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Private prison stocks posted their worst quarter in more than a decade, after getting hit by a slew of negative news over the last two months.
Corrections Corporation of America dropped nearly 60.4 percent for the quarter, its worst since 2000, when the stock lost 71 percent in fourth quarter of that year. GEO Group fell more than 30 percent for the quarter, its worst since the third quarter of 1999.
The stocks began to slide in August after the Department of Justice announced it would instruct the Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out the use of private contractors for federal prisons. Despite this, on Friday GEO Group announced the bureau extended its contract for a GEO correctional facility for another two years.
"Over the longer term, we believe investors will better understand the limited risk to the non-(Bureau of Prison) contracts," Canaccord analyst Ryan Meliker said in a Friday report. He maintains a buy rating on GEO Group and a hold rating on Corrections Corporation, but in August lowered price targets for both stocks.