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5 Stocks That Spoke to Brexit, 2 Years Later: Hain Celestial

Motley Fool Staff, The Motley Fool

In July 2016, the world and financial markets were still in shock from Great Britain's vote to withdraw from the European Union. It was a watershed moment for the open market -- or perhaps a catastrophic flash flood, and at the time, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner offered listeners to the Rule Breakers podcast a sampler of five stock recommendations that he felt had some Brexit resonance. Two years on, Brexit is barely even a work in progress. In fact, it's a political quagmire with no blueprint close to being accepted by all sides, and based on the latest news, the negotiations are appearing to grow even more tumultuous. However, though there's no clarity in Europe, it is nonetheless time for him to check back in and see how those picks are performing en route to the three-year holding period he originally suggested.

Stock No. 3 was Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN), which owns a number of organic food brands, and which David had on his list specifically because it's a big purveyor of the U.K.'s signature beverage: tea. Hain shareholders have probably needed a whole lot of calming mugs of it over the past two years as they watched its stock price float lower.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on July 4, 2018.

David Gardner: Stock No. 3 is Hain Celestial. The ticker symbol is HAIN. When I picked it two years ago, I was talking about the Celestial part of Hain Celestial. Hain Celestial is an organic food company. It has a lot of brands. It's rolled up part of its industry, organic food, over the course of time, buying well-known brands that are then seen in places like Whole Foods and lots of grocery markets, not just here in the U.S. but other places, too. Europeans care about the food they eat, I was saying at the time, and that's why I wanted to put Hain Celestial on the stock list. The Celestial part ties into the Celestial Seasonings brand, which a lot of us know as a well-known tea brand. Since the Brits love their tea, I was throwing Hain Celestial onto the Brexit-inspired stock list.

Bad move, Dave. Really bad move. This stock two years ago was at $51.50. Today, it's just over $29 a share, $29.37 as I do this podcast. That's a drop of 43% for Hain Celestial. Motley Fool Stock Advisor members will know that Hain Celestial, we decided recently to part ways with it. It's no longer even in the Supernova universe or on my active recommendation list. Not a big fan of the CEO. The company, over the six years we held it in Stock Advisor, was up 23%, but the market was up 130%.

At one time, Hain Celestial had been a three-bagger for us. But as the world got crowded with more and more organic food brands and more and more places to buy organic food, Hain Celestial found itself with a lot more competition, and I don't think had the visionary leadership to bring it through into the future as a big-time winner.

So, unfortunately, Hain Celestial has been a dog, a really big dog, for the Brexit-inspired stock list. That's right, it was down 43% with the market up 26%. That's a minus 69% in the loss column. That puts us at minus 49% with two stocks left.

David Gardner has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Hain Celestial. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.