There's never a shortage of losers in the stock market. Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest sinkers.

Company

Sept. 6

Weekly Loss

Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN)

$53.19

20%

ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL)

$2.24

20%

VIVIUS (NASDAQ:VVUS)

$10.96

13%

Mattress Firm (NASDAQ:MFRM)

$35.59

13%

Unilife (NASDAQ:UNIS)

$3.07

11%

Source: Barron's.

Let's start with Conn's. The retailer of consumer electronics, appliances, and furniture slumped after missing estimates. Analysts were banking on a profit of $0.60 a share, but Conn's earned just $0.52. Sales were strong, but this was the second time in three quarters that the chain disappointed on the bottom line.  

ArQule took a bit hit after an unfavorable development in its goal to get tivantinib on the market as a treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma, a common from of liver cancer. High infection rates in late-stage trial patients finds ArQule accepting an independent safety committee's recommendation to cut the dose in half. Will the move trade off infections for efficacy? The market isn't sure, and that's the kind of uncertainty that can trigger a 20% weekly drop.

VIVUS took a hit after its CEO resigned. The departure is health-related, but Anthony Zook just took this gig in late July, and VIVUS is now on its third CEO in two months. The market's getting concerned about the turnover at the top. 

Mattress Firm let the bed bugs bite after posting disappointing quarterly results. Comps were actually negative, surprising investors who were banking on positive mattress sales trends, given the housing market's recovery. Mattress Firm's adjusted profit of $0.43 a share was also woefully short of the $0.51 Wall Street was targeting. 

The near-term prospects aren't very promising, as the leading bedding products retailer is lowering its sales, earnings, and same-store sales targets for the entire fiscal year.

Finally, Unilife stumbled after the developer of injectable drug delivery systems was taken to task in a Forbes article.

"How is a $329 million syringe company still unprofitable after 11 years?" the headline questions, going on to wonder why Unilife is profitless and generating such little revenue despite its seemingly compelling retractable-syringe technology.

Ready for a bounce
If you owned some of these losers, how about following the smart money into winners?

Rick Munarriz and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.