Why Did My Stock Just Die?
Nov 25th 2011 12:15PM
Updated Nov 25th 2011 12:34PM
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
|Diamond Foods (NAS: DMND)|
|Groupon (NAS: GRPN)|
|InterOil (NYS: IOC)|
With the markets falling 236 points on Wednesday, or 2.1%, stocks that went down by even larger percentages are pretty big deals.
That's going to leave a mark
Hard to believe that a director's death would cause Diamond Foods shares to lose a fifth of their value, but the snack food maker was forced to announce that the suicide of their director Joseph Silveira had no bearing on an investigation into payments made to walnut growers last year.
That's significant because Diamond is trying to buy the Pringles brand from Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) in a $2.35 billion deal that, while a seemingly good fit for the snack maker -- Diamond would rank up there with PepsiCo's (NYS: PEP) Frito Lay and Kraft's (NYS: KFT) coming snack food spinoff -- would also require P&G shareholders to accept some Diamond shares in exchange for their typically sturdy P&G stock. With Diamond's shares now trading some 70% lower than they were just two months ago, it may make the deal harder to close.
Diamond initially disclosed its audit committee was looking into a $50 million payment to walnut growers the company made in September for walnuts purchased last fiscal year. Had that payment been included in Diamond's financial statements then, it would have cut the snack maker's operating income by more than half. So Silveira's suicide occurring in the wake of these disclosures has a more sinister overtone, particularly since he recused himself from the investigation.
Skittish P&G shareholders may be even more reluctant to accept Diamond shares now, even if nothing untoward is found between Silveira's death, the so-called "momentum payments" it made it walnut growers, and Diamond's accounting.
While the CAPS community has been generally supportive of Diamond Foods, opinion has turned decidedly negative in the wake of the most recent disclosures, and its two-star rating suggests they thought there were better places for your money to begin with. Let us know in the comments section below what you think of the situation, then add the snack maker to your watchlist to see where the investigation leads.
It didn't take long for the wheels to come off the IPO of daily dealmaker Groupon. Shares that opened at $20 on its first trading day as a public company quickly shot up to $28 but have now fallen through the IPO price and trade at less than $17. Even after Groupon was forced to restate earnings before its debut because of fuzzy math accounting, the offering was oversubscribed. Seems like it was only a matter of time before investors would be getting off the Groupon train, and that time is now likely upon us.
Leaving aside the highly competitive local advertising space represented by Reach Local (NAS: RLOC) and Local.com, you have both Google and Amazon.com getting in on the game. When even your local daily news rag can offer you local deals, where is the competitive moat for Groupon to survive, let alone thrive?
Even after this steep drop in price, I've gone and marked Groupon to further underperform the broad indexes, joining the vast majority of CAPS members already rating the daily deals site to lose to the market. How about you? Has the stock fallen far enough, or is there still more room below? Tell us on the Groupon CAPS page if you think they'll bounce back from here, and follow their progress by adding them to the Fool's free portfolio tracker.
A dry well
There didn't seem to be specific news to account for InterOil's decline the other day, but the national newspaper of tiny Papua New Guinea where the oil and gas company is trying to build a liquid natural gas facility did run an article reiterating the uphill climb the project is now facing. It says despite management's assurances to the contrary, InterOil would not be able to begin building the plant without first getting its license. And with the proposal not in line with the agreement originally laid out, it seems doubtful it will get anywhere.
Not many investors think InterOil will be gaining traction any time soon, either. Just 45% of the CAPS members rating it think it can beat the Street, and a little more than a quarter of the All-Stars agree. Yet one All-Star marc64 admitted it was a speculative bid to lean in favor of the company:
This looks like a pretty interesting, long term speculative call. Asia, energy, development, great reserves.
Add the LNG hopeful to your watchlist and see if it can persuade PNG's government to give it the green light it's seeking.
Ready for a resurrection
Just because your stock has taken a beating, that doesn't mean it's going to roll over and die. Markets are known for overreacting. A closer look on Motley Fool CAPS at what's happened to your stock can give you an edge over other investors who just react to the market's lead. With CAPS, you can decide for yourself whether your stock ready to come back from the dead.
At the time this article was published Fool contributor Rich Duprey holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and PepsiCo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of ReachLocal, Google, PepsiCo, Amazon.com, and Procter & Gamble. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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