This Week's 5 Dumbest Stock Moves

These five companies got it wrong this week.

May 2, 2014 at 4:46PM

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. Midnight madness
There's never a good time to deliver bad news, but Education Management (NASDAQOTH:EDMC) kicks off this week's list of five dumb moves for its decision.

"Hey, do you think anyone will notice if we try to push out our earnings release at midnight on Wednesday?" someone in the boardroom may have suggested. And no one argued otherwise.

The post-secondary educator's quarter was a dud. Revenue slipped 7% as enrollments continued to decline. It also had to write down a whopping $509.2 million in asset-deflating charges. Looking out to the current quarter, Education Management now sees a loss. Analysts were holding out for a profit. 

The sly midnight release didn't fool the market. The stock plunged 28% on Thursday.

2. Pasta la vista
Another less-than-inspiring quarterly report came from Noodles & Co. (NASDAQ:NDLS). The fast-casual chain which serves up noodles in several international incarnations saw its revenue rise 10%, but that's not good news when you learn that the number of company-owned locations has increased 17% over the past year.

Noodles & Co. suffered a 1.6% decline in systemwide comps. The dip happened despite a 2.2% increase in prices, illustrating that the chain may have a problem drawing diners. It blames the weather for the setback, but we've already seen some eateries hold up better than that. Noodles & Co. was a blazing IPO last year on the premise that it was a hot concept. We're still waiting for proof. 

3. There's nothing good on TV
It's been nearly two years since Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) brought in TV-industry vet Nancy Tellem to be its president of entertainment and digital, tasked with making Xbox Live more compelling to video buffs through original programming. Microsoft finally announced the slate of shows that will be available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft device users starting next month. It's not very compelling.

For starters, the only content coming next month will be a live stream of the Bonnaroo festival and a reality show series on street soccer around the world. A documentary on how Atari had to bury millions of unsold E.T. video game cartridges in a landfill will air later this year, but scripted shows won't be out until at least next year. Microsoft is moving too slow in an industry that's growing fast. 

4. Avon stalling
Avon (NYSE:AVP) has spent decades making its customers look good, but now they're not returning the favor. Avon shares plunged on Thursday after the door-to-door seller of cosmetics and housewares posted smeared financials.

Revenue fell 11% as continuing domestic weakness compounded its slumping international presence. Avon saw its adjusted profit cut in half to $0.12 a share, well shy of the $0.21 per share that Wall Street was holding out for. Is it too late to add more concealer?

5. Fiber diet
JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:VIAV) also let investors down with its quarterly results. The fiber optics specialist earned $0.10 per share, with revenue inching 3% higher to $418 million. Analysts were holding out for a profit of $0.11 a share on $431 million in revenue. 

"Our fiscal third quarter revenue was affected by later-than-expected carrier orders," its CEO explains. But if telecom companies were late in placing orders, why is JDS Uniphase also lowering its forecast for the current quarter? JDS Uniphase should bounce back as the economy improves, but it didn't live up to expectations this time around. 

6 Stock Picks Poised for Incredible Growth
They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, one of his favorite stocks recently became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his carefully chosen six picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. 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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers