Money Analysed

The Most Frustrating Stocks of the Decade: Why These Companies Struggled to Stay Afloat

The Most Frustrating Stocks of the Decade

Investing in the stock market can be a risky game, even for experienced Wall Street brokers. The past decade has been a rollercoaster ride for investors, with some stocks faring better than others.

In this article, we take a look at some of the most frustrating stocks of the decade and why they have been such a disappointment to investors.

General Electric (GE)

It’s hard to believe that

General Electric (GE), once the darling of the finance sector and a Dow Jones Industrial Average component stock, could fall from grace so rapidly. GE, a multinational conglomerate with a diverse portfolio spanning aviation, finance, healthcare, and renewable energy, took a devastating hit in 2017 when its shares tumbled over 40%.

The reasons behind the plunge are numerous, including accounting irregularities, underperforming businesses, and mounting debt. The company’s leadership changes and strategic reforms failed to stop the bleeding.

In 2020, despite a new CEO and recovery plan, GE’s stock has yet to regain the value it lost over the past decade.

CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies)

Fiber-optic internet provider, CenturyLink, was once expected to become a major player in the technology sector. Investors saw promise in the company’s steady income stream and healthy dividends.

However, the reality was quite different. CenturyLink’s shares have lost more than 80% of their value since 2010.

Why did the company miss expectations? Many point to their inability to compete with other internet service providers, particularly in the high-speed market.

As more customers left for faster options, CenturyLink’s revenue continued to decline.

Under Armour

Clothing company

Under Armour had a rough decade, with several poor quarterly earnings reports dragging down its stock value. The company struggled to keep pace in the ultra-competitive athletic apparel market, with bigger players like Nike, Adidas, and Lululemon dominating the scene.

Under Armour’s financial struggles were compounded in 2019 with a federal investigation into its accounting practices. The company was forced to pay nearly $10 million in fines and other payments to settle the matter.

All of these issues resulted in a six-year low in

Under Armour’s stock price. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E;)

Wildfire season is a very real threat in California, and no company knows this better than Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E;).

The energy company faced multiple wildfires caused by faulty equipment, resulting in widespread power outages, property damage, and loss of life. These disasters, coupled with the company’s bankruptcy filing in 2019, sent its stocks plummeting.

PG&E; is still reeling from these issues, as it continues to make massive investments in fire prevention measures while trying to make amends with the public and government officials. Despite efforts to rebuild its reputation, investors remain wary of the company’s financial future.

Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz, a food conglomerate known for its iconic brands like Heinz Ketchup, has been on a downward trajectory for years. The company faced an SEC investigation in 2019 that uncovered accounting malpractices, including cost-cutting measures that led to a $15.4 billion write-down of company value.

Additionally, changing consumer preferences over the past decade have hit the company hard. Consumers are opting for healthier, natural food options and shifting away from processed foods.

Kraft Heinz’s lack of innovation in this market has resulted in a steady decline in sales.


The COVID-19 crisis has hit many industries hard, but few have been as drastically affected as the cruise industry.

Carnival, one of the largest operators of cruise ships in the world, saw its stock prices drop by nearly 80% in a matter of weeks as the pandemic hit.

Carnival had to cancel many of its scheduled cruises and refund customers, leading to massive losses. While the company has been able to secure funding to stay afloat, the long-term impact of the pandemic on the cruise industry and on

Carnival, in particular, remains unclear.


Apache, an oil and gas exploration company, faced difficulties in the early 2010s due to a drop in gas prices. Investors were unimpressed as the company struggled to keep pace in a volatile industry.

Despite recent success in producing oil in new locations, including offshore sites,

Apache has struggled to regain investor confidence. Many investors are wary of the company’s ability to navigate industry challenges and maintain profitability.

Occidental Petroleum

Occidental Petroleum is another casualty of the oil and gas industry’s volatility. In 2019, the company experienced a significant drop in gas prices, and it has struggled to recover ever since.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested $10 billion in the company last year, giving investors some hope for its future. However,

Occidental Petroleum’s long-term outlook remains a question mark.

It continues to face challenges, including tough competition and environmental regulations, that could potentially impact its profitability.


