Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let's take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.
1. Underwriters do a little overwriting
Shares of Boingo Wireless
Wait a minute. Weren't these the same four analysts that took the Wi-Fi hot-spot operator public at $13.50 just a month ago? Oh, they were.
Despite its profitability and slow yet determined growth, shares of Boingo Wireless were smacked down to $7.65 before Monday's orchestrated CPR session. There's nothing dumb about standing behind the poorly received stock that these four analysts helped take public, but why did Pacific Crest issue a price target of $13? Didn't it just promote the sale of Boingo Wireless to its clients at $13.50 five weeks earlier? The least it could have done is join its peers in the $14 to $15 camp.
Oh, and if you think that's bad, Pacific Crest also initiated coverage of Chinese social networking site Renren
2. Duke it out
It took 14 years for Take-Two Interactive's
Shares of Take-Two slipped on Tuesday after the raunchy shooter finally hit stores to largely negative reviews. Some of the jaded die-hard gamers that double as industry reviewers felt the game was too demeaning toward women. Those that got past that were still let down by the gameplay and Neanderthal load times between levels.
Take-Two isn't the one-trick pony it used to be, but a hyped release falling short still stings. Duke Nukem Forever is controversial, but not in the scintillating way that its Grand Theft Auto franchise won over teens by angering their parents.
3. A Penney for your thoughts
Shares of J.C. Penney
Really? More than 47.6 million shares of J.C. Penney were traded on Tuesday. The retailer's market cap surged more than $1 billion higher. I get it. Johnson's a catch. Apple Store is the envy of the mall with its ridiculous sales per square foot metric. However, Apple's Store success is also entirely the handiwork of the success of Apple's products. When everyone wants the latest iPod, then the latest iPhone, and then the latest iPad, Apple's bright tech stores are magnetic.
How is this going to help J.C. Penney? Wait. Let me guess. Say hello to the iDress and iSuit.
4. Pandora boxed
Investors had to think that over when the data-savvy streaming site went public on Wednesday. An IPO that just two weeks earlier was expected to price as low as $7 hit the market at $16. It traded as high as $26 just minutes into its first trading day, giving it a temporary market cap of more than $4 billion.
As fast as Pandora's growing, that's a steep price for a company that couldn't turn a profit on the $137.8 million it generated in revenue last year. Its deficit widened during this year's first quarter.
5. Best bye
Shares of Best Buy
The optimism is misplaced. Same-store sales still fell. Net income tumbled 12%. The public is on to the fallen retail darling. Overpriced electronics are no match for the easily available deals through cyberspace, and digital delivery will eat into Best Buy's steady flow of media sales.
I'm not a fan -- though I realize that many of my fellow Fools have a cheerier opinion of Best Buy's turnaround possibilities.
Which of these five moves do you think is the dumbest? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy, Take-Two, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Take-Two, Best Buy, and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position on Apple. 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.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.