Last Week's Biggest Movers on Wall Street

"wall street" sign in focus ...

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.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) -- Up 22 percent last week

Sometimes even a meandering specialty retailer gets a chance to shine. Abercrombie & Fitch moved higher after posting blowout quarterly results. Adjusted earnings clocked in at 48 cents a share. That may be just slightly ahead of the 42 cents a share it posted a year earlier, but analysts were holding out for net income of just 22 cents a share. Sales slipped 4 percent since the prior year to $878.6 million, but that was also enough to exceed the $863.4 million that Wall Street was forecasting.

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-1003%Things obviously aren't perfect at Abercrombie & Fitch. Comparable-store sales continue to run negative at its namesake stores, though a gain at its Hollister concept and positive results overseas helped keep the top line presentable. This is just the kind of positive momentum that a retailer likes to have as it heads into the critical holiday shopping season.

Nuance Communications (NUAN) -- Up 21 percent last week

Nuance may not be a household name, but odds are good that you are familiar with its handiwork. It's the leading provider of the speech-recognition software used by companies to provide customer support on automated calls. That may not be a very popular support solution, but it's good business for Nuance.

Shares of Nuance hit a 52-week high after posting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Deutsche Bank's analyst followed the report with a bullish note, raising his price target on the stock to $30 from $25.

Netflix (NFLX) -- Up 19 percent last week

The leading premium video streaming service had a strong week. It was already the top gainer for 2015 among the S&P 500 (^GSPC) companies, and it padded its lead after it debuted a new Marvel show and a report came out that shows Netflix's deep penetration in Australia.

RBC Capital Markets also put out a favorable report after surveying 1,000 Internet users to find that more than half of them use Netflix and the vast majority indicate that they aren't likely to cancel. Given Netflix's growing digital catalog and its reasonable subscription price, that probably isn't a surprise.

Nimble Storage (NMBL) -- Down 52 percent last week

At least nine analysts downgraded Nimble after it reported a much wider quarterly loss than analysts were projecting. That's one way to lose more than half of your value in a single week. The provider of flash-based data storage solutions also offered up guidance for the current quarter that was well below where the pros were perched.

Stage Stores (SSI) -- Down 26 percent last week

It was an exit for Stage investors after the parent company of several retailers including Bealls, Goody's and its namesake chain posted disappointing financial results. Stage Stores saw its quarterly deficit double from a year earlier.

Liquidity Services (LQDT) -- Down 19 percent last week

Finally, we have shares of Liquidity Services losing nearly a fifth of their value after the company offered up a weak outlook for the year ahead. The provider of online surplus auction services actually has posted year-over-year declines in revenue for three straight quarters now. The market doesn't like when a company's top line is going the wrong way.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Nuance Communications. The Motley Fool recommends Liquidity Services. 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.

Originally published