Fertilizer company

Mosaic was hit hard by the Great Recession, and its shares have struggled to recover in the decade since. The farming industry faced a downturn as global demand for crops dropped, causing a decline in fertilizer sales.


Mosaic has pushed to diversify its operations, including expanding into South America, investors remain skeptical about its future. The company’s leadership has also faced criticism over its handling of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, which have resulted in lower morale and high turnover among employees.


Computer manufacturer

IBM, which was once at the forefront of the technology industry, struggled to keep up in the cloud and AI market. While the company invested heavily in these areas, research and development efforts failed to result in substantial growth.

IBM’s financial struggles have been compounded by increased competition from other tech giants, such as Amazon and Microsoft. Even with the hiring of a new CEO in 2020, the company faces a tough road ahead.


Traditional retailers have been struggling for a while, and Macy’s is no exception. The company’s brick-and-mortar stores have faced declining sales for years as e-commerce platforms like Amazon continue to dominate the market.

Macy’s has tried to pivot to online sales, but its efforts have been slow going. The company’s stock is still hovering at its lowest point in nearly a decade, and investors remain skeptical about its ability to stay afloat in an increasingly digital market.

Bath & Body Works (L Brands)

E-commerce has had an impact on the beauty and personal care industry as well. Bath & Body Works, a subsidiary of L Brands, faced a steep decline in revenue in 2019 as customers moved away from physical stores.

The sudden shift to e-commerce caught the company off guard, and Bath & Body Works struggled to keep pace with digital competitors. While the company has tried to adapt, including expanding its offerings and increasing online sales, its shares have struggled to recover.

S&P 500 Growth and Investing in the Stock Market

While many individual stocks have faced challenges in the past decade, the S&P 500 index as a whole has seen impressive growth. From 2010 to 2020, the index grew by nearly 200%, with an average annual return of 13%.

Investing in the stock market can be a great way to build wealth over the long term. However, it’s important to remember that any investment carries risk.

Even seemingly stable companies can underperform, leaving investors with losses. Before investing in the stock market, it’s essential to research your options carefully and diversify your investments.

It’s also important to have a long-term view and not to panic during temporary market fluctuations.



The past decade has been a rollercoaster ride for investors in the stock market, with some stocks faring better than others. Companies that were once considered stable investments have struggled due to shifts in the industry, changing consumer preferences, and other factors.

However, investing in the stock market can still be an excellent way to build wealth over the long term. It’s essential to do your research, diversify your investments, and have a long-term view.

General Electric (GE)

For much of the 20th century, General Electric was considered a valuable conglomerate, with holdings in healthcare, media, aviation, and many other industries. The company’s diverse revenue stream helped it weather economic downturns and remain a blue-chip stock for decades.

However, in the past decade, GE’s fortunes have taken a sharp turn. During the Great Recession, the finance sector took a hit, and GE, with its large financial division, was no exception.

As the company struggled to recover, its performance in other industries suffered as well. The company’s leadership tried to pivot in new directions, including investing heavily in renewable energy and healthcare tech, but these efforts failed to produce the desired results.

In 2018, GE’s problems were compounded when it was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a stock market index that tracks 30 large publicly traded companies in the United States. The removal, which was a reflection of the company’s declining fortunes, was a significant blow to GE’s reputation and signaled a loss of confidence among investors.

Today, the company is still trying to turn things around under the leadership of CEO Larry Culp, who took over in late 2018. Culp has implemented a series of strategic reforms, including divesting underperforming businesses and streamlining operations.

While the company has shown some signs of improvement, its future remains uncertain.

CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies)

CenturyLink, now rebranded as Lumen Technologies, is a company that has undergone significant changes in the past decade. The telecommunications provider, known for its landlines and DSL connections, has been making a transition to fiber-optic infrastructure, which promises to deliver faster internet speeds and better connectivity.

However, this transition has not been without its challenges. Upgrading existing infrastructure and building new fiber-optic networks is an expensive and time-consuming process.

CenturyLink has had to balance the cost of this investment with the need to stay competitive in the increasingly crowded telecommunications market. In 2019, CenturyLink faced further challenges when it cut its dividends for the first time in eight years.

