worst performing dow stocks 2023

3 Worst Performing Dow Jones Stocks in 2023

After a challenging and volatile year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) will probably finish 2023 with a positive return. The index has climbed about 13%, and much of the return has occurred in the past few months. This will be the fourth positive return in the last five years, with 2022 the only down year.

The three worst-performing Dow Jones Stocks in 2023 were Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Chevron (CVX), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which all have negative returns.

Last year, the Technology sector struggled, suppressing returns for the Dow 30 and other indexes. However, the two sectors that performed well last year, Energy and Utilities, are at the bottom. 

Tech stocks are having a gangbuster year. Four of the best performing DJIA equities are Salesforce (CRM), up about 101%; Intel (INTC) at +86%; Microsoft (MSFT), adding +58%; and Apple (AAPL) at + 50%. Interestingly, CRM and INTC were the two worst-performing stocks last year, implying investing in the Dogs of the Dow 2023 plus CRM, which does not pay a dividend, was a good strategy.


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Market Overview

After an up-and-down year, 2023 is finishing strong. Investors were waiting for a signal about inflation, and they received several. The U.S. Federal Reserve has paused thrice; the dot plot indicates up to three decreases in 2024. Next, the Producer Price Index (PPI) was down month-to-month, meaning wholesale prices are declining. Lastly, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index are nearing 3%. The bottom line is contrary to popular belief, inflation is down and likely heading to sub-3%.

Interest rates responded positively by falling quickly. Similarly, stock markets climbed and continue to do so. The Nasdaq is up an astounding 50%+, and the Dow 30 is setting all-time highs. The year contains further good news, including solid Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers, a sub-4% unemployment rate, and job growth.

Despite the naysayers trying to convince people everything is terrible, the opposite is seemingly true. However, on the negative side, the yield curve is still inverted, and manufacturing continues to struggle.

That said, a recession did not happen in 2023, surprising many economists. Further, it is hard to argue that one will occur in 2024 unless the economy sours quickly.

This year, the Dow 30 has gained approximately +15.9% with dividends reinvested, as seen in the chart from Stock Rover*, doing worse than the Nasdaq, S&P 500 Index, and the Russell 2000. 

Dow 30 2023 Returns
Source: Stock Rover*

Past Year’s Worst Performers

The three worst-performing Dow Jones stocks in 2019 were Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Pfizer (PFE), and 3M (MMM). In 2020, the three worst-performing Dow Jones stocks in 2020 were Boeing (BA), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), and Chevron (CVX). The three worst-performing Dow Jones stocks in 2021 were Walt Disney (DIS), Verizon Communications (VZ), and Boeing (BA). The three worst-performing equities in 2022 were Sales Force (CRM), Intel (INTC), and Walt Disney (DIS).

3 Worst Performing Dow Jones Stocks in 2023

The three worst-performing Dow Jones Stocks in 2023 were Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Chevron (CVX), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), based on our watch list in Stock Rover*. Walgreens Boots is on the list for the third time in five years. Chevron and Johnson & Johnson also had poor years but not as bad as Walgreens Boots.

Dow 30 2023 Stock Returns
Source: Stock Rover*

We summarize each equities’ challenges in 2023 and the positives as the basis for further research.

Walgreens-Boots Again

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the biggest retail pharmacy in the United States and Europe. In the U.S., it operates through its 9,000+ Walgreens stores, and in the United Kingdom, it owns the Boots chain, adding another 4,000+ locations. The company is a market leader in both countries, and the Boots brand is gaining market share.

The company is making a significant move into healthcare. It has purchased several small companies intending to grow its healthcare offerings, such as VillageMD for primary care, CareCentrix for post-acute care, Shields Health Solutions for specialty pharmacy, and Walgreens Health. They are growing quickly but are unprofitable.

Total revenue was $139,081 million in fiscal 2023 and the past twelve months.

