Most Palm Beach County stocks lost value in 2015 — only 7 posted gains

Palm Beach Post - January 6, 2016

During a flat year for the suddenly stagnant stock market, most Palm Beach County stocks lost value in 2015. Only seven of the 19 publicly traded companies based in Palm Beach and Martin counties posted gains last year.

Bucking the dreary trend was TherapeuticsMD, a Boca Raton biotech whose shares more than doubled in 2015. TherapeuticsMD (Nasdaq: TXMD) sells prenatal vitamins and other health products for women.

Its shares jumped in December after promising results from a clinical trial for a hormone therapy for women who suffer so-called vulvar and vaginal atrophy after menopause.

“The data was pretty clear and straightforward,” said Nathan Cali, an analyst at Noble Financial Capital Markets in Boca Raton. “I don’t think you could ask for anything better.”

TherapeuticsMD is boosting sales but losing money. Revenue rose to $14.5 million in the first nine months of 2015 from $10.8 million a year earlier. Its loss widened to $68 million from $38 million in the first nine months of 2014, but Cali said that’s typical of a “development company” that’s investing in drug research.

The second-best performer for the year was Dycom Industries (NYSE: DY). The Palm Beach Gardens-based company, which sells construction services to utilities, saw shares jump 98 percent.

Third on the list was Dyadic International (OTC: DYAI), a small company in Jupiter that sold its enzyme business to DuPont for $75 million.

The worst performer among local stocks was Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), a West Palm Beach-based mortgage company that spent the year under a cloud of regulatory scrutiny. In late 2014, the New York Department of Financial Services imposed a $100 million fine on the company and forced out former Chairman Bill Erbey.

Ocwen shares lost 54 percent of their value in 2015.

Palm Beach County’s largest company, NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) of Juno Beach, had a less eventful year. Shares dipped 2.6 percent.

Another Fortune 500 firm, Boca Raton-based Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH), rose 19 percent. Its increase was driven by the announcement that Jarden would sell itself to another conglomerate, Newell Rubbermaid.

Shares of Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) of Boca Raton fell 34 percent. Shares jumped early in the year on news of a generous buyout offer from Staples. But shares dipped after antitrust regulators in the United States and Europe raised questions about the deal’s effect on competition in the office supplies market.

Top 5 performers

TherapeuticsMD (Nasdaq: TXMD), Boca Raton: +128.4%

Dycom (NYSE: DY), Palm Beach Gardens: +98.1%

Dyadic International (OTC: DYAI), Jupiter: +92.6%

Cross Country Healthcare (Nasdaq: CCRN), Boca Raton: +30%

Jarden (NYSE: JAH), Boca Raton: +19.1%

Bottom 5 performers

Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE: CLDT), Palm Beach: -29.5%

Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), Boca Raton: -34.4%

Emergent Capital (NYSE: EMG), Boca Raton: -43.1%

Platform Specialty Products (NYSE: PAH), West Palm Beach: -45.3%

Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), West Palm Beach: -54%

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