Jan. 05--Last year wasn't exactly a banner year for the four public companies based in Colorado Springs. The combined price of shares in the companies fell 35.5 percent in 2015 with prices declining for three of the four stocks.
A comparison with 2014 cannot be made since Vectrus Inc. didn't start trading until Sept. 16, 2014, when it was spun off from Exelis Inc., which was later acquired by Harris Corp.
The three other stocks -- Century Casinos Inc. Gold Resource Corp. and Spectranetics Corp. -- lost 43 percent of their value last year after gaining 23.8 percent in 2014, the first annual decline the combined year-end value of the three stocks since 2011 and the biggest drop since 2008. The combined year-end value of the three stocks is the lowest year-end value since 2009.
U.S. stocks ended 2015 with the worst annual performance since 2008 with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 2.2 percent and Standard & Poor's 500 stock index declining 0.7 percent, both hurt by falling oil prices.
Only the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index avoided losing ground by gaining 5.7 percent for the year. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes set new reocrds last year before falling later in the year.
Here is how shares in each company fared in 2015:
- Century Casinos was the only local company to end last year higher than it did in 2014. The company, which operates casinos in Colorado, Alberta, Aruba, Poland and aboard cruise ships, in May opened an off-track betting network in Alberta and a horse race track and casino near Calgary that helped Century boost its earnings more than sevenfold in the first three quarters of the year. Although the new operations drove much of the revenue growth, Century said its earnings improved across the board, particularly in its Polish casinos.
- Vectrus shares fell 23.8 percent during 2015, but hit a record $33.76 in March amid a surging stock market. Despite strong earnings for the first three quarters of the year, the company couldn't overcome a choppy market during the second half of the year. Profits for the first three quarters of 2015 were up 28.4 percent from a year ago to $25 million, or $2.31 a share. Most of that came from cutting expenses and receiving a small tax benefit compared with a $10.8 million tax provision last year. Revenue this year was down 5.2 percent from a year ago to $869.5 million.
- Spectranetics shares fell sharply after the company twice lowered its revenue forecasts after failing to meet its own targets, citing increased competition for its balloon catheter used to treat cardiovascular disease developed by a California firm it acquired in 2014. Shares of the medical device manufacturer fell to $10.65 in October, the lowest price in more than three years before recovering after it posted third-quarter results in October that beat forecasts from stock analysts and reaffirmed its financial forecasts for the rest of the year.
- Gold Resource shares fell sharply at the end of 2015 as the gold and silver producer cut its dividend Dec. 28 by 83.3 percent to 1/6th of cent per month from 1 cent a month. Directors said they cut the dividend due to low gold and silver prices, maintain strategic flexibility and reallocate capital to exploratory drilling on a leased mining property in Nevada. The company's shares finished the year at $1.66, the lowest closing price since Feb. 7, 2007, and down more than 50 percent from the end of 2014. Gold Resource also operates a gold and silver mine in Mexico.
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