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This Week's 5 Dumbest Stock Moves

Stupidity is contagious -- even respectable companies can catch it. As we do every week, let's take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.

1. 3-D glasses
3-D printing has come under fire this year, and this week 3D Systems  (NYSE: DDD  ) didn't do itself any favors by announcing disappointing preliminary financial results.

The 3-D printing leader -- and now bleeder -- sees adjusted earnings for the current quarter clocking in between $0.83 a share and $0.87 a share. Its earlier guidance called for profitability of at least $0.93 a share. Its earnings guidance for 2014 is also well shy of where the pros were parked.

The stock may have been one of last year's biggest winners, but it has gone on to be one of this year's biggest losers. It has now shed more than 30% of its value through Thursday's close.

2. Pandora panned
Pandora Media (NYSE: P  ) saw its shares fall 10% on Thursday after posting weak performance metrics for January and offering up a weak guidance for all of 2014.

Pandora served up 1.58 million hours last month, flat with December's showing. Active listeners declined from 76.2 million in December to 73.4 million in January.

The leading music-streaming service is projecting adjusted earnings of $0.13 per share to $0.17 per share this year, short of the $0.19 per share analysts were expecting. Pandora is forecasting $870 million to $890 million in revenue for all of 2014, less than Wall Street's consensus target of $896.3 million.

Pandora's making great strides in monetizing its airplay, but apparently those strides aren't great enough.

3. Hades called -- he wants his stores back 
RadioShack  (NYSE: RSHCQ  ) was a big winner on Super Bowl Sunday with its memorably self-effacing ad drawing attention to its dated image and what it's doing to be relevant on this side of the millennium. However, the retailer's pop on Monday gave way later in the week on reports that it would be closing 500 of its stores.

RadioShack's in a funk, and it's unlikely that a modern makeover will save the chain. Even RadioShack has to know this. Why else would it close hundreds of stores in the middle of a conversion attempt?

4. Tesla goes the extra mile
A team of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) employees set off on a historic journey from Los Angeles to New York using only the electric-car maker's Supercharger charging stations to get around.

Tesla makes the growing network of charging stations complimentary for Tesla owners, making longer treks possible.

The team completed the trek in 76 hours, but there was one notable asterisk. The most direct path from Los Angeles to New York City is less than 2,800 miles, according to Google Maps, yet this trip spanned 3,464.5 miles because of detours to reach the charging stations.

Folks who buy a Tesla Model S likely value the time spent driving out of the way or charging at a station more than the money they are saving with the complimentary charges. The good news on that front is that more charging stations are coming, making this less of an issue in the future. However, if Tesla's going to toot its own horn, we have to point out the shortcomings.

5. Penny lame
Even positive comps aren't enough to save J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) these days. The department store operator took a hit after announcing that same-store sales rose 3.1% during the nine-week holiday shopping period in November and December. 

That may not seem too bad, but keep in mind that the stock rallied when J.C. Penney announced that comps in November rose 10.1%. December must've been pretty bad if November's gain averaged with December's results ended in a mere 3.1% advance in comps. 

We don't know how this will play out on the bottom line, but margin-squeezing sales aren't likely to help. Analysts see a sharp loss for the holiday quarter.

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (4)

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 07, 2014, at 5:28 PM, weaponz wrote:

    The reason why Tesla did that route was because that is the most efficient route. Not to got coast to coast but for Tesla superchargers.

    If you look carefully at the supercharger map, they connected LA and Denver. Then Chicago and NYC. They then connected those 2 routes with 10 superchargers while capturing Minneapolis.

    If you look at Edmund's statistics of Tesla cars sold, the route makes the most sense by capturing all of Tesla's biggest markets.

    Though the point of the rally was for a Guinness world record for least amount of time charging.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2014, at 5:38 PM, vincent104 wrote:

    Thanks, I answered no to each questions, but i dutyfully read the arguments after and found I would have had even more reasons to vote no. Good job.

    vincent 10

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2014, at 7:52 PM, brandonchen wrote:

    Why you call stock moves that don't move your way "dumb"? The market is always right, and you are not the only intelligent person out there..

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2014, at 11:29 AM, taloft wrote:

    IMO, the dumb moves are all being made my Mr. Market who keeps expecting companies to meet unreasonable expectations. We've had a huge run in 2013. It is unreasonable to expect the market will continue it's break neck pace of growth indefinitely. It's funny, no one blames the weather when the weather man gets it wrong but, somehow it's the companies fault when Wall street consensus doesn't match reality. You could have great top and bottom line growth all the way around but, be one percent off the consensus and your share price tanks.

    Also, when so many companies are trading far above tangible book value, it is only reasonable to assume that people are going to start locking in profits buy selling shares. Hence the recent pull back. Yet, people panic when their favorite stock drops 5% after climbing 40%+ in the last year.

    Oh well, I'll just keep snapping up bargains while the bulls are all stampeding away.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 5:02 PM, copperreddc wrote:

    The market isn't always right, as history has repeatedly proven. Short term, to the next quarter "pros" have ruined some of what makes investing worthwhile.

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Rick Munarriz

Rick has been writing for Motley Fool since 1995 where he's a Consumer and Tech Stocks Specialist. Yes, that's a long time. He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception. He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he now lives a block from his alma mater.

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