Whoa! What Just Happened to My Stock?

Resist the urge to high-five everyone in the cubicles next to you. Your stock may have just strapped on a rocket pack and taken off for the moon, but smart investors won't celebrate until they know that upward leap was justified. Without a fundamental basis for the bounce, these stocks can quickly make the return trip down.

Is now the time to lock in profits, or is this just the first step toward even higher valuations down the road? Let's examine several stocks that just hit the afterburners, and see whether they're truly headed into orbit.

Stock

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Friday's Change

Accuray (Nasdaq: ARAY  ) **** 29.9%
Celldex Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CLDX  ) *** 9.9%
Frontline (NYSE: FRO  ) **** 7.7%

On Friday, the market dove 166 points, or 1.4%, as protests broke out in Egypt leading investors to seek safety. Oil, naturally, soared. Yet stocks that significantly went in the other direction are even bigger deals.

The devil's in the details
Hospital spending has returned, helping boost earnings results of medical device makers Accuray and Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG  ) , particularly overseas where growth has been particularly strong. Even Varian Medical Systems, which missed Wall Street's expected growth targets, still saw a 7% increase in revenues as net orders surged 20%.

Accuray installed six new CyberKnife systems, giving it a global installed base of 222 units while it booked 19 orders for the robotic radiosurgery device used to noninvasively treat tumors in the body. Backlog also jumped 26%, and while that's not a guarantee of future sales, it's indicative of how purse strings have loosened up. It wasn't too long ago that medical device makers were finding capital expenditure cutbacks eating away at their businesses.

With 95% of the more than 560 CAPS members rating Accuray to beat the S&P 500, they undoubtedly expect it will continue on its current growth trajectory. Share with us on the Accuray CAPS page whether you think it can slice through the market noise.

Making it to the big time
There was no specific news to account for Celldex Therapeutics' jump on Friday, though the market was awash in rumors that the biotech was being targeted for a takeover.

Celldex is developing a brain cancer vaccine that allows patients taking it to live twice as long as those on radiation and chemotherapy. The vaccine has shown positive results of spurring the immune system to attack cancer cells. It's a nice reversal of fortune for the biotech, which was punished last year following news Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) was pulling out of a development agreement. The takeover talk had options traders heavily investing in Celldex calls, a bullish sentiment that its shares were heading up.

CAPS member stemcells2011 is expecting a positive earnings report when Celldex announces in March, but he admits the company is going to need cash to fund its clinical trials.

Expect to earn $0.21/share in March. Good news always sends this stock upwards. They'll need lots of cash soon, though. Expensive Phase III vaccine trials ahead. Promising pipeline + cheap under $4 (for now)

You can watch Celldex Therapeutics' progress by adding the stock to your watchlist and having all the Foolish news and analysis about it gathered in one place.

Squeezed to death
The crisis unfolding in Egypt may prove fortuitous to dry bulk shipper DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS  ) , which recently rolled the dice by branching out into the oil tanker business.

It's been a thankless lot for bulk shipping companies such as DryShips and Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX  ) as they've watched day rates for their charters plummet. While Diana moved into the profitable container shipping space occupied by Global Ship Lease, DryShips went its own way into oil.

Leading oil tanker fleet operator Frontline shot higher as the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak threatened to topple, possibly forcing the closure of the Suez Canal. Shutting down the canal would mean tankers would have to take a more circuitous trip around Africa, leading to rising rates.

As 95% of the 1,683 CAPS members rating Frontline marked it to beat the broad market averages, it doesn't seem like they were waiting around for an international crisis to develop to send the shipper's shares higher. You can add the fleet operator to the Fool's free portfolio tracker and then sail on over to the Frontline CAPS page and add your thoughts on whether it will cruise to new heights.

Going into orbit
That's why it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS, where you can read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from the stock's CAPS page. Then you can decide for yourself whether your stock is headed for re-entry, or off to infinity and beyond.

Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. 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.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2011, at 1:54 PM, drax009 wrote:

    Typical wishy-washy trash. Don't take a stand one way or the other for fear of being proven wrong or branded a heretic. Absolutely nothing was said of value in this article.

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