With the year almost over, we’re taking a look at all 30 stocks in the
Dow Jones Industrial Average,
starting with the worst performers—
Walgreens Boots Alliance
—and working our way up to the highest-flying stock in the benchmark—
The ranking may shift before the close of 2020 trading, but the stories behind the stocks shouldn’t.
Enjoying an ice cold Coke at the movies, at a restaurant with friends, or while cheering your favorite sports team may be a habit for many. Unfortunately for the stock, the pandemic meant people weren’t doing any of those things this year, although 2021 looks brighter.
(ticker: KO) is down about 6% in 2020 at recent check, putting it in the bottom half of the Dow in terms of year to date performance.
Coke had a good start to the year, but said in February that the virus would weigh on its earnings. It issued another warning in April, saying the worst was yet to come.
Even as more people stocked their pantries with Coke during lockdowns, that couldn’t make up for the lack of consumption at events and eateries. That business makes up about half of Coke’s sales. Indeed, rival
(PEP) sees a more significant portion of sales from at-home consumption, which has helped the stock rise 6% this year.
The picture began improving for Coke this summer. Its most recent earnings report in October included bright spots as well, such as a prediction for growth for key markets like China.
Certainly, a difficult few months remain ahead for Coke, but 2021 may be a better year. The company already announced plans to restructure and focus on higher-growth businesses and should benefit from improving living standards around the world and a weaker dollar.
Barron’s named Coke as one of the top 10 stocks for 2021.
Analysts are largely upbeat about Coke’s prospects too: 77% of the 22 tracked by FactSet rate it at Buy or the equivalent, while 23% are on the sidelines. There are no bearish calls on the Street, and the average analyst price target is $57.35.
Coke will report earnings in mid-February, and evidence of a continuing recovery from the pandemic could boost the shares.
Write to Teresa Rivas at [email protected]