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The market went bananas on Thursday, jumping 245 points or almost 2%, after Europe's finance minister Mario Draghi promised to fix everything wrong with the eurozone through an unlimited bond-buying program. Or, as the folks at Zero Hedge inform us, Pierpont Securities has termed it "classic banana republic banking." Don't expect the "europhoria" to last.
Other companies, however, had their own problems to contend with, some dropping by double-digit percentages. So let's see whether they had good reason to fall, as sometimes panic-fueled declines can actually lead to excellent buying opportunities.
Taken for a ride
Solid-state drive maker OCZ Technology (NYSE: OCZ ) warned second-quarter revenue is going to come in below expectations because there's a continuing shortage of NAND memory chips. Yet one has to wonder whether it really would have mattered if they had plentiful supplies; analysts say notebooks, desktops, and servers that would use the products are still suffering from slack demand. The market sent the drive maker's shares plummeting 19% on the warning.
There's an inventory glut still plaguing the supply chain and even rival drive maker Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX ) will soon feel the impact, if analyst prognostications hold up. Western Digital (NYSE: WDC ) should also suffer, no? But the analysts at Needham say it's been less boastful about what the future holds, so its guidance isn't as far afield as the rivals.
With OCZ going all-in on the solid-state market a year ago, it had seemed a smart pick, as the industry was drying out of the floods that ravaged Thailand. But with components still in short supply, OCZ's decision to place all its chips on black is looking like a bad bet. Even so, I expect the supply situation to work itself out (as does management), so I'll be maintaining my outperform rating of the drive maker on Motley Fool CAPS.
Similar misfortune dragged credit card terminal maker VeriFone Systems (NYSE: PAY ) lower. Revenue came in below forecasts, as a fire at a Brazilian facility caused customers to turn to competitors. With guidance for next quarter and the full year also coming in under expectations, the markets seemed worried the effects would be long-lasting, particularly as competition gets more intense in Europe, and the stock tumbled almost 14%.
This is another that ought to be able to bounce back. Fires can be cleaned up, and while rivals may get a few customers out of the situation, analysts point to VeriFone's service packages as giving it a real competitive advantage. In addition to providing credit card terminals, VeriFone bundles encryption services, content and advertising, gateway services, e-commerce capabilities, and cloud-based retail application processing, making it a one-stop shop for transaction processing.
With the stock down 45% from its 52-week highs, I'm rating this one to outperform the market averages, agreeing with Paulsstrazdins who says the end-to-end solutions it offers set it ahead of rivals who want to sell a terminal and be gone.
Tell me in the comments section below whether you think VeriFone Systems will pay off for those who think this is a buying opportunity.
Running out of power
Rounding out the somber news, alternative energy provider FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL ) saw losses widen in its third quarter to $10.8 million. The culprit was the rate of order closure, which is apparently taking longer than FuelCell anticipated, though it does expect the pace to pick up. At least it's working toward that goal, but the risk still sent its shares 11% lower.
There's still the memorandum of agreement between it and South Korean steel maker POSCO, which was one of the reasons I had rated the alt fuel company to outperform the market. POSCO was also scooping up fistfuls of stock and now owns more than 30 million shares, or about a quarter of those outstanding. I feel it could eventually just end up buying FuelCell outright. Whereas I previously noted if I could, I'd double down on CAPS on it beating the market, perhaps I should say that at prices now more than 54% below recent highs, I'd triple down.
As management notes, backlog remains very active, and though that doesn't translate one-to-one into sales, it remains an encouraging sign, so I won't be changing my rating for FuelCell Energy. Tell me below if I was premature in thinking it had already set the stage for powering higher.
Ready for a resurrection
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