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Only One of These Stocks Won't Be a Winner

Friday - 3/15/2013, 10:59pm  ET

Ten days and counting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added to its string of consecutive days moving higher, notching another 83-point gain to close above 14,500 for the first time ever. Jobless claims came in lower than anticipated yesterday and a bunch more economic data is due out today so we could see the index extend its winning streak to yet another day.

These three stocks had nothing to celebrate, however. But don't go running over the cliff with them like a bunch of lemmings just yet -- this could just be a temporary situation. Let's first see whether they had good reason to fall as panic-fueled routs can sometimes lead to excellent buying opportunities.

Company

% Change

VirnetX

(27.8%)

LDK Solar

(10.1%)

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals

(7.9%)

That's nuts
Proving it doesn't matter if you win the battle only to lose the war, VirnetX announced its patents were validated by a jury, but it nevertheless lost its patent infringement case against Cisco because the jury says it didn't violate them.

VirnetX claims to essentially owns the rights to the entire family of 4G and LTE security standards and has enjoyed a string of victories over industry behemoths such as Microsoft and Apple, the latter of which got socked with a $368 million penalty because its FaceTime software violated VirnetX's patents. Those are the same ones that Cisco was accused of infringing upon.

But this time the jury ruled that, although VirnetX's patents are valid over the prior art claims Cisco advanced, the network equipment maker's routers that run virtual private networks didn't violate them. Seems a bit of a head scratcher in reasoning, but VirnetX says it's still going to assert its patents and license the technology and, besides, the Apple decision remains unaffected.

While disappointing certainly, the market's reaction seems a bit overblown. After a string of wins, one loss should hardly cause the elimination of more than a quarter of VirnetX's market cap.

Lights out
With Suntech Power teetering on the brink of bankruptcy because the Chinese government won't bail it out, the prospects for other solar shops surviving are diminishing as well. LDK Solar suffered a loss on the market yesterday second only to Suntech's because it could soon be in the same financial crisis as its peer.

Suntech is expected to be pushed into default today over missed bond payments and LDK could face a similar situation next year. The Chinese government has suggested consolidation is needed in the industry and its decision to let Suntech go under rather than throw good money after bad is the first tangible evidence that it was serious.

But other solar shops might face more dire circumstances sooner than LDK, as the Fool's Travis Hoium points out JA Solar has bonds due in May and Trina Solar follows in July. Not every solar company is on the brink of folding financially, of course, and because the U.S. market looks healthier these days -- new solar electric capacity increased 76% last year according to one research house -- the damage has been fairly limited. Heck, Trina even rose yesterday by more than 3%. But I'm convinced we'll see more companies go under or else they'll be acquired by their peers. The solar power industry is going to look a lot different this time next year.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?!
Well, that's just silly. Biotech Navidea Biopharmaceuticals got FDA approval for Lymphoseek everyone was expecting and its stock is now down 15% since the news was announced. My Foolish colleague and biotech guru Brian Orelli says it's simply suffering from a case of "sell the news."

Last week I said short sellers might have a point in that a lot of anticipation was built into the stock because the market opportunity for the lymphatic system cancer marker is less than what it appears. The total market may be around $450 million, but because Navidea is splitting the proceeds in the U.S. evenly with Cardinal Health, the amount realized will be a lot less.

Of course, there's still the European market, where it's also filed for approval, and I'm just as confident it will win the nod there as it did here. We'll see a turnaround in Navidea's stock sooner rather than later, which is why I don't plan on closing out my outperform rating on the biotech on Motley Fool CAPS. I made that call last week and, though the stock has sunk since then, I'm looking forward to the inevitable rebound.

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