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Why Did My Stock Just Die?

By Rich Duprey - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 8:29PM

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These stocks just rolled over. Can they come back?

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)

Tuesday's Change

Star Bulk Carriers (Nasdaq: SBLK) **** (18.4%)
Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY) ** (13.6%)
Zhongpin (Nasdaq: HOGS) *** (8.9%)

With a possible debt deal making progress, and earnings reports coming in better than expected, the market made a big move yesterday, soaring 202 points, or rising 1.6%. In that light, stocks that went down by even larger percentages are pretty big deals.

The devil's in the details
For a minute, it looked liked Star Bulk Carriers might have been ready to turn itself around. Like Excel Maritime (NYSE: EXM), Star Bulk recently announced that it had secured nearly 90% of its capesize fleet's operating days for the year, which should have given it some good visibility on its business. The cape shipping business has been particularly slammed by the collapse of the dry bulk market, with ship owners scrapping capesize vessels at a torrid pace.

Investors have been looking to Paragon Shipping (Nasdaq: PRGN) for solace because of its limited exposure to the cape market.

But investors capsized Star Bulk for announcing that it had carried out its extensive share offering plan, selling 16.7 million shares out of more than 19 million planned. It's unpopular for companies to raise cash via share offerings, because the new shares dilute current stockholders. Star Bulk's plan increased the number of shares outstanding by 30%.

Still, 97% of the 693 CAPS members rating the dry bulk shipper think it will right itself. They've marked it to outperform the broad indexes. Let us know on the Star Bulk Carriers CAPS page whether you think the shipper will make it to safe harbor.

Read the label
Label and office-supplies maker Avery Dennison revised its second-quarter guidance, saying its two biggest segments weren't performing as anticipated, and that sales would come in well below expectations. Consumer packaged-goods companies and apparel retailers said rising costs and a more cautious consumer hurt their results, which reflected back on Avery.

That doesn't bode well for office-supply stores like Staples and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), a sector already finding it difficult to do business in this rough economy. CAPS member cubanstockpicker thinks Avery would be worth getting picked off by top competitor 3M:

3m buyout candidate. it isnt really insider information but its a rumor running around in this industry which I also work in for a private company.

You can monitor whether the office-supplies provider responds to 3M's calls with an "out of office" memo. Just add Avery to the Fool's free portfolio tracker.

A pig in a poke
Another day, another Chinese small-cap company accused of fraud. Ho hum. Pork processor Zhongpin was the latest Chinese company charged with playing fast and loose with its numbers, and investors fried its bacon. But the company says China Economy Review, the publisher of the accusatory report, is larded with bad analysis.

CER said Zhongpin's claims of wide distribution channels fall short of the mark, and alleges that the company has overstated its ability to slaughter as many hogs as it claims. Zhongpin refutes those charges, saying it "has numerous incorrect facts, incorrect assumptions, sometimes limited sampling and is generally based on relatively superficial understanding of the business and the industry."

That might explain why Zhongpin stock fell less than 9% on the news. Still, the stock trades some 65% below its 52-week high, leaving it a relatively shorter distance to fall in the first place.

I'm more worried about Zhongpin's ability to be more profitable than its rivals. The company recently said that the "industrial cluster approach" it duplicates in each of its markets lets it turn more of every dollar generated into profits. Perhaps, but a number of Chinese companies have claimed greater "profitability" than rivals, only to have skeptics poke holes in their assertions.

Bromine maker China New Borun (Nasdaq: BORN) is somehow able to be more profitable, even though corn, whose price has risen exponentially this year, makes up 85% of its cost of goods sold. China MediaExpress also found the magical elixir of greater profits, despite a mundane business of putting ads on China's inner city buses.

CAPS member marder1 remains skeptical of the critics, contending that China's huge demand for pork will drive Zhongpin higher: "Pork is a staple, the government has offered $350B to subsidize farming, the co has announced a $10M buyback program. It has fingers in lots of retail pies all over China and the world."

Add Zhongpin to your watchlist, and tell us in the comments section below or on the Zhongpin CAPS page whether investors will continue to squeal like a stuck pig.

Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating doesn't mean it'll roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look at your stock on Motley Fool CAPS can help you decide whether it's ready to come back from the dead.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Staples and 3M. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a position in Office Depot. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended shorting Office Depot. 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.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in the article. You can see his holdings here.

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Stocks Mentioned

Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Stock Quote
Star Bulk Carriers Corp.
$24.92 (-3.26%) $0.84
Avery Dennison Corporation Stock Quote
Avery Dennison Corporation
$196.93 (-1.29%) $-2.58
Zhongpin, Inc. Stock Quote
Zhongpin, Inc.
The ODP Corporation Stock Quote
The ODP Corporation
$37.16 (-0.12%) $0.04

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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