Why Did My Stock Just Die?

Your stock just took a nosedive -- but don't panic. First, let's see whether it had good reason to fall. Sometimes, panic-fueled drops can make excellent buying opportunities. Here's the latest crop of cratered stocks that could provide a possibility for profit.


CAPS Rating(out of 5)

Tuesday's Change

Insmed (NAS: INSM)






Satcon Technology (NAS: SATC)



The debt-ceiling agreement did nothing to stabilize the markets, and in fact it sent them falling further faster, as data shows that the economy is weakening substantially. The Dow fell 266 points, or 2.2% on Tuesday. So stocks that went down by even larger percentages are pretty big deals.

Better at half the price?
Is the FDA bipolar? Earlier this year, biopharmaceutical Insmed got the agency's approval to start phase 3 trials of its lung-infection therapy Arikace, and phase 2 trials indicated that cystic fibrosis patients showed statistically significant improvement in lung function over a 72-week period. Now a month and a half later, the regulators say, "Hold on there! Let's see some more data about how it affects rats, and don't start any trials until we review it."

The manic reversal by the FDA sent Insmed's shares plummeting, losing more than half their value. Investors who had once hoped the drug developer would be an acquisition target based on the studies so far conducted on Arikace have probably seen those hopes dashed, at least for the time being.

Insmed acquired Arikace when it bought privately held Transave last year, and though the FDA considers it to be a new chemical entity because of the proprietary technology used for delivering drugs directly to the lungs, the key active ingredient is amikacin, a previously FDA-approved antibiotic.

While Insmed has lots of cash to sustain itself, the very big risk centers on whether the FDA will allow Arikace to proceed. It was links to cancers in rats that crushed weight-loss drug locaserin from Arena Pharmaceuticals (NAS: ARNA) . Restless leg syndrome therapy Horizant from GlaxoSmithKline and Xenoport was also shot down because of rat carcinogenicity data.

Insmed is still flying under the radar of most of Main Street and Wall Street, but nearly a quarter of the All-Stars who have weighed in thought it might have trouble beating the market indexes. Let us know on the Insmed CAPS page or in the comments section below whether you smell a rat in this development.

I can't hear you!
I have to admit I was somewhat surprised by MetroPCS's earnings results. The mobile carrier missed expectations on both the top and bottom lines and saw its subscriber churn climb to nearly 4%. Management says that with people still struggling to get by, the company doesn't see much hope of improvement.

I'm a MetroPCS customer and couldn't be happier after having made the switch from Verizon, and in times of economic difficulty, the value proposition should resonate with more people. But it doesn't help that the government gives away cell-phone service to the poor, creating competition against MetroPCS and making it more difficult for the company to keep customers. Even Sprint Nextel (NYS: S) , which offers the Assurance plan the government pays for, reported its 14th straight quarterly loss last week, and with Leap Wireless (NAS: LEAP) reporting earnings next week, investors sold off its shares anticipating that it's going to run into the same brick wall.

For many of the same reasons I was surprised by the outcome, CAPS member Uleepera was also caught unawares: "Economy is still bad, they are [aggressively] marketing their products. Recently released some decent Android phones. And their prices are still pretty [competitive]."

Let us know on the MetroPCS CAPS page whether you think the wireless carrier can dial back on the pessimism.

An inverted price move
I saw nothing special that should have accounted for Satcon Technology's plunge yesterday, while industry peer Power-One (NAS: PWER) fell less than 2% on the day.

There's little argument that the inverter makers are reeling from a depressed solar market, though. Satcon recently lowered revenue and margin guidance for the second quarter, while Power-One revised down its full-year sales target to a range of $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion compared to the previous estimate of $1.1 billion to $1.25 billion. SunPower, a one-time 10% customer of Satcon, also said its second quarter wouldn't shine very bright.

But typically, when there's a big move on no news, you can expect the stock to soon go the other way, and today Satcon is trading 6% higher as I write. While I don't see much in the way of catalysts propelling the stock up substantially, CAPS All-Star Trimalerus finds the discounted value attractive.

Inverter manufacturers have been hit hard by the lack of sufficient sales of Solar panels. This company is ramping up materials production in anticipation of increased sales in the next year or so. I like green tech stocks & now is a good time to buy as market conditions have deflated stock values.

You can follow along on its development by adding it to your watchlist and let us know on the Satcon Technology CAPS page whether you think it can invert its current decline.

Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating, that doesn't mean it's going to roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look on Motley Fool CAPS at what's happened to your stock can give you an edge over other investors who just react to the market's lead. You can decide for yourself whether it's ready to come back from the dead.

At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Power-One and GlaxoSmithKline. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of GlaxoSmithKline. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in the article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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