5 of Last Week's Biggest Losers

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

Jan. 17

Weekly Loss

Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS  )

$79.47

42%

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  )

$24.43

36%

SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA  )

$38.15

24%

Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA  )

$3.55

14%

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  )

$6.52

11%

Source: Barron's.

Let's start with Nu Skin Enterprises. The multilevel marketer of skin products turned ugly after the Chinese government announced that it will look into reports claiming that Nu Skin is an illegal pyramid scheme. The company defended its model, but investors don't like uncertainty.

Best Buy became a better sell for investors who bailed on the consumer-electronics superstore chain before it warned that comps were negative during the holiday shopping season. Best Buy's been discounting aggressively to combat the showrooming trend, so margins were always going to be a challenge. However, now that sales are also sliding, it's giving one of last year's best-performing stocks a rude awakening in 2014.

SodaStream also warned of an unquenched holiday quarter. The company behind the namesake maker of carbonated beverages is still growing its revenue at a healthy 26% clip for the quarter, but now it's expected to barely break even.

Zynga was a losing game after an analyst published negative comments about the casual- and social-gaming giant. Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia feels that bookings are coming in too soft to meet its earlier guidance. He also sees it losing more than the $0.04-a-share deficit that Wall Street is targeting.

J.C. Penney shareholders have now suffered back-to-back weeks of double-digit percentage declines. A week earlier it was an uninspiring report in which the company was merely "pleased" with its holiday performance. This past week the chain announced it will close 33 of its stores. The closures, along with some layoffs, will help it realize $65 million in annualized savings, but investors are more concerned about the chain's fade from relevance.

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