Last Week's Biggest Movers: Avon Falling, Carmike Calling

Coty Avon
Gregory Bull/AP

Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets.

Let's go over some of last week's best and worst performers.

Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) -- Up 25 percent last week

Shares of Pinnacle shot higher after it received an unsolicited bid to acquire its real estate assets. The casino operating and racing license holder is trying to maximize shareholder value. Last year it announced that it would be exploring the separations of its operating assets and its real estate assets into two publicly traded companies in a tax-free transaction. Pinnacle owns 15 gaming entertainment properties in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada and Ohio.

The proposed purchase of Pinnacle's real estate assets by Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) would be a taxable separation transaction, but it's up to the shareholders to decide if the bid is substantial enough to make it worth their while.

Ebix (EBIX) -- Up 17 percent last week

A blowout quarter led to Ebix stock hitting its highest level in three years. The provider of enterprise software solutions for the insurance industry saw its revenue climb 19 percent to $60.6 million. Earnings rose 14 percent to $0.45 a share. Analysts were holding out for a profit of 39 cents a share on $52.8 million in revenue.

Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) -- Up 12 percent last week

The movie theater operator moved up on buyout speculation. Reports surfaced that the struggling exhibitor had hired an investment banker to explore the possibilities. Carmike's empire consists of 272 theaters with nearly 3,000 screens. It's growing, but average attendance per screen declined in 2014. Carmike posted a quarterly loss earlier this month.

Carmike issued a news release on Friday morning, but only to point out that it does not comment on unusual market activity or rumors.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (ACRX) -- Down 54 percent last week

Nasdaq's biggest loser was AcelRx, which shedded more than half of its value after announcing that it won't submit a new drug application for Zalviso -- a potential pain-alleviating medication -- in the near future. The FDA requested additional testing based on dispensing risks.

Young biotechs that rely too heavily on a single lead drug candidate can be volatile when clinical tests swing one way or the other. AcelRx also posted a loss in its latest quarter, but that was expected.

Aeropostale (ARO) -- Down 24 percent last week

Some chains are getting mauled at the mall. Aeropostale surrendered nearly a quarter of its value after posting uninspiring financial results. It did post an adjusted profit for the holiday quarter, the first time that this has happened in two years. It's still hard to call that a success since comparable-store sales plunged 9 percent relative to the prior year's ho-hum holiday showing. Aeropostale's outlook is also problematic, and the chain concedes that it may have to close more of its poorly performing stores.

Avon Products (AVP) -- Down 13 percent last week

We've gone from "Avon calling" to "Avon falling" these days. The direct-seller of cosmetics tumbled on concerns that the strengthening dollar will lead to weak results, since most of Avon's sales are taking place internationally.

A bad week could get worse. It was announced after Friday's market close that Avon will be booted from the S&P 500. It's a move that naturally won't weigh on its fundamentals, but the stock could come under pressure as index funds unload it.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.