The one constant in the stock market is change. Stock prices change from second to second, industry leaders come and go and today’s favored stocks could end up unloved in the next market cycle. Newer investors might be surprised to learn that some of today’s most prominent companies, such as Netflix, Google and Facebook, didn’t even exist in 2000, when the tech bubble was in the process of bursting. Here’s a look back at some of the stocks that were making news 19 years ago and how they’re doing today versus back then.
1. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KREM/KKD): 2000
When Krispy Kreme Doughnuts held its IPO in 2000, the investing world went crazy. Paralleling the lines out the door for the company’s doughnuts, investors were lining up to get a bite of one of the tastiest IPOs of the year — and they weren’t disappointed. In early 2001 the stock traded at nearly four times its $21 IPO price on April 5, 2000. Krispy Kreme, which sold its first doughnut in 1937, continued growing revenue, income and locations significantly through the early 2000s.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: 2019
If you’re looking to buy Krispy Kreme shares today, you’re out of luck. In 2016, the company agreed to be acquired by privately held JAB Holdings for $21 per share. JAB Holdings is the investment vehicle of the Reimann family, a group of German billionaires. While JAB Holdings might not be a well-known name to investors, its properties certainly are. The company also owns Keurig Green Mountain, Caribou Coffee and Peet’s Coffee & Tea, among other brands.
2. Microsoft (MSFT): 2000
Microsoft could seemingly do no wrong at the end of 1999 as its ubiquitous Windows operating system was installed and reinstalled in a seemingly endless computer upgrade cycle. Earnings were skyrocketing, jumping from 84 cents a share in 1999 to $1.42 a year later. By 2000, the tech giant took the title of the largest company in the U.S. in terms of market capitalization after not even cracking the top 10 just five years earlier.
In one sense, not much has changed for Microsoft since 2000. It had the largest market cap in the world in early 2000 and still holds that title in 2019. Even so, there have certainly been some bumps along the way. On April 24, 2000, the stock tanked 15.4% in a single day on a combination of general market sentiment, weaker-than-expected revenue and rumors of a government breakup. After peaking at over $58 in December 1999, MSFT shares didn’t break to new highs until late 2016. Patient shareholders were rewarded, however, as the stock reignited and crested above $138 in August 2019.
3. Cisco Systems (CSCO): 2000
At the dawn of the 21st century, Cisco Systems was riding the same wave as other tech stalwarts like Microsoft, jumping to ever loftier valuations. By 2000, Cisco had the third-largest market cap in the U.S. Shares pushed above $77 in March 2000, an unbelievable run from their sub-$6 price just three years earlier. That same month, the maker of hardware for internet companies and service providers actually surpassed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable company.
Cisco Systems: 2019
Just as fast as Cisco rose, the stock fell amidst the carnage of the early 2000s. By September 2001, CSCO traded at less than $13. It’s done a lot better since then, but unlike some other tech stocks of the era, it still hasn’t fully recovered. On Aug. 9, 2019, Cisco closed at $52.43 and shares have yet to return to the lofty peaks they hit in 2000. In fact, Cisco hasn’t broached $60 over the past 19 years. Analysts have a consensus 12-month target price of $58 on the stock, so it might be a while until it sets a new high.
4. Quest Diagnostics (DGX): 2000
Quest Diagnostics was one of the big winners of 2000, with the stock rising 364.6%. It was helped in part by the fever for healthcare stocks in 2000, as six of the top 10 performers that year were from a medical field. Quest was founded in 1967 as an outpatient lab testing facility and is currently the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing. It got a big boost from its 1999 acquisition of SmithKline Beecham Clinical Labs. Quest also was the first major lab services provider to implement Six Sigma, which it did in 2000.
Quest Diagnostics: 2019
Quest Diagnostics is one of the few stocks that had a stellar 2000 and continued to thrive all the way through to 2019. Even the outsized gain of 2000 looks like a small uptick on the long-term chart of DGX, which continues to establish new highs with regularity. As of Aug. 9, 2019, the stock was within about 13% of its all-time high of $113.71, well above the peak of about $31 back in 2000.
