Published July 24, 2013
Though more apt to happen with leveraged funds, reverse splits are a fact of life in the world of ETFs. Proving that traditional long ETFs have be subject to reverse splits, since the start of May, six Global X funds and seven Market Vectors products have been reverse split.
It is not a stretch to say that, at least officially, no ETF sponsor is going to acknowledge the reverse split curse. Then again, superstitious football players are reluctant to talk about the the Madden video game cover curse.
A curse may just be in one's imagination, but the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) has undergone multiple reverse splits over the years, but its chart still looks like this. However, some ETFs that have previously traveled down Reverse Split Boulevard have recently been stellar performers. Consider the following.
Alternative Energy Specifically, solar ETFs. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT) were both reverse split in 2012, also known as the dark days for solar stocks.
This year has brought a stunning reversal of fortune for solar ETFs as TAN and KWT are the two best-performing non-leveraged ETFs. However, there is a big gap between the two, 2,7000 basis points in favor of TAN because TAN features a larger weight to First Solar (FSLR), among other reasons. TAN also includes Elon Musk's Solar City (SCTY) among its lineup. KWT does not.
The Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) was recently reverse split, though this was somewhat strange since the ETF was performing well and trading in the double-digits. In fact, GEX is the third-best non-leveraged ETF this year behind TAN and KWT. GEX has an 11.4 percent weight to some company called Tesla (TSLA) and that is probably helping the ETF surge this year.
Gold Miners The recent list of ETFs to be reverse split since the start of May includes four gold miners funds. That group includes the popular Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ). It is no secret that gold miners have bounced in a big way in recent weeks.
Even when including today's 3.5 percent loss, GDX is up more than 21 percent since July 2, the day after its reverse split went into effect. Three of the Global X ETFs that were recently reverse split were http://www.benzinga.com/news/13/05/3555694/global-x-to-reverse-split-3-gold-miners-etfs-3-others>mining funds: The Global X Gold Explorers ETFs (NYSE: mining funds: The Global X Gold Explorers ETFs (NYSE: GLDX), the Global X Junior Gold Miners ETF (JUNR) and the Global X Pure Gold Miners ETF (GGGG).
In the past month, that trio is up an average of 25.4 percent. The Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NUGT) was reverse split on April 2 and its total performance since then is dreadful, but holding leveraged ETFs for four months at a time is a no-no. Four weeks is a different story and over the past four weeks, NUGT was up 54 percent heading into the start of trading Wednesday.
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