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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.


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Tuesday's Change

Cleveland BioLabs (Nasdaq: CBLI  )



Nokia (NYSE: NOK  )



L&L Energy (Nasdaq: LLEN  )



Relief that Greece apparently won't collapse financially helped the Dow jump 128 points yesterday, or 1%, so stocks that went down by even larger percentages are pretty big deals.

Fighting against disaster
Not surprisingly, when Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster turned into a dangerous nuclear crisis as fears of the Fukushima reactor would completely melt down, shares of Cleveland BioLabs spiked. After all, the specialized research company is developing treatments to stave off death after a total body irradiation incident.

Others in the field also saw their stocks jump, including Osiris Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OSIR  ) , which is working with Genzyme to develop medical countermeasures to nuclear terrorism and other radiological emergencies.

Although the jump in value was fleeting, no doubt because there wasn't much Cleveland would be able to contribute to the disaster because its treatments are still in the development stage, its tumble yesterday was for a reason of more immediate concern: The federal spigot might get turned off. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health & Human Services wants more information about how it will negotiate the path to approval through the FDA, which has oversight now, before contract negotiations with BARDA can go forward. Cleveland says this was an anticipated step in the process, but the markets are clearly worried.

But Cleveland's treatments might also be used for cancer treatment, as well as in the medical radiation-protector market, which is dominated by AstraZeneca's Ethyol. CAPS member Dynablob thinks the market opportunity could be large, if it can get the funding.

Asymmetric risk/reward. BARDA grant would further legitimize science behind 502, leading to domestic & international government orders. Total market size should be $300-$500 million for the drug, and CBLI should get good margins on a large order.

Diagnose the situation on the Cleveland BioLabs CAPS page and let us know whether this stock will melt down any further.

Hanging up on growth
Has cell-phone maker Nokia become the Palm of today? It slashed guidance yesterday for the current quarter and suspended full-year forecasts while also suggesting that operating profits could be near the breakeven level. Android-driven phones are wreaking havoc with its sales, and the changeover from its proprietary Symbian operating system that it abandoned in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is more problematic than anticipated.

Like Palm, Nokia at one time was the runaway leader in the space. Even with some well-publicized flubs -- remember when Nokia refused to offer clamshell-style phones? -- it could still recover and move handsets. No more. The iPhone, along with models from HTC and Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) , are stealing market share.

Yet even at today's drastically reduced share price, some analysts don't think Nokia has hit bottom, pointing out that Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) and Motorola shares are cheaper still with more attractive prospects.

CAPS member marketk says it's come down to being all or nothing in the deal between Nokia and Microsoft.

The deal with Microsoft could pay off. Right now, Microsoft needs Nokia & Nokia needs Microsoft. If the Windows 7 phone can prove to be successful, we could see some nice gains from Microsoft and Nokia.

You can follow its progress on whether it will be able to overcome the angst gripping the handset market by adding Nokia to the Fool's free portfolio tracker.

A cloudy forecast
Where there's smoke, is there always fire? Shares of Chinese coal miner L&L Energy were whacked again over allegations of financial shenanigans. Last year, questions were raised about impropriety and fell again after charges of fraud surfaced at peer Puda Coal (Nasdaq: PUDA  ) . Now an analyst over at Seeking Alpha has written that L&L's financial reports are riddled with inaccuracies, incomplete disclosures, and a suspect auditor.

However, some have questioned the accuracy of the author's own statements, and although he says he stands behind what he wrote, he no longer intends to complete what was originally going to be a multipart series on the coal miner. And though he had planned to take a short position in the stock, too, that apparently is off the table as well.

It may be that there was no smoke at all. CAPS member RedChipCompanies believes the growth story at L&L remains intact: "The Company is executing an aggressive growth strategy, as demonstrated by its recent acquisitions and exclusive marketing agreement with Bowie Mine in the U.S. The opening of a new coal washing facility and plans to increase capacity at existing facilities are further evidence of L&L's ability to grow both organically and through acquisitions."

If the recent volatility is too much for you to buy, add L&L's stock to your watchlist and track its progress from the safety of the sidelines.

Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating, that doesn't mean it's going to roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look on Motley Fool CAPS at what's happened to your stock can give you an edge over other investors who just react to the market's lead. You can decide for yourself whether it's ready to come back from the dead.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a diagonal call position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Motorola Mobility but has no financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in the article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Rich Duprey

Rich has been a Fool since 1998 and writing for the site since 2004. After 20 years of patrolling the mean streets of suburbia, he hung up his badge and gun to take up a pen full time.

Having made the streets safe for Truth, Justice and Krispy Kreme donuts, he now patrols the markets looking for companies he can lock up as long-term holdings in a portfolio. So follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the most important industry news in retail and consumer products and other great stories.


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