10 of This Week's Biggest Losers

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Thursday's stock selloff was disheartening, but some stocks suffered far more than others this week. Here's a look at some of this week's biggest losers -- where they were on Monday and what they cost as of Friday's closing bell.

The details behind the dive

Investors bailed on Dendreon after the fledgling biotech withdrew its forecast for the balance of the year. Dendreon recently succeeded in getting a promising prostate-cancer drug on the market, but things aren't going so well, apparently, with many doctors who are afraid to prescribe a $93,000 treatment. Dendreon will become more aggressive in educating the medical community about the merits of Provenge, but the moral of the painful story here is that there's more to a potential drug's success than FDA approval.

Company
July 29
Aug. 5
Weekly Loss
Dendreon (DNDN)
$36.90
$12.56
66%
Insmed (INSM)
$11.49
$4.01
65%
Sun Healthcare (SUNH)
$7.00
$3.29
53%
Leap Wireless (LEAP)
$13.46
$6.45
52%
Allied Irish Bank (AIB)
$1.72
$0.88
49%
ION Geophysical (IO)
$10.14
$5.84
42%
Entropic (ENTR)
$6.68
$4.24
37%
ExamWorks (EXAM)
$21.88
$13.79
37%
NetSpend Holdings (NTSP)
$7.89
$5.10
35%
comScore (SCOR)
$21.81
$14.25
35%


Then again, Insmed didn't even get that far. The FDA halted the clinical trial of Insmed's inhalable antibiotic before human testing even began. It was the third and final phase of clinical testing for the treatment, but we all know how investors feel about uncertainty.

The sun set on Sun Healthcare and many of its skilled-nursing-facility peers after the spending-cut bill aimed to slash nearly $3.9 billion in Medicare payments to nursing homes next year. Sun Healthcare's stock shed slightly more than half of its value on Monday alone. It never made it back.

Leap Wireless is the company behind the value-priced Cricket wireless plans. Leap closed out the period with 29,000 more voice customers than when it began, but it also lost roughly 132,000 broadband customers during the quarter. Investors did more than chirp after Leap posted a sharp quarterly loss. They squawked loudly.

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The global financial crisis has hit Ireland particularly hard. After the struggling Ireland-based banker Allied Irish Bank announced that it will delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange, investors cashed out.

When CEOs announce their retirement, the news usually doesn't send their companies' stocks tumbling, but there's always an exception to the rule. In ION Geophysical's case, CEO Bob Peebler had just comforted investors after a soft quarter for the oil-and-gas prospecting specialist by promising a stronger second half of the year. Peebler will still be there through the end of the year to see his promise through, but investors are already fretting over 2012.

Entropic makes networking chips that companies use to deliver services through coaxial cables. Verizon's (VZ) FiOS is a customer, but waning FiOS demand caused Entropic to miss its own guidance during the latest quarter.

ExamWorks failed its physical after posting ho-hum quarterly results on Tuesday afternoon. Even though revenue tripled, the consolidator of independent medical-examination companies posted a negligible loss during the quarter.

NetSpend Holdings got more sideswiped than swiped after the prepaid-debit-card specialist posted disappointing quarterly results. Barrington Research downgraded the company following the uninspiring report.

Trend tracker comScore probably saw this coming. The research firm took a sharp hit on Thursday after talking down its near-term guidance. The company is blaming the soft second half of the year on a small acquisition, waning demand by TV copy-testing customers, and external industry-specific and macroeconomic shortcomings.

Cheer up: A new trading week awaits at the other end of the weekend
If you own one or more of these stocks, my condolences. Some of these companies should bounce back. If you were looking to buy into any of these stocks, the fundamentals behind the sharp declines will probably temper your enthusiasm -- but congratulations on the opportunity to get in at a more attractive price.

For those looking for additional opportunities after the fall, 10 Motley Fool analysts and writers serve up their best investing ideas and tell you where to put your money right now.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns no shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of ION Geophysical.

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