These were the worst performing ASX 200 shares in the Q1 of 2021

Appen Ltd (ASX:APX) and Ltd (ASX:KGN) shares were among the worst performers on the ASX 200 during the first quarter…

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It was a positive first quarter of 2021 for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). During the three months, the benchmark index climbed a solid 3.1%.

Unfortunately, not all shares on the index climbed higher with the market. Here’s why these were the worst performers on the ASX 200 during the first quarter:

Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG)

The Resolute share price was the worst performer during the first quarter with a 44.7% decline. A softening gold price, a weak full year result, and disappointing guidance were weighing on this gold miner’s shares already prior to a bombshell announcement in the final week of the month. That announcement revealed that the Ghanaian government terminated its Bibiani Gold Mine licence. This was just weeks before the expected completion of the sale of the mine to Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining for US$105 million. There is speculation that the company may need to raise funds if the sale no longer proceeds.

Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL)

The Nuix share price was out of form and crashed 37.5% lower during the three months. The catalyst for this was a surprisingly disappointing half year result from the investigative analytics and intelligence software provider. Nuix fell short of expectations during the half, despite listing on the market just a few weeks before the end of it on 4 December. The selloff and criticism from analysts were so severe, management put out a release defending its performance. It also noted that its full year guidance has been reaffirmed despite the weak half. Ltd (ASX: KGN)

The Kogan share price wasn’t far behind with a disappointing 36.9% decline over the period. This decline appears to have been driven largely by a combination of profit taking and concerns over rising bond yields. This offset a stellar half year result in February that saw Kogan deliver a 97.4% increase in gross sales to $638.2 million and a 250.2% jump in adjusted net profit after tax to $36.5 million.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

The Appen share price was a poor performer and sank 35.9% lower during the quarter. This artificial intelligence services company’s shares came under pressure following the release of its full year results. For the 12 months ended 31 December, Appen reported a 12% increase in revenue to $599.9 million and an 8% lift in EBITDA to $108.6 million. In FY 2021, Appen is forecasting EBITDA growth of 18% to 28%. Although this is solid growth in the current environment, it fell well short of the market’s expectations. Analysts appear concerned that increasing competition could put pressure on pricing and weigh on its growth.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Appen Ltd and ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Nuix Pty Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended ltd and Nuix Pty Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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