Stocks had a record year in 2021; most Oregon companies did not follow

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Wall Street has had a sensational year in 2021, pushing back the pandemic recession – if not the pandemic itself – and capitalizing on low interest rates and boundless investor optimism. The S&P 500, a broad measure of market performance, jumped 27% last year.

Stocks in Oregon and Southwest Washington, on the other hand, were a decidedly mixed bag. Most underperformed the market in 2021, and several suffered steep declines.

And while Oregon had its first major stock offerings since 2004, the fortunes of the region’s five new public companies have diverged sharply. Two jumped up and two collapsed, underscoring the risks inherent in the IPO.

Here’s a look at some of the regional companies that have seen the biggest changes in stock prices over the past year and in the performance of other top companies.


Not only was Dutch brothers The state’s top-performing stock last year, small-town drive-thru chain Grants Pass recorded the largest initial public offering in Oregon history.

Dutch Bros. raised $ 550 million when it went public in September, the first Oregon company to raise at least $ 100 million in its public offering since 2004. And the stock has been climbing steadily.

Starting at $ 23 a share, Dutch Bros. jumped 60% on day one and climbed above $ 81 in the following weeks. The stock ended the year at $ 50.91, well over double its IPO price.

Investors love Dutch Bros., which benefits from the low overheads of operating its tiny kiosks and the fanatical enthusiasm of its clients. It’s not just coffee: almost a quarter of Dutch Bros. sales come from its own line of energy drinks Blue Rebel.

Dutch Bros aspires to grow from 370 stores at the end of 2019 to over 650 by the end of next year, and someday to over 4,000.

“With high-quality, customizable handcrafted drinks served only via its drive-thru format by energetic and sympathetic ‘broistas’, Dutch Bros. has found a winning formula that delivers all-day appeal while providing convenience as well as convenience. impressive customer service, ”William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia raved in a note to customers in October.

Dutch Bros is only weakly profitable because it spends a lot to finance its expansion. The company’s sales jumped 63% in the last quarter, with the chain quickly expanding to Texas, California and other states where it had little presence until recently.

Dutch Bros. investment bankers clearly misjudged the company’s IPO, underestimating Wall Street’s appetite for stocks worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. But the enthusiastic reception of the stock markets leaves open the possibility that Dutch Bros. may sell more stocks in the future, recouping some of what it left on the table when it went public.

Although investors agree that Dutch Bros is a winner, they have not reached a consensus on its value. The company ended the year with a market value of around $ 8.6 billion, making it the fourth-most valued company in Oregon. But sometimes, last fall, his stocks were worth 50% more than that.

2022 will therefore be another key year for Dutch Bros. as they strive to prove that they can achieve their high ambitions.

Elsewhere, based in Hillsboro Lattice semiconductor was Oregon’s second hottest stock last year. Its shares soared 68%, ending 2021 at just over $ 77.

Just four years ago, Lattice led a long, drawn-out effort to sell itself to a Chinese government-backed company for just $ 8.30 a share. The Trump administration blocked the deal on national security grounds, and Lattice continued to thrive in spite of himself.

The company, which designs practical programmable chips for all kinds of consumer gadgets and industrial uses, has seen a turnaround under the leadership of new CEO Jim Anderson and capitalized on growing demand for electronics last year. Sales increased 28% in the last quarter compared to the same period in 2020.

Even so, Lattice’s price-to-earnings ratio is a staggering 117. The AP / E ratio, a key measure of the company’s value, is more generally around 14. Lattice’s high ratio indicates that investors are betting on expansive growth for some time to come. Any slowdown could trigger a sharp drop in its share price.

Other big winners from last year included:

· Schnitzer steel, up 66% in a strong global market for the Portland-based company’s recycled metals.

New public technology company Spend, whose technology manages employee expenses. Its sales are booming and investors see it as a great opportunity. Shares of the Portland-based company climbed 39% after its IPO in November.

Wilsonville-based battery manufacturer ESS Tech gained 39% after its IPO by merging with a publicly traded investment fund known as the Special Purpose Acquisition Company in October. PSPC deals provide stock quotes to companies without the expense – and investor scrutiny – associated with a conventional IPO. ESS raised $ 308 million under its deal, well below the $ 465 million it was targeting. And the company’s sales are negligible; Investors are chasing hope that ESS batteries will one day power a green energy revolution by storing electricity from wind and solar farms.

the largest company in Oregon, Nike, gained 19% in 2021. That would be a solid comeback in most years, and Nike’s sales are growing rapidly. But Nike did even better in 2020 and therefore had perhaps less room for improvement last year.

Intelligence, Oregon’s largest corporate employer, is headquartered in Silicon Valley, so its stocks are not ranked alongside companies based here. But its performance is very important to the regional economy and to the 21,000 Intel employees in Oregon, who receive part of their compensation in company shares.

Intel shares only gained 6% last year despite the booming chip market. The company’s sales were flat over the past year, constrained by the plant’s limited capacity.

And while new CEO Pat Gelsinger has garnered praise within the company for his ambitious plan to rebuild Intel’s engineering and manufacturing organizations, Gelsinger has scared investors with his award – which includes more than 25 billion dollars a year for the foreseeable future to build and upgrade factories.


Shares in a plant-based food business Laird Superfood fared worse than any other Oregon company in the past year. The company, based in Sisters and co-founded by professional surfer Laird Hamilton, saw its shares drop 72% to end 2021 at $ 13.04.

That’s well below its offer price of $ 22 for Laird’s fall 2020 IPO. The stock was trading briefly above $ 50 last February.

What’s wrong ? Its sales have increased by almost 50% in the first nine months of 2021, but its losses have more than doubled.

Investors want to see a path to profitability.

Shares in Vancouver exercise equipment brand Nautilus fell 66% last year, wiping out most of the gains the company enjoyed in the pandemic’s first year. Many other home fitness businesses have also declined over the past year as people have started returning to gyms after the vaccines came in and mandatory fitness center closures ended.

Two of the region’s new state-owned enterprises were among the biggest disappointments of 2021.

Biotechnology startup Absci fell by almost half after its IPO in July. The company’s artificial intelligence is designed to accelerate the development and approval of new drugs, but it is still in the early stages of demonstrating the value of its technology.

With rising interest rates, investors may have less appetite for speculative investments, turning to more established companies at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, shares in the Portland vacation rental management company Vacasa failed when the company hit government procurement under a PSPC deal last month, falling 24%. Vacasa raised $ 340 million as part of the deal, well below the $ 485 million it had anticipated.

Vacasa’s activity is solid. Demand for vacation rentals is skyrocketing, and the Portland-based company’s latest report projects sales of more than $ 870 million for 2021, up 78%.

The company’s catastrophic debut on Wall Street may reflect the potential drawbacks of the PSPC deals. PSPCs have only recently become popular as an IPO mechanism, and it is proving difficult to gauge investor sentiment before companies enter the market.

Despite this, Vacasa’s shares are now worth nearly $ 3.5 billion, making it one of Oregon’s top-valued companies. And despite its ugly first few weeks of trading, the company has put the business fundamentals in place to fuel years of growth.

– Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | Twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699

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