Local Stocks Had a Mixed 2017

Jan 2, 2018

Downtown Honolulu
Credit Wikimedia Commons

2017 was a strong year for the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 25 percent, while the broader S&P 500 was up about 20 percent. Here in Hawai‘i, it was a bit more of a mixed story for locally-based public companies. HPR’s Bill Dorman takes a look at how some of those local companies are set for the new year.

Shareholders of Hawaiian Airlines had one of the more turbulent investor rides of 2017.

Developments in the sector included the bankruptcy of Island Air, but also the rise of competition with other airlines introducing or increasing flights to Hawai‘i from the mainland.

On November 16th, CEO Mark Dunkerley announced his plans to step down in March—although that did not have a dramatic impact on the company’s stock price. From June to the end of October, shares of the airline’s parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, fell 41 percent. By year’s end, the stock bounced off its 52-week low, but was still down more than 28 percent for 2017.

Investors looking for a glass half full can point to its more recent performance; the stock is up 21 percent since early November—though off its recent peaks at the end of that month.

Matson investors who take an optimistic view will point out the company’s share price has gained 31 percent since its August lows. Although for the year, the stock is down a little more than 14-percent.

Alexander and Baldwin had a complicated year in accounting—changing its tax status to a Real Estate Investment Trust and declaring a special dividend distribution as part of its conversion. Working out the numbers and putting the bookkeeping changes in context, A&B investors saw a yearly decline of about 5 percent.

On the positive side, Hawaiian Telecom shares close the year with a gain of more than 25 percent.

And for an extraordinary local winner—check out Maui Land and Pineapple.

The stock has had an extraordinarily volatile year—nearly quadrupling in price from January to July, then shedding more than half its value by early November. It’s had a bit of a rebound since—add up the numbers and shareholders who hung on for all year closed 2017 with a gain of more than 140-percent.