Why NCR Shares Dropped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of ATM maker NCR (NYSE: NCR  ) are coming under fire today, down as much as 12% earlier in the trading session, after receiving a downgrade from Wedbush Securities and following allegations that it had violated U.S. sanction and anti-bribery laws.

So what: Houston, we have a problem! Wedbush lowered its rating on the company to neutral from outperform and slashed its price target to $23 from $33 after two separate reports revealed potentially damaging findings against NCR. The Wall Street Journal has reported that NCR is under investigation that its employees in China and the Middle East may have violated U.S. antitrust laws. A separate report claims that NCR may have violated U.S. sanctions against Syria. This is potentially damaging news as it could result in fines and legal fees, which reduce NCR's earnings. It should also be noted that the majority of NCR's recent growth has come from emerging markets. If these allegations prove truthful, you can kiss most of that growth goodbye.

Now what: It's far too early to speculate on whether these allegations have merit or not. However, I'd have to admit that these allegations are enough to make me want to keep my distance from the stock. Instead, I suggest looking into NCR's competitor that I highlighted earlier this month, Diebold (NYSE: DBD  ) . Diebold holds the streak of longest annual dividend increases at 59 years, and it could stand to steal market share from NCR if these allegations prove true.

Craving more input? Start by adding NCR to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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