There's an old adage that says "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Some even posit that it works in reverse as well, with the weather at the beginning of March running opposite of how it will finish. Of course, none of this will make any sense to a native of Southern California, but it's a popular phrase nonetheless.
But can this be applied to equities? Are stocks that have had strong, lion-like performances the week before March begins on pace for a lamb-like performance towards the end of the month? Or, are those stocks limping through lamb-like share prices in the week before March starts going to turn it around and leave the month like a lion?
No, of course not. It would be completely ridiculous to apply an English proverb about weather to the stock market. However, that doesn't mean that one can't highlight some stocks that are entering March as lambs or lions.
Stocks Marching Like Lambs
NII Holdings (NIHD) - NII is a holdings company that provides wireless service through the Nextel brand in select Latin American countries. NII has had a rough week, losing over 23 percent of its share price since last Thursday. NII released an earnings report that was largely in line with analyst expectations, but a downgrade by Bank of America (BAC) analysts may have contributed to the stock's swoon.
Career Education Corp. (CECO) - Career Education Corp is a for-profit education company with 116,000 students on 90 campuses. Shares took a serious stumble on Tuesday, though, when its Q4 earnings report showed a 17 percent year-over-year decline in revenue. Share are down over 25 percent on the last five days.
Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC) - Not a good week for companies that have two C's in their tickers. Central European Distribution is a vodka producer working in Central and Eastern Europe. The company reported a record loss Wednesday and prompted a major sell-off that has shares down over 25 percent.
Stocks Roaring Like Lions
Exterran Holdings (EXH) - Exterran Holdings, a natural gas compression company, released a quarterly report Thursday morning that showed a loss, but a far narrower one than expected and a significant year-over-year improvement. Exterra got a big bump and is up over 15 percent since.
Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) - Sears Holding is a holding company that as a controlling interest in K-Mart and Sears & Roebuck, Co. Sears had a worse-than-expected earnings report on Friday of last week, but its decision to spin off and sell a number of its stores and businesses appears to have satisfied investors in the short term. Shares are up almost 26 percent since.
VIVUS (VVUS) - VIVUS is a biopharmaceutical company making therapeutic drugs for undeserved markets. VIVUS is coming into March less like a lion and more like a pride of them. VIVUS made major gains after the FDA recommended that its drug Qnexa be granted marketing approval for the treatment of obesity in adults after market close Wednesday of last week. Since Thursday morning, VIVUS stock is up almost 110 percent.
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