Don Wenner is moving his real estate investment and finance firm DLP Capital from Bethlehem to Allentown at 835 W. Hamilton St.
· While Wells Fargo has been the leader in closing banks lately, it will hold a ribbon-cutting for its new downtown Allentown office at 740 Hamilton St. on June 30.
· If you’re in the market for sterling silver jewelry, minerals and semi-precious gemstones, C& I Minerals is now operating at the South Mall at 3300 Lehigh St. in Allentown.
· The Allentown-based utility company PPL Corp. has a new approach after making two big transactions. It sold its U.K. operations, taking a lot of risk and currency complications out of its business, and bought a major Rhode Island utility.
· Ownership at Martellucci’s Pizzeria in Bethlehem has changed, but the nearly half-century tradition there continues. Paul and Donna Hlavinka and their family are running the pizza place at 1419 Easton Ave., just as it has been operated for 49 years.
· Dr. Jacob Kasprenski’s father and grandfather were both physicians in the Lehigh Valley, and now he’s following in their footsteps of serving the community. His new Kasprenski Family Eye Care opened at 1088 Howertown Road, Catasauqua.
· This longtime downtown Easton lunch spot closed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could be making a comeback. A plan to split the space with a vegan deli did not work out, but a June 13 Historic District Commission meeting approved a request for a new sign at Josie’s at 14 Centre Square.
· Zekraft cafe has opened its second location in the Easton Silk Mill in Easton. The first Zekraft restaurant was opened in Bethlehem. The restaurants’ menus change frequently, with a focus on local ingredients.
· Manta Massage at 319 Main St., Emmaus, will hold its grand opening on July 10 starting at 11 a.m. Services offered include facial cupping, and massages including targeted warm Himalayan salt stone and targeted facial massage.
· The former Iron Lakes Country Club, constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, will operate at 3625 Shankweiler Road in North Whitehall Township under its new name, The Club at Twin Lakes. The Jaindl family purchased the golf course last year, and worked with KemperSports Management to upgrade it.
· Prologis, a titan in the logistics industry, is the choice of Air Products and Chemicals to own and operate three warehouses proposed in Upper Macungie Township. The industrial gas company said Prologis will use some of the former Air Products headquarters campus at 7201 Hamilton Blvd. for the warehouses, totaling about 2.6 million square feet.
· Lehigh Valley Health Network ceremonially opened its first Carbon County hospital — a $78 million, 100,578-square-foot facility that officials billed as a “full-service community hospital.” It’s located at 2128 Blakeslee Boulevard Drive East in Mahoning Township.
· Pocono Township commissioners voted to approve a plan to build Pennsylvania’s largest solar field on a mountain slope, despite pleas by some residents to reject the project for environmental concerns. Commissioners voted 4-1 to accept Swiftwater Solar’s preliminary final plan for the $111 million, 80-megawatt field on a private 644-acre site on top of Bear Mountain that would include about 200,000 solar panels.
· Firetree Ltd., which is based in Williamsport and operates treatment centers for people with drug and alcohol addiction and other clients transitioning out of prison, wants to expand its in-patient rehab operation at the former Sands Ford auto dealership at 440 N Claude A Lord Blvd. (Route 61), Pottsville. To do that, it needs the Pottsville Zoning Hearing Board’s approval regarding the use of the land.
· A Dunkin’ in Schuylkill County has become just the fourth location of the donut and coffee chain to go entirely digital. The remodeled store at 400 Terry Rich Blvd., St. Clair, has replaced its traditional order counter with two in-store kiosks at which customers place digital orders and pay using a credit card or Dunkin’ gift card.
· The Conservatory music school in Bucks County will close after 34 years, and school officials say the COVID-19 pandemic is the cause. The nonprofit, located at 4059 Skyron Drive, Doylestown, will close June 30.
· A Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Arby’s will be built on the site of the former Ahart’s Market on Route 22 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
· Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce offices and the Unity Bank Center for Business & Entrepreneurship will be located at 119 Main St., Flemington. The building was erected in 1847 and was once the home of George Hall Large, who served as president of the New Jersey state Senate.
· Honeygrow opens Quakertown location, next to Chipotle on Route 309, on June 3.
· Dunkin’ reopens remodeled restaurant at 1174 MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township
· Muse Modern Med Spa at 325 Fifth St. in Whitehall Township will hold a grand opening June 4.
