Here Are the Worst Canadian Stocks Over the Last 5 Years

WRITTEN BY Dan Kent | UPDATED ON: November 20, 2023

5 Worst Performing Canadian Stocks

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Investing in the stock market can be a volatile endeavor, as the performance of stocks is subject to various economic forces and company-specific issues. 

Over the past five years, certain Canadian stocks have not fared well, witnessing significant declines in their share price. If you've been a shareholder of any of these companies for the long term, it's been a rough ride.

Investors often scrutinize these underperforming assets to assess whether their low prices indicate a potential recovery or if they are likely to continue to falter.

Short-term movements in price can certainly be a result of market emotion. But over a 5-year timeframe, if you've been stuck with one of these losers, it's likely a result of operational performance.

Lets dig into these five duds and see where it all went wrong. 

Of note, we've excluded small cap stocks from the list. Meaning if a company was a small cap stock 5 years ago, we didn't include them.

What are the worst performing Canadian stocks over the last five years?

American Hotel Income Properties REIT (TSE:HOT.UN)

HOT.UN

What the company does

American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP owns a portfolio of hotel properties across the United States. The company primarily focuses on hotel real estate investments and aims to provide shareholders stable and secure returns.

Where it all went wrong

Several factors contributed to the company's underperformance, including shifts in the travel industry, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic pressures, and management decisions.

Increased competition and changes in travel patterns significantly impacted revenues, resulting in a distribution suspension.

5 year return summary

Over the last 5 years, the company has lost 83%, including the reinvestment of distributions. The company has lost 30% annually for investors over the last 5 years, while the TSX has returned 9.35%.

$10,000 invested in American Hotels would be worth only $1667 today, while $10,000 in the TSX would be worth $15,630.

Bausch Health Companies (TSE:BHC)

Bausch Health

What the company does

Bausch Health Companies, formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals, is a global company that develops, manufactures, and markets a range of pharmaceutical, medical device, and over-the-counter products.

Its portfolio encompasses many therapeutic areas, including eye health, gastroenterology, and dermatology.

Where it all went wrong

The company's downturn can be attributed to several strategic missteps, including controversial pricing strategies, debt-fueled acquisitions, and subsequent legal and regulatory challenges that led to fines.

This approach eventually led to a significant loss of investor confidence and decreased stock value. It is hard to regain trust once broken, and in this case, it resulted in significant shareholder losses.

5 year return summary

Over the last 5 years, the company has lost 69.5%, including the reinvestment of dividends. The company has lost 21.1% annually for investors over the last 5 years, while the TSX has returned 9.35%.

$10,000 invested in Bausch Health would be worth only $3047 today, while $10,000 in the TSX would be worth $15,630.

Blackberry (TSE:BB)

Blackberry Stock

What the company does

BlackBerry Limited is known for its innovations in cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Once famous for its smartphones, the company has shifted its focus to providing software and security solutions to enterprises and governments.

Where it all went wrong

Market trends and intense competition led to BlackBerry's decline in the smartphone sector, prompting a strategic pivot away from hardware.

Despite efforts to rebrand and focus on software services, BlackBerry's stock has struggled to recover, facing a steep selloff against broader tech sector volatilities.

The company was also caught up in the meme-stock craze during the COVID-19 pandemic, which certainly didn't help short-term returns. Its CEO has recently stepped down, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

5 year return summary

Over the last 5 years, the company has lost 55%. The company has lost 15% annually for investors over the last 5 years, while the TSX has returned 9.35%.

$10,000 invested in Blackberry would be worth only $4461 today, while $10,000 in the TSX would be worth $15,630.

Vermillion Energy (TSE:VET)

Vermillion Energy

What the company does

Vermilion Energy is an international oil and gas producer across North America, Europe, and Australia. Its core focus is on acquiring, developing, and optimizing producing properties in these regions.

Where it all went wrong

The company's decline can be attributed to many factors, including the volatile oil market, geopolitical dynamics, and operational setbacks.

Despite starting with a strong presence in the oil and gas sector, Vermilion Energy could not shield itself from the externalities that led to a sustained period of underperformance.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly didn't help the company, but despite a brief recovery in performance once oil started to come back in price, it has sunk to lows yet again.

Its dividend was a popular, yet unsustainable option, for many Canadian investors over the years.

5 year return summary

Over the last 5 years, the company has lost 33%, including reinvested dividends. The company has lost 7.92% annually for investors over the last 5 years, while the TSX has returned 9.35%.

$10,000 invested in Vermillion would be worth only $6622 today, while $10,000 in the TSX would be worth $15,630.

Air Canada (TSE:AC)

TSE:AC

What the company does

Air Canada, the largest airline in Canada, provides domestic and international passenger flight services and cargo transport.

It operates flights to various global destinations, serving as a vital connector within Canada and between Canada and the world.

Where it all went wrong

The airline industry faced unprecedented difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing substantial disruptions.

Specifically for Air Canada, restrictions on travel and border closures dramatically reduced demand for air travel.

This was reflected in Air Canada's steep drop in stock value and significant financial losses, particularly at the height of the pandemic. The Government of Canada was forced to step in and aid Air Canada to prevent the company from going bankrupt. 

In fact, it was becoming so bad during the height of COVID that the company was throwing up airline parts as collateral to finance operations.

5 year return summary

Over the last 5 years, the company has lost 28.6%, including reinvested dividends. The company has lost 6.53% annually for investors over the last 5 years, while the TSX has returned 9.35%.

$10,000 invested in Air Canada would be worth only $7136 today, while $10,000 in the TSX would be worth $15,630.