E*TRADE Financial Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of E*TRADE Financial (NAS: ETFC) fell 14% today after the company reported a loss during the fourth quarter.

So what: The company's loss in the fourth quarter improved to $6.3 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.02 per share, from a $24 million loss last year, but analysts expected more. Experts were expecting $0.20 in earnings per share, and shares have taken a dive as a result.

Now what: Money that the company set aside for loan losses was much of the disappointment. During the quarter the company set aside $123 million for bad loans and took a $15 million writedown for loans in foreclosure. To add salt to the wound, Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral and removed it from its America's Buy list.

Interested in more info on E*TRADE Financial? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Goldman Sachs Group. 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.

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