|Cheniere Energy (NYSE: LNG )||**||(35.77%)|
|Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN )||***||(16.66%)|
|Syntroleum (Nasdaq: SYNM )||**||(14.04%)|
In yet another wild swing, the markets roared ahead 124 points yesterday, or more than 1%, as investors set aside other concerns. It's a big turnaround, and appropriate for a month known for madness, and stocks that went down by large percentages are bigger deals still.
The devil's in the details
The confusing maze of interconnectedness among Cheniere Energy, its subsidiary Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSE: CQP ) , and its Sabine Pass liquefaction facilities in Louisiana seems to have caught up with it after a hedge fund alleged its actually in default on its debt.
It wasn't so long ago the facility was seen as the next stage of its growth strategy as Canada's largest natural gas operator, Encana (NYSE: ECA ) , backed the proposal to export liquid natural gas, particularly to one of China's largest independently owned natural gas companies. But if the hedge fund is right, all bets are off and it could mean serious trouble.
Even before the charges arose, though, CAPS member GreatCormorant expressed doubt Cheniere would be able to extricate itself from its problems:
This company has huge investments in LNG terminals originally built for import. Since the Shale boom, there has been no need to import and Cheniere is currently in the process of converting its terminals to gas liquefaction. This is an expensive prospect for a company that has no revenue. And what if we get smart and start using more gas domestically? Or if drillers decide that they don't want to drill for $4 dollar gas?
Let us know on the Cheniere Energy CAPS page whether it will be able to diagnose the problem and get back on track.
The earnings report from retailer Urban Outfitters shouldn't have surprised so many people considering last quarter it reported slowing sales, too. Retailers in general have been enjoying consecutive months of growing sales, but a more promotional period and shifting fashion tastes seem to have caught Urban short.
Last time out Urban Outfitters was able to forestall a stock drop by buying back large slugs of stock, a move I said didn't excite me all that much since companies tended to buy high and sell low. No such doings this time and the stock plummeted.
It ought to serve as a warning to other retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF ) that have also been riding high lately. Shoppers pushed spending out from the holidays into the first quarter as late-year winter storms kept everyone indoors. Comps were up about 4.2% from the year-ago period, but rising gas and food prices mean cutbacks may be forthcoming.
CAPS member Clint35 thinks the sell-off may be overdone as Urban has managed to right itself quickly after previous fashion miscues. You can dress up the Urban Outfitters CAPS page with your own fashion sentiments, then follow along with its progress by putting the stock on your free, personalized watchlist.
That sinking feeling
There was no real reason for Syntroleum's sell-off yesterday, but if a story in The Wall Street Journal pans out, now's an excellent buying opportunity.
The thrust of the story is that Syntroleum's deal with China's Sinopec, the country's largest refiner and distributor of transport fuels, puts it in a lead position ahead of companies like South Africa's Sasol (NYSE: SSL ) , which uses a similar technology to convert coal to liquids. It had hoped to make headway there, but now it appears its project will be scrapped. Sasol hasn't been able to get approval to build its plant and the energy specialist is suspending all activities related to the project until a decision is made, if ever.
That leaves Syntroleum as the major player in the space in China, certainly not a region to be taken lightly and hardly a reason to sell off its shares.
While two-thirds of the analysts rating Syntroleum see it underperforming the market, the CAPS community, with 76% looking for it to beat Wall Street's estimates, has a decidedly different opinion. With that said, its low two-star rating does suggest that CAPS members think there might be better places for your money right now.
If there's still too much uncertainty for you, add Syntroleum to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to see whether it will ever really live up to its potential or simply crash and burn again.
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.