5 of Last Week's Biggest Losers

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There's never a shortage of losers in the stock market.

Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest sinkers.

Company

Aug. 5

Weekly Loss

My Watchlist

Dendreon (NAS: DNDN)

$12.56

(66%)

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Skilled Healthcare (NYS: SKH)

$4.58

(48%)

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ION Geophysical (NYS: IO)

$5.84

(42%)

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MetroPCS (NYS: PCS)

$9.53

(41%)

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Entropic (NAS: ENTR)

$4.24

(37%)

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Source: Barron's.

Let's go over the pros and cons of Dendreon's Provenge. On the upside, the prostate cancer treatment is already on the market, and it has proven to extend lives for many patients. The downside is that it costs $93,000, and apparently enough doctors aren't comfortable prescribing Provenge.

Dendreon shares took a hit after the fledgling biotech withdrew its sales forecasts for the rest of the year. Not enough doctors are recommending the costly Provenge to patients, so the company needs to do a better job of educating the medical community on the merits and reimbursements of its flagship drug -- or possibly slash its price.

Skilled Healthcare -- and some of its peers including Sun Healthcare (NAS: SUNH) and Kindred Healthcare (NYS: KND) -- got sick after the spending cut bill slashed Medicare payments beginning next year.

ION Geophysical shares slumped after its CEO announced that he would be retiring by the end of the year. When you're an oil and gas prospecting technologist, having a trusted visionary at the helm is important. A weak second quarter report also didn't help, especially when the abrupt retirement was announced the following day.

MetroPCS -- the low-cost wireless carrier with the "hello, hello, hello" ads -- finds its investors saying "goodbye, goodbye, goodbye" after posting disappointing quarterly results. High costs and lower than expected subscriber growth led to a profit of $0.23 a share, well short of the $0.28 a share that analysts were targeting.

Entropic also posted uninspiring results. Its MoCA home networking chips allow devices using common coaxial TV cables to deliver rich networking experiences. Weak demand by a top customer led Entropic into missing its own top-line guidance.

It was a rough week for these five stocks. Let's see which ones bounce back this week.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of ION Geophysical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizenjoys cheering on winners and whispering words of encouragement to the losers. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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