Why Did My Stock Just Die?

Your stock just took a nosedive -- but don't panic. First, let's see whether it had good reason to fall. Sometimes, panic-fueled drops can make excellent buying opportunities. Here's the latest crop of cratered stocks that could provide a possibility for profit:

Stock

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Yesterday's Change

Delcath Systems (Nasdaq: DCTH  ) **** (37.96%)
Hyperdynamics (NYSE: HDY  ) *** (12.64%)
Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC  ) ** (11.21%)

The market panicked over the unrest in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East yesterday, dropping 178 points, or almost 1.5%. So stocks that have fallen by even larger percentages are even bigger deals.

The devil's in the details
The FDA's refuse-to-file letter isn't exactly a death knell for Delcath Systems, but with little cash and a rising burn rate, the alarm bells are pealing loudly. Last summer, Delcath also failed to convince analysts that there was really a benefit for patients using its percutaneous hepatic perfusion technology. While the clinical trials were not specifically designed for survival issues, it was a key component of the outcome reported.

Investors remained largely unconcerned, however, because its liver cancer treatment was seen as the bigger opportunity. Now the FDA's decision, although not killing off its chances for approval, extends the probability far out into the future, perhaps too far for it to reach.

At one time, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) was thought to be a possible buyer for the company, and a takeout might be its only hope. But with two failures under its belt, there may be precious little for someone to want to dine on here. Despite the FDA decision, Delcath says it had already planned to file details about inspections, validation, and other safety information in April. It says it will resubmit its application by the end of September, assuming it's still around.

CAPS members had been hopeful of its chances, and I think many were caught off guard by the FDA's move. Let us know on the Delcath Systems CAPS page whether it will be able to ring the bell again in the near future.

Drill further
It's something of a head-scratcher that oil exploration company Hyperdynamics would melt down on a day when the markets were flummoxed over oil concerns. Since it was only last week they were jumping higher on consecutive days, it's probable that is the likely cause.

Hyperdynamics, for all its promise, still has no revenues and hasn't pumped a barrel of oil. Like CAMAC Energy (NYSE: CAK  ) and VAALCO Energy (NYSE: EGY  ) , Hyperdynamics is hoping the waters off Africa's west coast will provide a lucrative trove of oil. From CAPS member g201825's perspective, Africa is a rock of stability when it comes to where drilling is safest:

With an estimated 1 billion barrols of oil in HDY's control, if you do the math, this stock good be a value at over $100 per share The Gulf of Mexico is now to risky to drill and the coast of Africa with the stable govt of New Guinea will be a prime focus for future oil exploration. I am betting my farm on it!

While I wouldn't recommend going all-in on any investment, let us know in the comments section below or on the Hyperdynamics CAPS page whether you believe its potential for success are as great as the hype that has surrounded it.

That sinking feeling
Investors were not pleased with being marginalized by Cell Therapeutics' plans for dilution. Last Friday the biotech said it entered into a securities purchase agreement to sell up to $25 million worth of shares of its non-convertible preferred stock, warrants to acquire up to 25.9 million shares of common stock, and an additional investment right to acquire up to $25 million worth of shares of its convertible preferred stock.

Cell Therapeutics has no revenues and the FDA refused to approve its cancer drug Pixuvir unless further tests are conducted. While the biotech is appealing the decision, it's also going to be running the new trials beginning this quarter. Considering that the only avenue small biotechs like CTI or large pharmaceuticals like Johnson & Johnson have when appealing a ruling is through the agency itself, it seems little more than tilting at windmills to pursue it.

Yet with 82% of the CAPS All-Stars rating the biotech believing it will ultimately beat the market, they seem to have the same confidence as management. You can add Cell Therapeutics to your watchlist to see whether it will be able to dilute the impact of any negative FDA ruling.

Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating doesn't mean it's going to roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look at what's happened to your stock can give you an edge over other investors who just react to the market's lead.

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 it's ready to come back from the dead.

Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection and a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Johnson & Johnson. The Fool and Motley Fool Alpha own shares of Johnson & Johnson. 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 the article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (9)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2011, at 4:11 PM, Chizzy7 wrote:

    Before you bet the farm, make sure your money goes to Guinea....Not New Guinea.

    The way the new CEO has been doing, your farm may become a ranch.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2011, at 1:34 AM, mhy729 wrote:

    Wow...check out the split-adjusted share price on CTIC back in 2000. At one point it was close to $3000.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2011, at 11:26 AM, shawley1 wrote:

    IMO HDY found oil because why else would they be in the process of finding a partner to drill if the 3D tests came back with less than positive results. Hang on to this stock and you will enjoy a substantial gain by the end of the year.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2011, at 7:40 PM, murdog21 wrote:

    shawley1 what is your take on a substantial gain by the end of the year? Do you have a dollar sign in mind?

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2011, at 9:00 PM, shawley1 wrote:

    No not really. More will be known when the results from the 3D tests are made public and the world will actually know if we hit it big or not. Does anyone have any estimates that they know about or when they plan on releasing some of the data?

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2011, at 11:32 AM, picas wrote:

    I have some savings and I'm been follow HDY since it dropped from almost 7 to less than 3, this huge movements in such a short time plus the little info

    keep me from jump into de stock, what do you think about it? Should I? shouldn't I?

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