SW Oregon Stock Prices Had a Disastrous Year

Oregon Stock Prices: Last year, the stock values of several well-known Oregon and southwest Washington companies plummeted, with most local equities falling far more precipitously than the overall markets. The sharp reductions hit the region’s new firms the hardest, particularly those that profited from the meme stock craze that preceded the epidemic and those that had a cutting-edge plan to go public in 2021 by combining with investment funds.

According to The Oregonian/annual OregonLive stock performance ratings, five well-known firms that debuted on Wall Street in the last five years saw the region’s biggest drops, losing at least 75% of their market value by 2022. A health food store in Bend and an electric car factory in Eugene both lost nearly all of their value.

However, the stock market downturn impacted some of the area’s most reputable businesses. The nearly universal losses are the result of the costs of inflation, which prompted the Federal Reserve to gradually raise interest rates. As a result, consumer demand fell and the cost of raising financing for businesses rose.

Almost everyone on Wall Street had a difficult year due to the 19.4% decline in the S&P 500 market index. Today, many economists anticipate a recession in 2023, including Oregon’s state forecasts. And it makes investors uneasy, which causes share values to fall even further. Arcimoto, a renowned Eugene producer of electric vehicles, had it worst than any publicly listed firm in Oregon last year.

Early in 2021, the firm had a worth of over $1 billion, but by the end of 2022, it had plummeted by an astounding 98%. Arcimoto staked $22,000 on what it calls the fun utility vehicle, a revolutionary three-wheeled electric motorbike. In order to begin producing the SUVs in large quantities, a 250,000-square-foot plant was erected in February.

However, the transition to the new facility proved difficult, and there was little demand. During the most recent six-month period for which Arcimoto provided data, the company only produced 252 units and delivered 115 to customers. Investors started to question Arcimoto’s mass-market approach right away. Then, in August, the business abruptly fired founder Mark Frohnmayer from his position as CEO.

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When The Oregonian/OregonLive revealed that Frohnmayer had been arrested a few weeks prior for driving one of Arcimoto’s cars while intoxicated, it provided an explanation for his choice. Arcimoto laid off dozens of employees and put another dozen on leave in October to cut costs and keep the company afloat. As a result, the company’s market value was less than $10 million, and there was no money set aside for the future.

Another significant loss in the last year was Vacasa, a Portland-based company that maintains and distributes vacation homes. At the start of the year, Vacasa, which reported strong revenue growth while attempting to unify a dispersed sector, was one of Oregon’s most well-known startup firms. However, by 2022, Vacasa had lost approximately 85% of its value.

The manner in which Vacasa entered the market may have contributed to some of the problems. The Portland firm went public in 2021 after combining with a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. SPACs are publicly traded investment funds that offer a ready-made way to go public without the regulatory requirements and investor scrutiny that come with a traditional initial public offering.

It turned out that close inspection was frequently used for a purpose. While SPACs were popular in 2020 and 2021, several companies that went public in this manner experienced significant selloffs the previous year due to failure to meet financial projections. Vacasa failed miserably to live up to the hype. Its new CEO detailed serious operational issues in a November report to investors.

The company warned investors of significant “cost overruns” and stated that “it would take time to adequately resolve” the issues. ESS Tech, a battery manufacturer in Wilsonville that also went public in a SPAC sale in 2021, suffered a significant loss in 2022. Its stock dropped 79% last year. Other newly public companies had difficulty on Wall Street as well.

Expensify, a Portland-based software company that aids in managing corporate spending, lost 80% of its worth, while Absci, a Vancouver-based biotechnology startup, lost 74%. Both are inexperienced, unsuccessful enterprises. Investors have less tolerance for businesses that are losing money while they develop their goods and create their markets amid hard economic times.

Furthermore, the lower share prices among the newly listed companies in the area may make it difficult for them to raise funds for future expansion. Even large, successful businesses did not excite investors. Nike’s stock fell 30% as a result of overly optimistic market expectations for 2021, ongoing supply chain issues, and shaky customer demand.

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