Walgreens has struggled since the merger in 2015. Complexity and size made it difficult to execute across multiple countries and brands. Investors have stayed away from the stock. Moreover, operational missteps and relatively poor results have caused the CEO and CFO to leave. However, the company is selling non-core brands and retail operations in other countries, sharpening its focus. Also, the Board hired a new CEO, bringing in a fresh perspective.

Walgreens Boots has a 48-year dividend growth streak, placing it on the 2023 Dividend Aristocrats list. It is also on the list of 2023 Dividend Champions. That said, the dividend was not increased in 2023, but the streak is still alive because of timing. Also, the dividend is growing at a low rate. The forward yield is about 7.3%, off its highs but still respectable.

The firm is clearly in turnaround mode and presents a risk to investors. Competition is elevated, and much depends on successful operational execution. Although the valuation is low, the uncertainty is high.

Portfolio Insight - Dividend Growth WBA
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Related Articles About Walgreens Boots on Dividend Power

Chevron is Being Affected by Low Oil Prices

Chevron Corporation is a large oil and natural gas producer and refiner founded in 1879. It is one of the biggest integrated oil and gas majors globally. The firm has grown organically and by acquisition. The two most recent additions, Puma Energy and Noble Energy, expanded the company’s geographic footprint and added to its oil reserves. Currently, the company is acquiring Hess Corporation (HES) to maintain pace with Exxon Mobil (XOM).

Chevron operates in two business segments: Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment explores, develops, produces, and transports crude oil and natural gas. The Downstream segment refines crude oil into petroleum, fuels, and petrochemicals.

Total revenue was $235,916 million in 2022 and $202,702 million in the last twelve months.

Although Chevron is a market leader, the share price has declined because of the pending acquisition. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may look unfavorably at the deal. In addition, investors may not like it. Additionally, oil prices are lower than last year, affecting revenue and profitability.

According to Dividend Radar, Chevron has increased its dividend for 36 consecutive years. As a result, the stock is a Dividend Aristocrat and a Dividend Champion. The relatively low payout ratio of ~32% and Stock Rover’s* calculated financial strength score of 86 indicate Chevron’s dividend is safe. Free cash flow also more than covers the dividend. The balance sheet is sound, with a low leverage ratio. The rating agencies agree, giving an AA-/Aa2 high-grade investment credit rating.

At the correct valuation, Chevron is a good buy. The stock price was down over 10% in 2023. If oil prices recover, the share price should, too.

Related Articles About Chevron on Dividend Power

CVX Financial Strength
Source: Stock Rover*

Johnson & Johnson is Rarely Undervalued

Johnson & Johnson is a global, diversified healthcare company focusing on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. It spun off the consumer business as Kenvue (KVUE) this year. Even after the spinoff, the company still has 25 brands with $1+ billion in sales. The company maintains its lead with a robust R&D budget, typically in the top 10 worldwide. That said, Johnson & Johnson has gotten a decent return from its money as the R&D department has created successful new therapies and devices.

Total revenue was $94,943 million in fiscal 2022 and $98,656 million in the last twelve months.

The share price is down partially because the Healthcare sector has performed poorly in 2023. Next, Johnson & Johnson is facing litigation about talc powder adding pressure to the stock. However, it has received some good news in court, and some people have questioned the science behind the talc powder litigation.

Despite the negative sentiment, dividend growth investors like the company because of the 61-year streak of dividend increases. As a result, Johnson & Johnson is on the list of Dividend Kings in 2023. In addition, it has one of the longest streaks of dividend payment. The conservative 44% earnings payout ratio and AAA-rated balance sheet give JNJ an outstanding dividend safety. Furthermore, the dividend quality grade is an ‘A+,’ meaning it is in the 95th percentile of equities tracked by Portfolio Insight.

The forward dividend yield is ~3.1%, and the stock is undervalued a rare combination. Investors may want to look favorably at Johnson & Johnson.

Portfolio Insight - Dividend Yield History JNJ
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Related Articles About Johnson & Johnson on Dividend Power

Disclosure: Long JNJ.

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Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.

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