5. Intel (INTC): 2000
In 2000, everything was coming up roses for Intel, much like other big tech stocks of the era. Intel shares hit an all-time high near $75 that year, up from the mid-$20s just one year earlier. Best known for its computer processors, Intel rode the wave of internet expansion and a computer upgrade cycle amid the Y2K fever, resulting in an astronomical share price rise. The boost was enough to make Intel the nation’s sixth-largest company by market cap in 2000.
Things soured quickly for Intel’s stock price during the tech meltdown of the early 2000s, with shares dipping into the low teens again by 2002. The company still stands as a tech stalwart, offering a wide range of products and services geared toward serving the booming cloud and 5G technology markets. Meanwhile, the stock has recovered over the years but has yet to return to the peak it hit in 2000.
6. Apple (AAPL): 2000
On a split-adjusted basis, Apple shares were trading at only about $4.85 in March 2000. Apple was not nearly the tech powerhouse back then that it is today. The company suffered during the tech meltdown of 2000 and saw its stock price hover near $1 by the end of the year. Its own shortcomings were partly to blame. The company was missing earnings estimates and, by its own admission, misunderstood the consumer market. All this began to change when Apple, led by the late Steve Jobs, began to grasp the trend toward personal electronic devices. The company eventually watched its stock price explode above $227 by 2018.
Apple’s stock has borne fruit beyond most investors’ wildest dreams. The company is in a constant battle with Microsoft for the title of the largest market-cap stock in the U.S. Although Apple currently lies in second place, analysts have an optimistic 12-month consensus price target of $235 on the stock. The ubiquitous maker of iPhones, iPads, iMacs and seemingly everything that is cool in tech is an investor favorite (and Warren Buffett’s largest holding), but still trades at a valuation of fewer than 17 times earnings.
7. NRG Energy (NRG): 2000
NRG Energy might not spring immediately to mind when it comes to big stock market gainers, but if you were an IPO investor in 2000, it would have been a mistake to overlook NRG. The Minneapolis-based independent power producer and marketer was in the midst of rapid growth two decades ago and watched its shares finish 2000 up 66% from its IPO price. Projections were that it would grow earnings by 23% the following year. In a horrific year for tech stocks, NRG stood tall as a huge gainer for investors.
NRG Energy: 2019
Shares of NRG Energy rose from $27.56 at the end of 2000 to above $45 by October 2007, but the last 12 years have been more difficult. The company has failed to set a new high since 2007, peaking at just above $42 in March 2019. The stock closed at $34.15 on Aug. 9, 2019, down more than 13% for the year in an otherwise banner cycle for the stock market as a whole. Things are expected to improve over the next year, however, as analysts have a 12-month median target price of $45 for NRG Energy.
8. IBM (IBM): 2000
IBM was not only a tech giant in 2000, but it had also ruled the tech galaxy for much of the previous few decades. Before the days of Facebook, Netflix and groupings of stocks with catchy nicknames like “FANG,” IBM was “Big Blue,” and tech companies around the world stood in awe. Even though IBM had already begun losing its stranglehold on the tech world by the end of the 20th century, it still ranked as the eighth-largest company in the U.S. in 2000 after topping that same chart many times in the 1970s and 1980s.
After 10 years of trying to beat its 2000 stock high of around $132, IBM shares soared above $200 in 2013. However, the stock had been in a steady downtrend over the last six years, closing at $136.13 on Aug. 9, 2019. IBM is going through lots of changes in 2019. In June, the company announced layoffs of more than 1,000 workers after yet another disappointing earnings report. On a brighter note, the stock is still up double-digits in 2019 as investors look forward to the closing of its acquisition of software company Red Hat in the second half of the year.
9. Qualcomm (QCOM): 2000
Qualcomm went from near-obscurity in 1999, when its share price was in the low single digits, into a tech behemoth in 2000. Symbolizing the froth in the market at the time, the stock price actually hit $100 on the first trading day of 2000 — a gain of 14% in a single session — before closing at its all-time high of $89.66. Although Qualcomm was never one of the 10 biggest companies in the U.S., it was one of the 15 largest stocks in the Nasdaq stock index in 2000.
