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Last Week's Biggest Stock Movers: IPO Soars, Drug Firm Falls


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There are plenty of stocks going 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.

El Pollo Loco (LOCO) -- Up 71 percent last week

You may not even know that El Pollo Loco -- the California-based quick-service chain with more than 400 locations specializing in citrus-marinated grilled chicken -- is a publicly traded company. After all, that wasn't the case until a week earlier when underwriters completed El Pollo Loco's initial public offering.

El Pollo Loco's debut was as hot as its fire-grilled poultry. It went public at $15 two Fridays ago, popping 60 percent on its first day of trading. That would normally be it. After seeing Noodles & Co. (NDLS) and Potbelly (PBPB) soar as quick-service IPOs last year, only to crash, it was easy to be skeptical heading into the stock's second week of trading. That wasn't the case at all last week. Hungry investors snapped up more shares of El Pollo Loco, sending the stock price sharply higher in four of the week's five trading days to become Wall Street's biggest gainer.

Zeltiq Aesthetics (ZLTQ) -- Up 29 percent last week

This may not be household name, and even Zeltiq's flagship product -- CoolSculpting -- may leave many shaking their heads. However, if you've noticed a friend or co-worker recently lose some of the girth around the love handles without surgery or intense dieting and workout regimens, it could be CoolSculpting's handiwork.

Many dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are starting to order the machine, which uses cold applications to shake loose fat cells. Patient results have been mixed, and some initial side effects have scared away potential customers, but last week's quarterly report shows that CoolSculpting popularity is on the rise. Revenue soared 79 during the quarter, and Zeltiq is boosting its guidance. There are now 2,562 CoolSculpting systems in operation, with 166,116 procedures performed during the quarter.

Vistaprint (VPRT) -- Up 25 percent last week

If you've been online long enough you have probably seen Vistaprint's ads offering business cards, stationery and other personalized merchandise. Vistaprint has had its ups and downs over the years, but it's clearly on the ascent now. It posted better than expected quarterly results with revenue climbing 21 percent and adjusted earnings soaring 83 percent to 75 cents a share. Analysts were only holding out for a profit of 53 cents a share.

Horizon Pharmaceuticals (HZNP) -- Down 37 percent last week

Getting a drug through the rigorous cycles of Food and Drug Administration approval isn't easy, but it doesn't mean that the challenges for biotechs and larger drug companies end there. Horizon Pharmaceuticals was informed last week that the country's two largest pharmacy benefits managers will stop reimbursing clients for Horizon's two biggest drugs starting next year.

Patients that still want Horizon's Duexis and Vimovo pain relievers will have to pay for it themselves. That will be a challenge, and Horizon believes that roughly a quarter of its prescriptions could be in danger if excluded from the formularies at Express Scripts (ESRX) and CVS Caremark (CVS).

hhgregg (HGG) -- Down 23 percent last week

It isn't easy running a consumer electronics superstore these days, and hhgregg proved it with another unsettling quarterly report. Sales plunged 10 percent in hhgregg's latest quarter, and even its appliance sales declined for the quarter. A saving grace in earlier periods was that hhgregg's appliances were selling briskly during the housing market's revival. Now that even hhgregg's sales of refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers are starting to slow it's easy to see why investors were scared off by the larger than expected quarterly deficit that was posted on Thursday.

Ruby Tuesday (RT) -- Down 17 percent last week

El Pollo Loco may be a rising star, but at the other end of the spectrum we have some traditional casual dining chains that are struggling. Ruby Tuesday has been a laggard for the past couple of years, and revenue and adjusted profitability fell short of analyst forecasts. Analysts at UBS lowered their price target on Ruby Tuesday from $7.60 to $6.50.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Zeltiq. The Motley Fool recommends Vistaprint. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.


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