Six Major Blowups of the Week: Chegg, Cisco, NII, Rackspace and More

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Sometimes a major bull market just does not help some companies. Bad things can happen in good times. 24/7 Wall St. tracked some of the unusual disappointments from this last week and wanted to create a rogues gallery for its readers.

The hope is that some of these can get their acts together and recover. After all, investors love turnarounds. The problem is that not all turnarounds can turn around. Some industries change, and sometimes there are just shenanigans inside of companies.

These are the six seriously troubled companies we tracked this week. There were others that had atrocious weeks as well, but these were the ones we had some opinion on or had some insight to offer.

Chegg, Inc. (NYSE: CHGG) was the IPO disappointment of the week. Sure it has a lot of competition, but IPOs are supposed to be on fire now. Chegg managed to gain almost 3% on Friday to close at $9.13, but one must remember that the IPO price at $12.50 never saw the $12.50 open. The stock opened at $9.80 and closed at $8.88 on the first day, a move which will baffle IPO investors of growth companies who are buying an IPO at a time when major indexes are hitting new all-time highs. By the way, GSV Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: GSVC) was a runner-up loser along with Chegg, as this fund owned shares of Twitter and Chegg pre-IPO. The stock price was above $16 before the Twitter IPO and is now down to $12.03 after another 8.8% drop on Friday. Bye-bye.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was the biggest blowup of the week. Sure, other stocks had much larger percentage drops, but not among DJIA components. Its earnings blunder and guidance seem to be magnified by China and international companies pushing back over technology that may be allowing US spy agencies better access into data. All in all it was a huge disappointment. We tracked many analysts cutting their ratings after the report and the expected price target in a year fell by about 10%. John Chambers now has to rethink his turnaround and restructuring plan. Cisco managed a gain of less than 1% on Friday to $21.53, but this still closed down 10.3% from before the earnings report.

NII Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: NIHD) is trading as though the worst case scenario is headed its way. This is effective Nextel international, and the closure of its communications sites in Mexico sale did not seem to help matters. That call from a week earlier where HSBC abandoned ship after NII reported a wider loss, predicting that the stock would now go to $2.00 per share, is looking like that could be possible. This one fell another 8.6% to $2.63 on Friday on about 200% of normal volume, and the stock put in a new low over the last decade or so of $2.60 with wide losses expected in 2013 and 2014 on declining sales. Timber!

Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE: RAX) is supposed to be a winner from the small and mid-sized businesses moving to the cloud rather than in-house, but its earnings report early in the week showed that profits were down 40%. A rise in revenue was not assisted because higher expenses and operating costs are hurting here. Investors are getting used to disappointment here. A small gain of 1.3% to $42.21 on Friday was dwarfed by the losses earlier in the week as this was a $49.31 stock before earnings. That makes for another 14% post-earnings loss and now has the stock down by almost half from its 52-week high. Something has to give in here one way or another as well, because Rackspace still trades at 57-times expected 2014 earnings.

Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTS) managed to recover almost 12% on Friday to $14.50, but this one tanked on accusations of having third party transactions that would have inflated the company sales. Shares were down almost 40% on Thursday to $12.95 after having closed at $21.22 the day before. Now there are investigations and everyone is scared despite the company denying the claims and despite the company reaffirming its guidance. This one even traded 19 million shares on Thursday and 20 million on Friday, versus an average of what would be closer to 500,000 or so before the news. Anything tied to “accounting irregularities” sends investors running and brings the regulators and lawyers in.

YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) remains an entity that is at-risk by our count. The trucking company managed to swing back to a loss on worse than expected earnings, in-part blaming a shortage of drivers and also higher expenses. You would think that lower gasoline prices would be helping matters, but this turnaround just cannot seem to turn around. Shares were down some 20% on Wednesday after earnings, and the drop on Friday was another 6% down to $7.41. The overall drop from Monday’s close of $10.64 was just over 30%. With a wide loss expected in 2013 and another loss expected in 2014, combined with spotty revenue expectations, is it fair to worry about this company’s future?

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