Stocks to sell

The year 2023 has been a volatile one for the equities markets and investors, especially for those playing in the small-cap space. The S&P500 and Nasdaq faced an extended sell-off and even entered “correction” territory between August and November, as investors worried about inflation and the impact of the Fed’s rate hikes. 

Fortunately, the recent October CPI report and labor market data showed extended signs of cooling. This has eased some of the pressure on the Fed and raised hopes that the central bank is done with its tightening cycle. As a result, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 have begun to rally in November, recovering much of their losses.

While this may be a good time for some small-cap stocks, not all of them will thrive in the current environment. Many small-cap stocks will continue to struggle in the current business environment. Below are three terrible small-cap stocks that will do just that.

ProFrac Holdings (ACDC)

Source: Oil and Gas Photographer / Shutterstock.com

ProFrac (NASDAQ:ACDC) is a provider of hydraulic fracturing services to oil and gas producers in North America. Last year, the company was able to increase revenue by 216% on a year-over-year basis, primarily driven by an increase in customer activity for the company’s stimulation services, which include hydraulic fracturing processes that help to stimulate the flow of oil and gas. The main driver of this incredible growth was the rise of oil and gas prices throughout 2022, prompted by the Russia-Ukraine war. 

Unfortunately, the company has struggled in 2023 with Y/Y revenue growth seriously compressing in both the second and third quarters of the year. Second-quarter revenue increased by only 20%, below the company’s usual triple-digit growth figures, and third-quarter revenue declined by 17%. The sharp decline in the third quarter was primarily attributed to a lower average active fleet count and associated material sales compared to the second quarter.

Demand for fracking services is probably not going to reach the highs that it did in 2022. As a consequence, ProFrac will perhaps continue to find it difficult to properly utilize its fleet of assets and revenue growth will likely experience further compression as a result. 

TELUS International (TIXT)

Source: PopTika / Shutterstock

TELUS International (NYSE:TIXT)is a subsidiary of TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU) that provides digital solutions and customer experience services to global clients. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years, thanks to its acquisitions of several digital agencies and platforms. However, similar to a number of other digital services companies, TELUS has found it difficult to increase revenue growth ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve began raising interest rates in early 2022. Revenue growth on a last twelve months-basis has only climbed 8.5%, underperforming the double-digit growth TELUS boasted in prior years.

Not to mention, TELUS International faces fierce competition from other digital service providers, such as Accenture and Cognizant. It’s difficult to see how the company will grow considerably in the coming quarters.

Plant Labs PBC (PL) 

Source: Antonina Vlasova / Shutterstock.com

Plant Labs PBC (NYSE:PL) is a plant-based food company that produces meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, and snacks. The company has been riding on the wave of consumer interest in plant-based products, which are seen as healthier and more sustainable than animal-based products. Plant Labs reported $191 million in revenue for 2022, representing a 46% year-over-year increase from $131 million in 2021. However, Plant Labs’ notable revenue growth has started to decline in 2023. Their most recent second-quarter earnings report showed revenue up only 11% Y/Y. 

The company’s recent financial performance should probably come as no surprise to observers of recent consumer trends. Sure, many people are embracing plant-based foods, but since these kinds of products come with higher price tags, consumers are likely to curtail their spending in this area as elevated inflation continues to dent wallets. That coupled with Plant Labs’ current astronomic valuation makes it hard to justify keeping in one’s portfolio. 

On the date of publication, Tyrik Torres did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Tyrik Torres has been studying and participating in financial markets since he was in college, and he has particular passion for helping people understand complex systems. His areas of expertise are semiconductor and enterprise software equities. He has work experience in both investing (public and private markets) and investment banking.

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