Why SunPower, Alpha Natural Resources, and United Online Tumbled Today

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The page on the calendar might have changed, but stocks continued their terrible 2014 even as February began. Losses of between 2% and 3% plagued the major market average as investors grew fearful of signs of sluggishness in the long-resilient U.S. economy. Among the worst performers on the day were SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR  ) , Alpha Natural Resources (NASDAQOTH: ANRZQ  ) , and United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD  ) .

SunPower (SPWR) dropped 10% on a bad day for solar stocks generally. Despite having obtained $220 million in solar lease financing capacity from Merrill Lynch last week, SunPower has seen its valuation skyrocket over the past year, with shares having quadrupled from year-ago levels. With concerns about the manufacturing sector weighing on the overall market, some investors might well simply have decided that SunPower and several of its solar peers represented a fertile ground to take profits.

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) fell 8% as the company joined most of its coal-mining peers with substantial declines today. Weaker manufacturing directly means less energy demand, and even though cheap natural gas has supplanted coal's place in many manufacturing processes, every little bit of lost demand at this point puts Alpha Natural and other coal companies in a more difficult situation. Even though the company received recognition for its environmental stewardship today, Alpha Natural needs industry conditions to improve in order to see its stock respond favorably.

United Online (UNTD) plunged 12% after the Internet service provider discontinued its dividend after the market closed last Friday. The stock had yielded 5%, making it a popular choice among yield-hungry investors. But United Online said it wants to free up cash for future growth initiatives. Combined with possible future share buybacks, the company believes that it still offers solid shareholder value for its shareholders -- even if the move disappoints those who had come to depend on quarterly income.

Don't miss this smart stock pick
Opportunities to get wealthy from a single investment don't come around often, but they do exist, and our chief technology officer believes he's found one. In this free report, Jeremy Phillips shares the single company that he believes could transform not only your portfolio, but your entire life. To learn the identity of this stock for free and see why Jeremy is putting more than $100,000 of his own money into it, all you have to do is click here now.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2014, at 12:16 PM, wiserinvestor wrote:

    SunPower has some real competition now that Hyper X Solar is available on the market. Hyper X Solar offers a better PTC to STC ratio "Real World" performance according to the California Energy Commission's performance rating listings than over 100 of SunPower's solar panel models. Hyper X solar also offers an incredible -0.27%/degree C temperature coefficient rating for awesome performance in hot/warm climates and best of all Hyper X solar systems are priced at nearly half the price of a SunPower solar system. Factor the cost of a $0 down lease into the equation and Hyper X is nearly 1/3 the cost of a SunPower system.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2821851, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 7:19:31 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,351.38 293.03 1.82%
S&P 500 1,948.86 35.01 1.83%
NASD 4,749.98 113.87 2.46%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/2/2015 3:59 PM
ANRZQ $0.04 Down +0.00 -5.54%
Alpha Natural Reso… CAPS Rating: **
SPWR $22.95 Up +0.13 +0.57%
SunPower Corporati… CAPS Rating: ****
UNTD $10.56 Up +0.13 +1.25%
United Online, Inc… CAPS Rating: ****