What happened

Shares of Mallinckrodt (NYSE:MNK) fell as much as 14% today to continue the recent streak of volatility. The company's market valuation has fluctuated between $150 million and $320 million in just the last five days as investors try to determine how recent events will affect the business in the short and long terms.

The business has consulted with firms on restructuring, agreed in principle to settle certain claims stemming from the opioid crisis, and agreed to divest a major subsidiary to help pay for future liabilities -- and that's just since the beginning of September. But the business remains a shell of its former self. Case in point: The pharma stock has fallen 96% in the last three years.

As of 2:23 p.m. EDT, the stock had settled to a 9.6% loss.

An angry fist pounding a table as a declining stock chart is displayed on a tablet.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

According to state attorneys general, Mallinckrodt played a major role in exacerbating the opioid crisis. That's kept management pretty busy in the last year -- and in the last week.

On Sept. 6, Mallinckrodt announced a settlement in principle for all "Track 1" opioid cases with two Ohio counties for $24 million in cash and $6 million in donated generic products. The business remains legally exposed in other opioid lawsuits across the United States. On Sept. 10, the company announced it had agreed to sell its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for up to $250 million. The proceeds will help to provide more financial flexibility to settle other claims.

Now what

While progress is being made to better position the business to mitigate risks from the opioid crisis, it's all relative. Mallinckrodt has fallen very far and faces too much uncertainty for investors to feel comfortable owning the stock or to have much confidence in its long-term future.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.