It's been a volatile week for investors, but some stocks suffered far more than others this week. Here's a closer look at some of this week's biggest losers -- where they were on Monday, what they cost as of Friday's closing bell, and what's behind the bad performance.
SinoTech Energy (CTE)
Barnes & Noble (BKS)
MedQuist Holdings (MEDH)
Aruba Networks (ARUN)
The details behind the dive
Ener1 failed to start up after the provider of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars revealed that it will have to restate its financials for last year and this year's first quarter. Investors learn to live with uncertainty, but accounting uncertainties are usually tough to stomach for some shareholders.
SinoTech Energy shares have been halted since Tuesday afternoon, but that was enough time for the Beijing-based provider of enhanced oil recovery services to see its stock shed 39% of its value. NASDAQ hit the brakes after short seller alfredlittle.com made some problematic allegations. SinoTech issued a press release this morning, indicating its intention to cooperate with the exchange. It also held a conference call to discuss the matter on Wednesday.
ValueVision plunged after posting a larger-than-expected quarterly deficit. The parent company of ShopNBC also revealed that the liquidation of a major supplier has been problematic, though it expects to announce a deal with a major retailer soon.
MedQuist Holdings is a provider of medical transcription services. It posted mixed quarterly results on Monday, with revenue clocking in lighter than expected.
Aeroflex -- a maker of microelectronic components and test and measurement equipment -- also checked in with a little more off the top than investors were expecting. Mr. Market can be a cruel barber sometimes. However, Aeroflex's biggest crime was offering up guidance for the current quarter that falls woefully short of what Wall Street was targeting.
Taomee posted a year-over-year decline in quarterly profitability, but that was expected. Where the Chinese kid-friendly media company went wrong was in its guidance. Taomee sees earnings and cash flow falling on a sequential and year-over-year basis. It's not a seasonal thing, since Taomee is projecting sequential revenue growth for the period. In short, margins are contracting.
Mad Money's Jim Cramer didn't sugarcoat his opinion of Travelzoo. "That last quarter was not what I wanted to see," he told a caller asking about the travel deals publisher. "I'm not playing that short squeeze game anymore." Cramer's opinion can certainly move stocks in the near term, especially those with a thin float of freely tradable shares.
VanceInfo's CEO feels that the near-term outlook for his industry "lacks clarity." Well, you know how investors hate uncertainty, and that's exactly what the Chinese IT service specialist is seeing in its business.
Despite its financial struggles, Barnes & Noble was clinging to a share price in the mid-teens since Liberty's John Malone had offered to take ownership control of the meandering bookseller at $17 a share. Well, even Malone can see that selling books -- or e-readers at a likely loss -- isn't a very promising business. He backed away, offering to buy a 17% preferred share stake in the retailer instead.
Shares of Aruba Networks hit levels they haven't seen since last summer, as we barrel toward the networking gear company's quarterly report next week. If it's any consolation, shares of Aruba Networks spent most of 2008 and 2009 in the single digits.
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 likely temper your enthusiasm -- but congratulations on the opportunity to get in at a more attractive price.
Hold your head up either way. The new trading week awaits at the other end of the weekend.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not owns shares in any of the stocks in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Travelzoo.
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