8 Companies That Destroyed Shareholders Last Week

November 21, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

This past week is being touted as the best week of the S&P 500 for 2015. Still, the stock market is actually a market of stocks, and that love was not universally shared among all of them.

24/7 Wall St. has tracked eight companies in which shareholders were absolutely punished last week. Many of these companies have seen their markets caps drop sharply, and some have even drifted into a small-cap market cap range now. The micro-cap and very thin volume stocks were avoided in this review. After all, those companies have more variables than most investors are willing to (nor should they) accept.

Included is a brief bit of the news and how the stock’s reaction was compared to prior days and longer-term trading. Some of these companies may recover in time, but the news sounds dire for some of them. Here are eight stocks in which shareholders felt gutted this past week.

Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS) lost more than two-thirds of its value from peak to trough last week. The biotech player therefore lost $2 billion or so, for a market cap that was down to $1 billion by the end of the week. Clovis’ shares ran into an FDA hurdle after its lung cancer drug review was delayed. More than six law firms are investigating the company in various stages of a class action potential. Clovis closed trading at $26.41 on Friday, down from over $100 the prior week.

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Mentor Graphics Corp. (NASDAQ: MENT) was gutted on Friday, with its shares having lost as much as a third of their value in the afternoon. Mentor Graphics missed earnings expectations and guided revenues sharply below consensus estimates. It said that consolidation and delays in emulator decisions are hampering its ability to close business. Any industry in change! Mentor’s volume was more than 15 million shares, even with two hours before the close (20 times normal volume), and the stock was down over 32% at $18.65. Its new 52-week trading range is $18.00 to $28.09.

National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) may be hosed. The Greek bank reportedly is having a hard time raising capital from shareholders (or anyone else) to fill a gap that the European Central Bank said is in the billions of euros from Greece’s top banks. Investors were a bit panicked by Friday, fearing that the only savior may be a wipe-out of shareholders. NBG shares were down 49% at $0.19 as Friday’s trading ended, versus a close of $0.37 on Thursday. This was a $0.51 stock on Monday, so it lost more than half of its value. Maybe the markets just finally figured out that they cannot trust any existing Greek government with their capital. The 52-week range here is $0.21 to $2.53, and the picture is far worse than that over recent years.

Nimble Storage Inc. (NYSE: NMBL) posted a loss and had weak guidance, which is an understatement considering the stock drop and number of analysts downgrading the stock and/or slashing price targets. Nimble Storage shares were down just over 50% at $10.05 on Friday’s close, and trading volume was well over 10 times normal. The 52-week low was also hit on Friday, with a new 52-week range of $9.97 to $32.16.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) almost never has good days any longer, and volume went through the roof last week. Poor earnings are the cause, and the company is likely in need of a cash infusion — but who will come to its rescue? The stock was trading at $4.93 a week earlier, and shares were down at $2.82 on Friday’s close. It was a $7 stock at the end of October. Most analysts downgraded it or lowered price targets, but some investors are worrying about the worst potential outcome now. Does anyone care if the 52-week high is $33.45?

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TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP), a yieldco tied to SunPower, also tanked on earnings despite trying to sound positive with a dividend hike in its earnings report. Now we are all reminded just exactly how smart it was to not be a big proponent of the yieldco efforts. They just looked more complicated, considering the already controversial green energy sector. TerraForm Power was at $8.32 late on Friday before rallying to close at $9.20, down from $10 on Wednesday and from over $13 as recently as Tuesday.

Universal Insurance Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UVE) was down 9% at $17.80 late on Friday before recovering a bit. The driving force was that short sellers were calling it a massive short. The company tried to defend itself with a “set the record straight” press release, but that was after trading as high as just over $31.00 on Tuesday. The pitch was made by Lakewood Capital at the Robin Hood Investors Conference. Now investors have to decide if a $645 million market cap or five times last year’s operating earnings is cheap enough for a very thinly followed stock.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was crushed late on Friday. The fast casual dining chain had more states added to its list of E. coli outbreaks. What was interesting is that the data did not look as widespread as what had been seen in Washington and Oregon at first. Still, Chipotle shares fell 12% to $536.19 and hit a new 52-week low of $534.20. If our own bit of downside analysis holds true when we signaled that Chipotle could fall another $200 before bottoming, then Chipotle’s stock has only $100 more downside.

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