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5 Superball Stocks

Rich Smith
December 31, 2012

When stocks fall fast and far, they sometimes set themselves up for remarkable rebounds. The following equities suffered dramatic drops over the past week. With help from the 180,000 members of Motley Fool CAPS, we'll see whether any of them have the potential to bounce back.

It's been a while, but thanks to last week's sell-off, we once again have a chance to stand beneath Mr. Market's silverware drawer in hopes of snagging a bargain. Let's meet today's contenders:



How far from 52-week high?

Recent Price

CAPS Rating (out of 5)









VirnetX Holding (NYSEMKT: VHC)




Herbalife (NYSE: HLF)




Star Scientific (NASDAQ: STSI)




Companies are selected by screening on for abrupt 10% or greater price drops last week. 52-week high and recent price data provided by CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Five super falls -- one superball
With the S&P 500 down a full 2% in last week's trading, you might expect that quite a few stocks got hurt pretty bad -- and you'd be right. In fact, nearly 5,000 separate companies exited the abbreviated week lower than they entered it.

Some stocks are doing even worse. The five named up above for example, have all been literally decimated, losing 10% (or more) of their market cap over the past five trading days. So what went wrong?

Well, beginning at the bottom, Star Scientific has been sliding ever since it announced, a couple weeks back, that it was getting out of the smokeless tobacco business and focusing instead on hawking dietary supplements. The wisdom of that move got thrown further into question when supplements tsar Herbalife got tossed in the trash a few days ago, on news that hedge fund star Bill Ackman has gone heavily short Herbalife stock.

Not all bear cases were as clear cut, however. For example, VirnetX is down 11% since last Thursday despite apparently making progress in i