The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was well and truly on form in March. The benchmark index stormed 6.4% higher over the month to end at 7,499.6 points.
Unfortunately, not all shares were able to follow the market’s lead. Here’s why these were the worst performers on the ASX 200 last month:
Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC)
The Nickel Mines share price was the worst performer on the ASX 200 last month with a 21.2% decline. Investors were selling this nickel miner’s shares amid concerns over its ties with stainless steel giant Tsingshan. During the month, Tsingshan was caught up in a huge nickel short squeeze, which reportedly could have led to billions in losses. As Tsingshan is the company’s largest shareholder and one of its biggest customers, there were fears that this could lead to share sales or sales contract terminations.
Westgold Resources Ltd (ASX: WGX)
The Westgold share price wasn’t far behind with a 17.4% decline last month. This was driven largely by the gold miner’s $100 million institutional placement. Westgold raised the funds at a 13.9% discount of $2.44 per new share. These funds will be used to accelerate the company’s Murchison and Bryah growth strategy. This strategy is focused on establishing a systematic pathway towards a +400,000 ounce per annum gold production rate from FY 2024.
Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)
The Zip share price was out of form again in March and dropped 13.4%. Ongoing bearish investor sentiment in the buy now pay later industry continues to weigh on the company’s shares. Among the most bearish is the team at UBS, which downgraded Zip’s shares to a sell rating and cut the price target on them by 80% to just $1.00 at the start of the month. Not even heavy insider buying was enough to take the Zip share price higher in March.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH)
The Fisher & Paykel Healthcare share price was a poor performer and tumbled 12.8% last month. This was driven by the release of a trading update out of the medical device company. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare advised that easing COVID tailwinds mean that it expects FY 2022 operating revenue in the range of NZ$1.675 billion to NZ$1.70 billion. This represents a 13.7% to 15% year on year decline from NZ$1.97 billion in FY 2021. It also warned that higher freight costs would impact margins.