Today’s 3 Worst Stocks: Apollo Group Inc (APOL), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and More

Stocks traded moderately higher today, with the benchmark S&P 500 Index adding 2.4 points, or 0.16%, to close at 1,519 ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight. Alas, there will always be underperformers, and no matter how patriotic the following three companies may be, their shares still underperformed hundreds and hundreds of their S&P peers.

Shares in the for-profit education provider Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), which operates post-secondary institutions such as the Web-based University of Phoenix, fell 3.3% today, after a poor showing in the most recent quarter from one of the company’s competitors, Capella Education Comapany (NASDAQ:CPLA). Capella’s woes — stricter admissions standards and an ultra-competitive job market, to name a few — are the same that have driven Apollo’s stock down more than 60% in the last year.

Apollo Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL)Banking services company Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS) also had a tough time today, dropping 2.8% after reporting quarterly results this morning. Even though FIS grew both revenues and profits from a year before, today’s fall was another result of simply not living up to analyst expectations. Even slight misses — $1.5 billion in revenue instead of $1.51 billion; EPS of $0.68 instead of $0.69 — were enough to send shares spiraling downward today.

The last, but by no means least, of today’s laggards is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) , the globally recognized technology giant that briefly held the title as the largest company in the world last year. The stock fell 2.5% after a lengthy speech by CEO Tim Cook at a technology conference left investors worried Cook didn’t have his head on straight about shareholder value. Cook was rather frank, saying that hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s proposal for a perpetual 4% dividend was “a waste of shareholder money.”

Reading between the lines of Cook’s talk today, one UBS analyst said it sounded as if Apple was gearing up to market a low-end phone, and that margins could be pressured as a result.

The article Today’s 3 Worst Stocks originally appeared on and is written by John Divine.

Fool contributor John Divine owns shares of Apple. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple.

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