The One-Hit Wonders of Finance

Charlotte Day, Head of Content and Social Media, easyMarkets

A recent article published by Bloomberg showed that Pokemon Go,[1] a mobile app that recently swept the globe and led to a massive spike in Nintendo’s stock, was already in decline. In the financial markets, one-hit wonders like Pokemon Go are relatively common. In the following article, we look at modern stocks and take a trip down memory lane, recollecting some of the one-hit wonders of the world of finance we only wish we could forget.


Fitbit was all the rave a short while ago when consumer wearables were on the rise. However, Fitbit shares tanked earlier this year after the company reported disappointing quarterly earnings,[2] offering a clear sign that wearables lacked the staying power in an overcrowded consumer market. As it currently stands, the wearables market appears to have been a temporary fad with little upside. This is reflected in Fitbit’s corporate strategy, which is focused on maintaining market share as opposed to growing its relatively new product offering.[3]


Like Fitbit, GoPro has been hammered by the “one-hit wonder” label. After climbing to nearly $100 in the months after its initial public offering (IPO), the American technology company known for developing action cameras is trading at a fraction of where it was just two years ago. Clearly, wearables are no longer capturing consumers’ imagination.


The jury is still out as to whether Groupon is a one-hit wonder, but its share price is down over 30% in less than two years. The global e-commerce marketplace company rushed to go public in 2012 when it was still considered the next big thing. Share prices opened near $25 and have been plunging ever since. There’s still some chatter on Wall Street about Groupon’s potential, but the company’s stock has been wavering for most of its existence. The company is trying to win back investors, with newly appointed CEO claiming that Wall Street “misunderstood” the retailer’s business model. Groupon users surpassed 50 million users globally in the most recent quarter, giving its enthusiasts a reason to be optimistic.[4]


Luckily, you’ve probably never heard of Presstek – a small printing company that rose to prominence in the mid-1990s for its “revolutionary” printing technology. Its share price spiked to $80 in 1996, up from under $10 two years earlier. It turns out that the company’s claims of surging demand for its products were a tad exaggerated, leading the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch an investigation into the company. The company’s stock would later plunge 99%.[5]

Pretty much any internet stock during the 1990s, and were just some of the sizzling stocks that made their way through the financial markets during the dot-com boom. Pretty much any internet stock could see its valuation surge by merely adding “dot-com” to its title. Most of these companies were out of business by the time the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.[6] The dot-com era provides a dizzying array of overvalued companies that were touted as the next big thing only to go out of business a short while later. By the time the Nasdaq tanked in 2000, most of these companies had faded into the abyss, never to be heard from again.

[1] Luke Kawa and Lily Katz (August 22, 2016). “These Charts Show That Pokemon Go Is Already in Decline.” Bloomberg.

[2] Miriam Gottfried (February 25, 2016). “Fitbit and GoPro; Are They One-Hit Wonders?” The Wall Street Journal.

[3] “Is Fitbit Just Another Fad Stock?” Seeking Alpha.

[4] Drew Fitzgerald (August 14, 2016). “Groupon Works to Win Back Investors.” The Wall Street Journal.

[5] David Sterman (July 10, 2012). “One-Hit Wonder Stocks You Wish You Could Forget.” Investing Answers.

[6] David Sterman (July 10, 2012). “One-Hit Wonder Stocks You Wish You Could Forget.” Investing Answers.

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