· Around Again, a consignment store, opened at 154 S. Main St., Phillipsburg
· Steak and Steel Hibachi, a restaurant in the works at 44 W. Walnut St., Bethlehem, still plans on opening late this summer.
· Take It Outdoors Recreation Hub has moved to a spot along the Schuylkill River Trail at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, Montgomery County
· Pedego Electric Bikes has a new outlet in Lambertville, N.J. at 13 N. Union St.
· Amanda Vachris has opened a new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St. in Schuylkill Haven.
· Easton’s new West Ward Market will open Wednesday and be open on Wednesday’s through the summer from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The market, created by the Greater Easton Development Partnership, will sell fresh produce on 12th Street, next to Paxinosa Elementary School.
· Ciao Sandwich Shoppe is adding a second location, this time on College Hill in Easton. Ciao plans to open at 325 Cattell St. in late summer. Ciao already operates in downtown Easton at 12 N. Third St
· Ma’s Crepes and Cakes will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting June 16 at 46 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe. The celebration starts at 5 p.m., with the ribbon cutting at 5:45 p.m.
· Bethlehem’s Back Door Bakeshop will reopen as a wholesale operation at 7 E. Church St. in the city’s historic district. The business was open for nine years as a retail outlet at Broad and Center streets, before announcing in March that it would close the storefront April 3 and “go back to its origins as a wholesale business.”
·The Beef Baron on Catasauqua Road in Bethlehem is closed indefinitely for renovations
· The Brothers That Just Do Gutters are opening a new location in Allentown at 1302 N. 18th St.
· St. John Chrysostom Academy, an Orthodox school serving grades 1-9 starting this fall, held a grand opening at its St. Francis Center, Bethlehem, campus.
· Easton Commons, a shopping center anchored by Giant Foods at 2920 Easton Ave., Bethlehem Township, has a new name: The Shops at Bethlehem.
· Carbon County is getting a taste of Brazil at Uai Brasil BBQ at 315 Lehigh Ave. in Palmerton.
· The Keystone Pub in Bethlehem Township, at 3259 Easton Avenue, has reopened after a lengthy and expensive renovation.
· The Trading Post Depot opened at 401 Northampton St., Easton. The rustic furniture store makes custom tables for dining rooms, desktops, conference centers and more.
· The Easton area has a new gym: Homemade Fitness at 444 Cedarville Road in Williams Township.
· Il Gaetano Ristorante opened at its 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg, location.
· Ciao! Sandwich Shoppe to open second location on College Hill in Easton, replacing The Kettle Room
· Rene and Grisellies Benique have opened Ezekiel 47 Cafe at 10 S. Fifth Ave., off Fifth and Penn avenues, in West Reading.
· Alter Ego Salon and Day Spa in Emmaus is holding a grand opening Sunday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at noon.
· Origen Latin Fusion has opened at the site of the former Tomcat Cafe in Sinking Spring, Berks County.
· Sellersville Senior Residences will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 24. The Bucks County affordable-housing community for adults 55 and older has 50 apartments, with eight allocated for people with behavioral health needs.
· The House and Barn in Emmaus has opened its Shed outdoor dining and cigar bar area. The House and Barn is at 1449 Chestnut St. in Emmaus.
· Realtor Amanda Vachris and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at Vachris’s new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St., Schuylkill Haven, at 4 p.m. on May 24.
· Il Gaetano Ristorante will hold a grand opening on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m. The 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg.
· First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union will hold a grand opening at its new headquarters in Trexlertown, 6126 Hamilton Blvd., on May 18.
· Vinyl Press Signs & Graphics has relocated within Emmaus. The new site is 15 S. Second St., not far from the former Sixth Street location.
· Pedro’s Cafe in Emmaus to close
· SV Sports (formerly Schuylkill Valley Sports) to close Quakertown location
· Flemington DIY will host a Grand Re-Opening on May 14 at 26 Stangl Road, Flemington. The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m.
· Elpedio’s Ristorante at Seipsville opened at 2912 Old Nazareth Road in Easton. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday.
· Uai Brazil opened at 315 Lehigh Ave, Palmerton, offering both a seated or buffet option.
· Colombian Mex Restaurant opened at 107 E Union Blvd in Bethlehem, offering traditional Colombian cuisine.
· Precision Ink opened at 161 W Berwick St. in Easton.
· King Wing opened a location in Bethlehem at 129 E. Third St., serving wings and sandwiches.