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Why Advanced Micro Devices, Seadrill, and Teekay Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger - Jan 20, 2016 at 6:04PM

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The market fell sharply again, and these stocks were among the worst performers. Find out why.

Image: Seadrill.

It's rare when a 250-point drop for the Dow Jones Industrials can be considered a good day. But given that the Dow was down as much as 565 points earlier in the session on Wednesday, the fact that the stock market bounced back to cut its losses by more than half at least cushioned the blow somewhat. Investors continue to worry about the global economy and some of the macroeconomic implications of recent moves in various financial markets, and market participants increasingly believe that a full-blown bear market might be necessary to give buyers enough incentive to start bargain-hunting. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -0.94%), Seadrill (SDRL), and Teekay (TK 1.20%) were among the biggest losers in the market on Wednesday.

Advanced Micro Devices dropped 8% in the first day of trading following its fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday night. The chipmaker said that its revenue dropped 23% to $958 million, producing a net loss of $102 million or $0.13 per share. On an adjusted basis, losses of $0.10 per share were in line with expectations. But the problem that AMD faces is that investors see red ink persisting until at least the end of 2017, and that leaves the chipmaker on the outside of any advances in technology that could come over the next couple of years. With AMD expecting a 14% drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2016, shareholders have to wonder if they'll have the patience to wait out any potential rebound for the tech company in the future.

Seadrill sank 12% after the offshore drilling specialist got downgraded by analysts at Merrill Lynch. Wednesday was another tough day for the energy markets, with oil falling briefly nearly to $26 per barrel before recovering slightly. The main problem that Seadrill faces is that even though it has some of its rigs under contract, renewals will be extremely difficult if oil prices don't recover between now and the contract expiration dates. Offshore drilling became financially viable when triple-digit oil prices were the norm, and so even a sustained bounce from current depressed levels might not be enough to get the offshore market back to where it was previously. Meanwhile, Seadrill faces substantial amounts of debt that it will have to manage carefully to have a chance of recovering when oil markets hit bottom.

Finally, Teekay fell 13%. The shipping-tanker company confirmed this morning that it would slash its dividend by 90% and pay just $0.055 per share on a quarterly basis. Given that Teekay shares sported a dividend yield of more than 30% before the announcement and that the company had preannounced its plan to cut its payout, investors generally weren't surprised that the company made this move. But plunging oil prices also likely had an impact. The big question is whether the drop in prices will mean less actual movement of crude across the globe, and whether future renegotiations of contracts will fetch lower prices. Depending on the outcome, Teekay could come through this tough spell relatively unscathed, and if that happens, today's share price could look like a massive bargain in time.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Seadrill. 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.

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Stocks Mentioned

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock Quote
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
$98.12 (-0.94%) $0.93
SeaDrill Limited Stock Quote
SeaDrill Limited
Teekay Corporation Stock Quote
Teekay Corporation
$3.37 (1.20%) $0.04

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