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.
Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NES) — Up 59 percent last week
The market’s biggest gainer was Nuverra, moving higher after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. The numbers may not seem pretty. Revenue from continuing operations clocked in at $119.1 million, 7 percent lower than during the same period a year earlier. The provider of environmental services to the energy industry rang up an adjusted loss of 41 cents a share.
Energy production has slowed as a result of low prices, and that’s naturally leaving a dent in the provider of drilling and related services. However, analysts were holding out for a deficit of 52 cents a share on just $117.7 million in revenue.
Nuverra shareholders are still in a world of pain. The stock has shed 73 percent of its value since peaking last summer, even with last week’s big move higher.
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) — Up 28 percent last week
The avian flu outbreak in the U.S. is playing out on Wall Street, and this week that found an analyst raising Cal-Maine’s price target. Cal-Maine is a leading producer of shelled eggs, and while the outbreak threatens to reduce the number of egg-laying hens out there, it also should firm up Cal-Maine’s pricing. Sidoti & Co. is raising its price target by $16 to $67 on the welcome pricing environment for Cal-Maine.
Crocs (CROX) — Up 13 percent last week
The footwear company that’s famous — or infamous — for its comfortably yet fashionably dubious resin shoes moved higher after Piper Jaffray analysts upgraded the former market darling. Piper Jaffray is raising its rating and its price target on Crocs based on an expected improvement in operating margins during the second half of this year as clogs become a bigger part of the footwear maker’s business.
ITT Educational Services (ESI) — Down 31 percent last week
Shares of ITT shed nearly a third of their value after the Securities and Exchange Commission suggested that its executives were engaging in fraud. The allegations claim that ITT tried to cover up the failure of student loan programs from investors. Mounting defaults at the high-risk loan programs supposedly led to accounting tricks at ITT to mask tens of millions of dollars in unpaid debt, including even making small installments on behalf of students to delay the default.
This is the latest scandal to rock the for-profit post-secondary education market, which continues to suffer from across-the-board enrollment declines, poor student loan repayment rates, and questions about the quality of the educational programs.
hhgregg (HGG) — Down 18 percent last week
Consumer electronics and appliances aren’t selling the way that they used to at hhgregg. The retailer took a hit after posting weak financials. Sales plunged 10 percent at hhgregg in its latest quarter since the prior year’s comparable period, and it also posted a larger deficit.
The culprit at hhgregg was a 10 percent year-over-year plunge in comparable-store sales. All four of the retailer’s product categories declined during the quarter, and that includes appliances, which had been a shining star in hhgregg’s business when the real estate market started to turn around a couple of years ago.
Rosetta Stone (RST) — Down 11 percent last week
The only thing worse than seeing a stock stumble 11 percent in a single week is seeing it fall by another 11 percent the week after. That’s what happened at Rosetta Stone following another uninspiring quarterly report earlier this month.
The language-learning software specialist posted a larger-than-expected loss, again. It probably didn’t help that an analyst downgrade kicked in on Friday of the prior week, keeping the negative market sentiment going last week.
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