Plenty of stocks go up and down in any given week. The gainers inspire us to keep investing. The decliners keep greed in check while reminding us about the risks of the equity markets.
Let’s go over some of last week’s best and worst performers.
China Finance Online (JRJC) — Up 131 percent last week
The market’s biggest winner last week was China Finance Online, more than doubling after introducing a new trading platform. The Beijing-based financial website operator announced that the new offering was the country’s first integrated, Web-based securities trading service platform.
At least one noted worrywart disputed the claim. Citron Research — a popular publisher of bearish reports on stocks — tweeted that sloppy reporting and a misleading headline were making it seem as if no other online trading platform existed in the world’s most populous nation.
The bulls won out. Shares of China Finance Online closed sharply higher in each of last week’s five trading days.
TrueCar (TRUE) — Up 33 percent last week
Closer to home, another online platform moved nicely higher after striking a deal with Chrysler and auto insurer GEICO (BRK-A). TrueCar operates a negotiation-free car buying and selling platform. It launched a platform that could shake up the insurance industry, where roughly 3 million cars are totaled each year.
Insurers have typically just written a settlement check and provided a rental car voucher to cover the incident, but TrueCar’s new plan would work with launch partners GEICO and Chrysler — and other members of its insurance affinity partners in the future — to work with the insured to directly replace the vehicle.
TrueCar went public at $9 just three months ago. The stock has been revving higher, going on to more than double in its brief time on the market.
American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) — Up 26 percent last week
Shares of American Eagle Outfitters moved higher after it posted better than expected quarterly results. The clothing retailer may not have had a strong quarter in a absolute terms. Revenue declined 2 percent, as new stores helped partly offset a 7 percent slide in comparable-store sales. Earnings also took a hit, falling from 10 cents a share a year earlier to 3 cents a share this time around. However, it’s all about expectations on Wall Street. Analysts were only forecasting American Eagle Outfitters to break even for the period.
Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) — Down 16 percent last week
The maker of beauty care products could probably use a makeover after its latest quarter. Sales plunged 28 percent, and Elizabeth Arden blamed the plunge in demand for its celebrity-licensed fragrances. Sorry, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift fans. Those perfumes just aren’t selling these days. Sluggish sales resulted in Elizabeth Arden posting a much wider loss than Wall Street was expecting. Let’s bottle it and call it Eau de Disappointment.
Oncothyreon (ONTY) — Down 16 percent last week
Oncothyeron joined Elizabeth Arden as Nasdaq’s two biggest losers this past week. The biotech took a hit after its once-promising experimental lung cancer treatment failed to show its effectiveness in a clinical trial overseas. Concerned about what the failure means for Onothyeron future, Wedbush Securities slashed its price target for the stock in half.
Coupons.com (COUP) — Down 13 percent last week
Things continue to get worse for Coupons.com. Investors have been bailing on the Web-based coupon specialist since posting uninspiring financial results earlier this month. Coupons.com posted a loss of 9 cents a share in its latest quarter, worse than the 5 cents a share deficit that analysts were targeting. Coupons.com went public at $16 in March, but the stock is now trading well below its initial price.
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