The Ten Worst S&P 500 Stocks in October (DPS, BMS, AVP, CERN, CVC, BMC, HSP, S, FSLR, NFLX)

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The month of October was one of the best ever for equities with double-digit gains from teh S&P 500 Index.  There were some disappointments, however, and the ten worst performing stocks of the month lost between -3.4% and more than -25% of their value versus gains of 10.9% for the index. Here’s a look at the worst performers and a bit of color, together with implied upside based on Thomson/Reuters data on consensus price targets.

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. fell -3.4%, from $38.78 to $37.45. The consensus price target for the stock is $42.00. The drinks maker posted solid earnings in the third quarter, and it pays a high 3.3% dividend yield. The downturn could just be a loss of confidence in sugary soft drinks.

Bemis Company Inc. (NYSE: BMS) fell -4.1%, from $29.31 to $28.11. The consensus price target for the stock is $34.00. The company makes flexible packaging for food and pharmaceuticals and last week announced that it would close “several” small plants around the world.

Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) fell -6.7%, from $19.60 to $18.28. The consensus price target is $29.00. The cosmetics maker got another downgrade this morning from Jefferies, and is also the subject of a federal investigation into bribery charges.

Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) fell -7.4%, from $68.52 to $63.43. The consensus price target is $71.00. The company develops software for health care providers and, though it reported good earnings for the previous quarter, an announced acquisition is likely weighing on the share price.

Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) fell -8%, from $15.73 to $14.47. The consensus price target is $22.00. The cable TV provider reported lower profits in the third quarter and a subsidiary just sold $1 billion in senior unsecured notes. Investors are also concerned at the company’s rising costs.

BMC Software Inc. (NASDAQ: BMC) fell -9.9%, from $38.56 to $34.76. The consensus price target is $49.50. The business software maker said last week that its bookings are weak through the end of the year, and the share price got crushed.

Hospira Inc. (NYSE: HSP) fell -15%, from $37.00 to $31.45. The consensus price target is $36.50. The pharmaceutical and medicine company could feel the impact of a recent executive order signed by President Obama related to the distribution of generic drugs.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) fell -15.5%, from $3.04 to $2.57. The consensus price target is $3.70. The wireless carrier has essentially bet the company on the iPhone, and there is plenty of skepticism on Sprint’s ability to win the bet.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) fell -21.3%, from $63.21 to $49.77.  The consensus price target is $100.00. First Solar’s  share price topped $175 in the past 12 months, but falling module prices and lower government support is killing the whole solar sector. As the largest company by market cap in the sector, First Solar has taken a vicious beating.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) fell -27.5%, from $113.27 to $82.08. The consensus price target is $185.00. The stock’s 52-week high is over $300 and it is trading today at around $80. Shares were pummeled following an announced price increase, vehement opposition from subscribers, and the loss of 800,000 of those subscribers. Things could get worse here before they get better.

Paul Ausick