This Week's 5 Dumbest Stock Moves

These five companies got it wrong this week.

Feb 7, 2014 at 4:45PM

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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Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems, Pandora Media, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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