The weakest stock in the S&P 500 is down 64% in 2020, and controversy surrounding Kylie Jenner may be to blame.
After tumbling 60% from its open in 2020, beauty company Coty Inc. (NYSE:COTY) has collapsed in value since the start of the pandemic. Don’t just blame COVID-19; this stock’s woes are mostly due to Kardashian family member Kylie Jenner.
When Kylie Jenner signed a massive deal with Coty in November 2019, things were looking up for the American beauty giant.
Valuing Kylie Cosmetics at $1.2 billion, Forbes was quick to provide some free marketing for COTY stock after they announced Jenner as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
At the time CCN.com questioned this valuation (as well as the “self-made” moniker), and was subsequently proven correct after Forbes made a rare, and extremely public accusation that Jenner and the Kardashians had falsified her filings:
Kylie’s business is significantly smaller and less profitable than the family has spent years leading the cosmetics industry and media outlets, including Forbes, to believe.
Ouch–that’s not good for a brand that exists solely on the reputation of a single individual. Jenner has denied she was involved in any deceit.
Video: Kylie Jenner Tours Her Office
It had already been a rough start to the year for Coty, with the pandemic gutting consumer demand and tanking the S&P 500.
Unfortunately, the problems didn’t stop here for Coty. Seed Beauty, the exclusive manufacturer of Kylie Cosmetics products, accused the beauty giant of acquiring the company as “subterfuge” to learn Seed’s confidential trade secrets.
The process has not gone smoothly. While the S&P 500 has risen like a phoenix, COTY stock is still languishing at the bottom of the pile.
Bulls can’t even point to the sector struggling in general, as competitors Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) and L’oreal (OR.PA) have performed much better.
Wall Street analysts are somewhat bullish on the company, as Nasdaq.com posted the following consensus view:
Based on analysts offering 12 month price targets for COTY in the last 3 months. The average price target is $5.64 with a high estimate of $8 and a low estimate of $4.
To salvage the miserable situation, Coty is doubling down on the Kardashian family, as Kim recently announced a high-profile collaboration with the corporation. The deal, which was announced July 2, has helped boost Cody’s standing.
Video: Kim Kardashian-West Inks Deal With Coty Inc.
Still, after the damage caused by the Kylie Cosmetics debacle, it remains to be seen if having Kardashian-West on board can help get Coty back on track.