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3 Stocks Stopping the Presses

Rich Duprey
October 11, 2011

You saw the headlines. You know your stock price made a big move. But what does that portend for your investment's future?

By pairing the latest news with the collective wisdom of our 180,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS investing community, we might be able to discover whether your stock's latest exploits are a short-term hiccup -- or the start of a much bigger trend.

The following stocks have all made big moves over the past five trading days:


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Change Past Week

Complete Production Services (NYSE: CPX  ) **** 67.5%
Focus Media (Nasdaq: FMCN  ) *** 46.2%
Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR  ) ** (47.5%)

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, % change from Sept 9. to Sept. 16.

A BOGO sale
Investors got excited when Superior Energy (NYSE: SPN  ) announced it was buying oil-services specialist Complete Production Services for $2.7 billion. Well, Complete Production investors were ebullient; Superior investors, not so much. Its shares tumbled 14%.

Despite environmentalist concerns over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it's known, demand for such services grew hot as relatively new technologies and processes such as horizontal drilling helped spur plentiful supplies. Natural-gas prices, though, have remained low as a result.

The combined company, which will go by the Superior name, still won't be as large as giants Halliburton and Schlumberger, but Complete Production's fracking expertise can be exported around the world through Superior's international operations.

CAPS member rcjansen figured Complete was too cheap a month ago and thought the industry outlook was promising: "This stock has been oversold. It is a US oil services provider that should do well over the short term and long term."

Share your thoughts on the Complete Production Services CAPS page if you think it will hit a dry hole, and then put it on your watchlist to keep track of its progress.

A crude assessment
Chinese advertising specialist Focus Media Holding got a rise after increasing the limit of its buyback program from $450 million to $650 million. Buybacks can be a bullish signal from management -- Warren Buffett thinks Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) shares are the cheapest they've ever been, so he's buying back shares for the first time ever -- but too often managers simply end up buying high and selling low. Just before the market crashed into the Great Recession, company share-repurchase programs hit an all-time high.

So is Focus Media following Buffett's example, or that of Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD  ) , which spent billions buying back its stock in 2008, when its stock was twice the price it is now?

With 96% of the CAPS community who've rated Focus Media thinking it can beat the market averages, it's apparent they think the media outfit is ripe for growth, so it just might be as a good value as management says. Tell us in the comments section below or on the Focu