Of the 15 largest companies on the Nasdaq stock index in 2000, Qualcomm was one of only four that remained on the list 15 years later. The others were Microsoft, Cisco and Intel. Qualcomm shares have rallied back nearly all the way to their 2000 peak but had yet to crest that mark as of Aug. 9, 2019, closing at $71.50. A big part of the stock’s recent rise can be attributed to the end of its legal back-and-forth with Apple, which triggered a stock gain of more than 50% over a five-day period in April 2019.
10. General Electric (GE): 2000
Even “boring,” old-economy stocks like GE got caught up in the market fever of 2000. GE shares topped $58 that year after trading for less than $10 a decade earlier. The company was still a market giant back in those days, boasting the No. 1 market cap in the U.S. in 1995, slipping to No. 2 in 2000 and reclaiming the title in 2005. As a well-run, diversified industrial company paying a reliable dividend, GE was the epitome of a blue-chip stock in 2000.
General Electric: 2019
Today, General Electric has the look of an old-line company whose best days are behind it. In 2018, GE — the last remaining original member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average — was unceremoniously booted from that prestigious index after 110 years. One problem was that GE, as a large industrial company, no longer reflected a large segment of the economy. Another problem was the stock’s declining price. GE shares have been in a 19-year downtrend and traded consistently below $10 for much of 2019.
11. ExxonMobil (XOM): 2000
ExxonMobil is easily the largest oil and gas company in the U.S., topping No. 2 Chevron by a comfortable margin. Back in 2000, ExxonMobil was the fifth-largest company in the U.S. based on market cap. A decade earlier, before the giddy tech explosion of the late 1990s, Exxon (its name before merging with Mobil in 1999) was the largest company in the U.S.
Thanks partly to an ongoing rise in demand for oil and gas products in the U.S., ExxonMobil’s stock price has climbed far above its price in 2000. Although the stock took a minor swoon along with the rest of the market in the early 2000s, it was hitting new highs again as soon as 2004. That set the company apart from many tech stocks that took more than a decade to recover — if they ever did. That being said, ExxonMobile shares have trended lower since peaking in 2014.
12. FuelCell Energy (FCEL): 2000
FuelCell Energy was one of the darlings of 2000 when its stock price rose an astronomical 447.1% for the year. The company, which uses fuel cells for the recovery, storage and supply of energy, rode the wave of Wall Street’s thirst for alternative fuel sources. At the time, many analysts and investors believed FuelCell was one step away from bringing a technology to market that would undermine traditional electric power grids.
FuelCell Energy: 2019
Alas, the promise of FuelCell Energy has far exceeded the hopes and wishes of investors back in 2000. After reaching a split-adjusted stock price approaching $600 near the end of 2000, FuelCell Energy began a long tumble that wiped out most of its stock value as the company was hurt by the rise of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. Its stock closed at only 35 cents per share on Aug. 9, 2019 — even after the effects of a 1-12 reverse stock split that occurred three months earlier.
13. Manhattan Associates (MANH): 2000
While many tech stocks were melting down in 2000, Manhattan Associates was booming. In a year when the Nasdaq index lost more than 39% of its value, Manhattan Associates gained a whopping 478%. The company designs software intended to help companies increase efficiency and boost profitability. Its stock price had a huge turnaround in 2000 after a rough 1999 thanks to a new management team and a new product, called infolink. At the time, an analyst at Robinson-Humphrey with a buy rating on Manhattan Associates indicated that infolink would provide a lot of upside for the stock.
Manhattan Associates: 2019
Shares of Manhattan Associates might have avoided the tech wreck of 2000, but the grim reaper came calling a few short months later. After peaking above $18 in late 2000, the stock fell below $4 by mid-2001, a loss of about 80%. It didn’t push above $10 again until late 2011. Since then, the news has been mostly good. By late 2015, MANH shares had risen above $77. Following another tumble into the $40 range by 2018, the stock turned around yet again, setting an all-time high of $89.53 in July 2019.
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Photo Disclaimer: Please note some photos are for representational purposes only. As a result, some of the photos might not reflect the actual companies listed in this article.
About the Author
After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.