The company’s leadership cited the need to pay down debt and invest in upgrading its network as reasons for the dividend cut. While some investors saw this as a prudent move, others were concerned about the company’s ability to maintain its revenue stream.

Additionally, CenturyLink has faced trust issues with customers and investors alike. The company has faced lawsuits alleging deceptive billing practices and has been fined by state regulators for overcharging customers.

These actions have eroded trust in the company and complicated its efforts to move forward. To address these issues, Lumen Technologies has focused on improving transparency and customer service.

The company has also continued to invest in fiber-optic infrastructure as part of its long-term growth strategy. Whether these efforts will be enough to restore investor confidence and drive growth remains to be seen.

Under Armour

Under Armour, the athletic apparel company known for its moisture-wicking technology, exploded onto the public trading stage in 2005 and saw steady growth for over a decade. The company’s unique products and innovative marketing strategies helped it build a loyal customer base and establish a presence in the highly competitive sportswear market.

However, in 2015,

Under Armour’s performance took a sharp turn for the worse. The company faced a drop-off in clothing sales, which resulted in a series of poor quarterly earnings reports.

Investors began to lose confidence in the company, and its stock price plummeted. Over the past several years,

Under Armour has struggled to recapture its former success. While the company has tried to pivot to digital sales and innovation in new products, its efforts have been slow to translate to significant revenue growth.

In 2020,

Under Armour was named the worst-performing stock of the month in July, only highlighting the uphill battle the company faces. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E;)

Pacific Gas & Electric, better known as PG&E;, is a California-based energy company that has experienced significant challenges in the past decade.

The company, which provides gas and electric service to millions of customers in California, faced multiple wildfires caused by its faulty equipment. These disasters led to widespread power outages, property damage, and loss of life, resulting in mounting legal claims and liability fees.

PG&E; struggled to maintain profitability after these events, leading to a decline in earnings and ultimately, bankruptcy in 2019. The company has since tried to recover, including making massive investments in fire prevention measures and settling legal claims.

Despite these efforts, PG&E; has also faced repercussions on the stock market. The company’s poor performance, including ongoing challenges with fire prevention measures and potential legal liabilities, has resulted in its removal from the S&P 500 index, a stock market index tracking 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States.

The company’s financial future remains uncertain as it faces ongoing obstacles and regulatory scrutiny.


The past decade has seen its fair share of ups and downs in the stock market. Companies that were once considered safe bets have struggled due to changing industry trends, legal troubles, and operational challenges.

As investors consider their next moves, it’s essential to research options carefully and diversify investments to protect against volatility. Whether GE and

Under Armour can regain investor confidence and rebuild their reputations, or if PG&E; can recover from its legal and financial challenges, remains to be seen. However, it’s clear that the lessons learned from the past decade’s frustrating stocks should be heeded carefully as the stock market continues to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities.

Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz, a food conglomerate known for its iconic brands like Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Mac & Cheese, has undergone significant challenges in the past decade. The company faced a sharp decline in value after a merger between Kraft and Heinz in 2015 failed to deliver the expected financial results.

The company’s acquisition proved to be a drag on earnings, and

Kraft Heinz failed to keep pace with changing consumer preferences. Its food products, which are often associated with processed foods, have struggled to remain relevant in today’s health-conscious market.

In 2019,

Kraft Heinz found itself in hot water when the SEC opened an investigation into the company’s accounting practices. The investigation uncovered accounting inaccuracies that led to a $15.4 billion write-down of company value.

These issues, combined with the company’s sluggish performance, earned the dubious distinction of being the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 that year. While

Kraft Heinz has tried to pivot to healthier product offerings and invest in innovation, its turnaround has been slow going. The company’s leadership has faced scrutiny over its handling of the SEC investigation and the broader challenges facing the food industry.


Kraft Heinz can regain investor trust and rebuild its reputation remains to be seen.


Carnival, one of the largest global cruise line operators, faced a steep decline due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic led to widespread suspension of operations, as cruise ships became hotspots for coronavirus transmission.

Carnival, in particular, faced scrutiny over how it managed outbreaks on board its ships. The suspension of operations hit the company hard, leading to significant revenue losses for many quarters.

To stay afloat,

Carnival had to

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