Your stock just took a nosedive -- but don't panic. First, let's see whether it had good reason to fall. Sometimes, panic-fueled drops can make excellent buying opportunities. Here's the latest crop of cratered stocks that could provide a possibility for profit:
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
|Central European Distribution |
|China MediaExpress |
In like a lion, out like a lamb? The market started off March with a mauling, dropping 168 points, or almost 1.4%, as the situation in the Middle East spirals out of control. It's an inauspicious start for a month known for madness, so stocks that fell by larger percentages are bigger deals still.
The devil's in the details
The worst performing stock in the market yesterday was Polish spirits maker Central European Distribution, a cold, gray name that belies the prodigious amount of vodka it produces. Yet with guidance far below what analysts had been expecting, impairment charges causing much wider fourth-quarter losses, and the prospect of higher prices adding to its costs, the distiller's operations look as dismal as its name.
Compare that performance to Diageo's
With Fortune Brands
Wall Street was obviously caught short by the spirit maker's results, as all nine analysts that were rating CED rated it to outperform the market. But the broader CAPS community was likely taken by surprise too, with 96% of those rating it having bullish sentiments. While cashsage indicated fundamental issues with the distiller, you can let us know on the Central European Distribution CAPS page whether it will be able to knock back a couple and get on with the business of growth.
A cloudy outlook
Solar shop ReneSola might have posted record revenues in the fourth quarter and met profit expectations of analysts, but that may have had more to do with customers racing against the clock to get their purchases in before global subsidies are cut than as a true measure of demand. Margins could get whacked this year, and sales may have just been pulled forward.
ReneSola, First Solar
CAPS member Bobb2uiuc thinks the oversupply calculation has unduly pressured solar stocks generally, and ReneSola in particular, but feels it will play out right later in the year:
Undervalued stock in undervalued sector. Fears of oversupply have driven valuations in the solar sector to very attractive levels. High volatility could lead to fast gains. Look for $16-$20 within 6-12 months.
That sinking feeling
Chinese advertising outfit China MediaExpress is still reeling from the accusations of fraud leveled at it by a known short seller. While the ad agency's backers say you can't trust short sellers for the truth, and that some powerful investing names have backed the Chinese shop, it also true that many shorts tend to do more homework than investors who go long. It was short-sellers who raised yellow (and red) flags about Enron and many of the other big frauds in the market, so ignore their warnings at your own risk.
Not that they don't necessarily have an agenda, but don't blindly hold onto your stock merely because you've seen large losses on it. You could lose a lot more if the charges prove true.
Even CAPS All-Stars are divided over what the sell-off means for China MediaExpress. Valyooo has determined the picture of the ad house has gotten far more cloudy than when he originally weighed in on the company, but bradford86 says betting against it now means you might miss out on certain profitable opportunities:
This is a bad price to downthumb. I don't see it going lower, but in real life you can sell june or september puts with a strike price of $20 that lower your cost basis to $12.
I figure, why buy at 14 when you can buy at 12? And if everyone is so scared, it's not going lower. We'd know if it was a fraud by now as deloitte would be backing out.
If there's still too much risk for you, add CME to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to see whether it will overcome these allegations, or if they really do add up.
Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating doesn't mean it's going to roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look at what's happened to your stock can give you an edge over other investors who just react to the market's lead.
That's why it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS where you can read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from the stock's CAPS page. Then you can decide for yourself whether it's ready to come back from the dead.
First Solar is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Fortune Brands is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Diageo is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool owns shares of Diageo. 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.