Apple (AAPL) was a market darling until late last year. That's when the market began to concern itself with the world's most valuable tech company, and Google's (GOOG) Android encroached on Apple's lucrative iPad and iPhone market share.
Android is a problem for Apple, as the open-source platform allows any handset or tablet maker to put out an economically priced gadget with the confidence of customer recognition and app developer support.
As customers flock to cheaper devices -- especially in overseas markets where wireless carriers don't subsidize the high prices of iPhones -- Apple has seen demand soften. Margins have also followed suit as Apple is down to offering cheaper iPad minis and keeping around older generations of cheaper iPhones.
Skullcandy (SKUL) went public two years ago at $20, but now it's trading in the single digits. Skullcandy got its start marketing its cutting edge headphones and audio accessories to extreme sports enthusiasts who appreciated the company's brash and colorful designs.
Skullcandy's problem is that fashion is fickle. The stock took a hit last week as it warned of a sharp quarterly loss on a 30 percent decline in revenue for its next report.
Millennial Media (MM) is another broken IPO. The online advertising company hit the market with all of the right connections. As the second largest player in mobile brand advertising -- overtaking Apple and only trailing Google -- Millennial Media seemed to be at the right place at the right time.
A big selling point for Millennial Media is that it's operating system agnostic, and that's something that Google and Apple can't say.
Growth is certainly there. Revenue soared 71 percent last year, and Millennial Media sees 52 percent to 58 percent in top-line growth for 2013. The rub is profitability. Millennial Media is losing money, and it's expecting another shortfall this year.
Select Comfort (SCSS) is the company behind the popular Sleep Number mattresses. The air-chambered mattresses have firmness settings, and a big selling point is that larger beds can have different settings for each side of the bed.
Net sales climbed 26 percent to a record $935 million last year, fueled by a 23 percent spike in comparable store sales at company-owned locations. The lumps in this mattress maker are that it fell short on the bottom line during its holiday quarter, and earlier this month it warned that sales since the beginning of February have been softer than expected.
Photo: Eddie~S, Flickr.com
The Fresh Market (TFM) is another surprising name on this list. The operator of high-end grocery stores continues to attract foodies. Net sales climbed 15 percent in its latest quarter and 20 percent for all of last year. However, The Fresh Market has somehow come up short on the bottom line relative to expectations in back-to-back quarters.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. The economy's improving, and upscale supermarket chains are showing signs of life. Whole Foods Market (WFM) has been rattling off several quarters of positive store-level sales. The Fresh Market hasn't been as fortunate with comps climbing just 1.9 percent in its latest quarter. It still plans to aggressively open new stores this year, but it will need to shore up its popularity along the way.
Falling out of favor is never fun for investors, and it's particularly painful to be a laggard when the market itself is racing to new highs.
However, each of these five companies have plenty to prove before they earn their way out of the market's penalty box. Some of them will do exactly that, but don't be surprised if some continue to hit fresh lows in the weeks to come.