Today's 3 Worst Stocks

While yesterday's bearish market provided some reprieve for investors in the three worst performers on the trading floor Monday, Tuesday offered no solace for the beleaguered companies that saw their shares fall today. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) rose 15.6 points, or 1.04%, to close at 1,511. But the following three stocks didn't take part in the gains. At all. 

Medical-devices company Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW  ) certainly lived up to its ticker symbol today, as shares plummeted 6.8% after a disappointing earnings report. Actually, Edwards officially beat the Street's expectations, but investors must have had excessively high standards, as the outlook -- merely in line with what analysts expected -- seemed to be the "negative" catalyst that spooked Edwards equity holders. 

Another victim of poor earnings, utilities company TECO Energy (NYSE: TE  ) fell 3.4% after the fourth-quarter EPS of $0.21 showed a slight decline from the quarter a year prior, when TECO earned $0.22 per share. It's unsurprising that TECO shares are struggling; the company is a player in the declining coal industry. Not only did TECO's coal sales stumble, falling 17%, but the company anticipates lower industrial phosphate sales in 2013 as well. One possible positive from the fall: Tuesday's sell-off drove TECO's annual dividend yield to 5%. 

Perhaps mining just isn't the area to invest in right now. Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) rounds out today's S&P 500 laggards, falling 1.9%. Shares in the company have understandably struggled as the "dirty coal" image, as well as competition with alternative energy sources like natural gas, have made for a tough market environment. Cliffs has lost 50% of its market value in the past year alone, and although there wasn't a singular reason for today's decline, the market seems to be skeptical about the future of the company and the industry as a whole.

Cliffs Natural Resources has grown from a domestic iron ore producer into an international player in both the iron ore and metallurgical coal markets. It has performed well, relative to many competitors, in a very cyclical industry because of several factors that are likely to remain advantageous for Cliffs' management. For details on these advantages and more, click here now to check out The Motley Fool's brand new premium report on the company.


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