Zoinks! What Just Happened to My Stock?

The market had a down day yesterday. Were your stocks among those affected? Let's see whether they had good reason to tumble, as sometimes panic-fueled declines can actually lead to excellent buying opportunities.

Well, that was close
Maybe, as some news outlets suggested, it was the restructuring announcement by Staples that led Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH  ) to plummet 16%, but considering the office-supplies specialist itself fell less than 5% on the news, that doesn't seem likely.

What I'd like to know is who it was that dumped such large amounts of stock that drove the price down in light of the news this morning that Radio Shack's CEO was quitting -- immediately -- to help foster the turnaround so desperately needed at the electronics chain. That sounds like a more reasonable cause for the plunge ... except that it came a day ahead of time. Did someone have a heads-up on the announcement?

Certainly Radio Shack, like rival Best Buy, has been hurt by the sluggish economy and the reluctance of shoppers to splurge on consumer electronics. Although tablets and smartphones have been hot, and both outfits have made a concerted effort to be part of the trend, they tend to carry slimmer margins, which doesn't help the already constrained retail chains. Yet the departing CEO was supposed to turn things around when he took the helm last year, and his exit underscores the difficulty he had in operating in the current environment.

While fresh blood can sometimes provide new perspective, the plummeting stock price ahead of the news means some investors are left bloodied while others managed to escape just in the nick of time. Let me know in the comments section below if you think it's just coincidence Radio Shack should plunge right before a big shakeup in the front office is announced.

No flash in the pan
It's not of the same immediacy as Radio Shack's CEO resignation, but solid-state-drive maker OCZ Technology (NYSE: OCZ  ) also had its top dog quit on it recently as the NAND memory shortage weighed heavily on performance, which also led to the CFO's exit. Yesterday, though, its stock sank 10% on no news.

According to OCZ, the dearth of flash memory is hurting its ability to produce the drives. While chipmakers Micron (NYSE: MU  ) and SanDisk will benefit from higher prices, drive makers are scrambling to get a piece of the available inventory. Considering that OCZ wasn't profitable even before the earnings warning, investors are probably right to worry. Yet with plenty of cash on the balance sheet and no debt, it shouldn't be a financial risk, and trading as it does just below its book value certainly makes it an interesting play.

Third-quarter earnings are due up next week, so we'll see whether OCZ still has the financial wherewithal to withstand the shortage. Offer up your own opinion on OCZ Technology future in the comments box below.

Running out of power
Apparently the iPhone 5 isn't the juggernaut analysts touted it to be. They called for 6 million to 10 million units to be sold in the first weekend of availability, 50 million by year's end, and 250 million over its life, So when Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) announced that it sold "only" 5 million iPhone 5 units in its debut, the world closed in around Wall Street.

We'll see how that plays out for InvenSense (Nasdaq: INVN  ) , which makes gyro-accelerometers for tablets and smartphones (they're what cause the image on the screen to right itself no matter which way you turn the device). As a supplier for Samsung's popular Galaxy series, investors were worried that Apple's courtroom win against Samsung for patent infringement would be a heavy blow to its sales. The stock has bounced 47% higher since July, when it reported encouraging first-quarter sales numbers.

What likely sent InvenSense's shares 12% lower yesterday was its removal from the Nasdaq Smartphone Index, which tracks companies that build and design smartphone handsets, hardware, software, and mobile networks. With additional eligibility requirements for market cap and volume of shares traded, InvenSense apparently fell below the thresholds.

I'm still bullish on InvenSense, but let me know below if you think its future is tied to Apple, even if tangentially.

Ready for a resurrection
The Motley Fool has created a premium report on Apple that comes with a limited-time exclusive report detailing not only what investors need to know about the iPhone 5 now that it's launched, but also a rundown of every key supplier and recommendations on which ones have the most promise. If you're looking for a recommendation on how to play Apple along with continuing updates and guidance on the company whenever news breaks, get started now.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples, RadioShack, Apple, InvenSense, and Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Staples and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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