The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is one of the most popular indices in Australia. It tracks the performance of the top 200 companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and provides a benchmark for investors looking to invest in shares of companies that are listed on it. However, not all ASX shares perform equally – some do better than others.
While it may not be crucial over the long term, reflecting on the performance over a financial year can help investors assess the quality of their investments.
We have compiled the 5 worst-performing shares of FY21, based on their share price return during that period. Prepare yourself, this one ain’t pretty…
ASX 200 shares that destroyed wealth in FY21
When it just hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your financial year, it’s unpleasant. And these 5 companies had a particularly unfortunate time of it in FY21.
Now not every investment is a winner (unless you’re a wizard), which demonstrates the importance of diversification. But hopefully, a bit of diversification has helped most investors avoid having had too much exposure to any one of the following ASX 200 shares.
St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM)
St Barbara is an ASX-listed gold mining company with operations in Australia, Canada, and Papua New Guinea. The miner estimated it had 12 million ounces of mineral resources, including ore reserves of 6 million ounces of contained gold at 30 June 2020.
Falling production and increasing all-in sustaining costs (AISC) weighed on the St Barbara share price during the last financial year. In April, quarterly production had reportedly dropped 8.2% to 82,303 ounces compared to the December quarter.
Since then, the miner has suffered a tragic fatality at its Simberi operations, discovered tailing pipeline failure, and withdrawn its full-year guidance.
Unsurprisingly, these events have been met with selling pressure. Tallying up the damage, this ASX 200 share fell 48% in FY21.
AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL)
The $5 billion energy giant that is AGL has endured a continuation of its multi-year selloff. Unfortunately for investors, the increase in generation from solar and wind alternatives has pushed wholesale electricity prices lower. At the same time, AGL’s operating costs have been inflated by maintenance and repairs.
Furthermore, the energy provider’s plans for a demerger have some analysts unimpressed. Analysts over at UBS retained their sell rating expecting material headwinds for the company ahead. So much so, it suspects the company could report a 42% earnings decline in FY 2022.
The ASX 200 energy share plummeted from $17.18 on 1 July 2020 to just $8.22 on 30 June 2021. Therefore, the company’s share price fell 52% over the course of FY21.
Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL)
Moving onto the third poorest performer on the list. Regis Resources is an Australian gold miner operating mines in Western Australia. While other commodities and resources have been performing strongly, gold has slid 8% in Australian dollar terms over the past year.
Additionally, shareholders were diluted by roughly 48% in the past year. Most of this dilution was a result of Regis issuing approximately 241 million new shares to raise $650 million. These funds were put towards acquiring a 30% holding in the Tropicana Gold Project.
These impacts combined pushed the Regis Resources share price down 57% in FY21.
Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)
Data annotation technology company Appen spices up the worst performers for FY21. Despite the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) climbing 37% during the financial year, the WAAAX stock member bucked the trend with a 60% decline.
In December, Appen issued a guidance downgrade. Due to a sluggish fourth quarter, the company revealed that it expected underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for its 2020 fiscal year to be between $106 million and $109 million. This was a drop from the original guidance of between $125 million and $130 million.
Furthermore, the disappointment spilled over to the quarterly rebalancing where Appen found itself thrown out of the ASX 100.
Things for the artificial intelligence annotator have been fairly quiet since its annual general meeting back in May. During the meeting, shareholders voted against the remuneration report, giving the company its first strike.
A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M)
Lastly, the pièce de résistance of poor performers in FY21 — none other than the former ASX darling A2 Milk. The A1 protein absent milk producer has suffered during international travel restrictions. Namely the company’s once-booming infant formula segment.
The last trading conditions have been tough, and there was a surplus of inventory. In the end, NZ$103 million to NZ$113 million in inventory will need to be written off (that’s going to be quite a lot of tins). This led the company’s management team to downgrade their guidance for FY21 for the fourth time.
For these reasons, this once shining ASX 200 share dulled in the financial year. By the end of it, the A2 Milk share price slashed 68% off.