Up and Down; Freddie, Ciena, USA Mobility

Freddie Mac (FRE) of McLean had made it off our list of top 10 losers for the year two weeks ago, only to get right back on it last week after losing 22 percent of its value. Shares have lost 44 percent over the past three months and 67 percent over the past year, closing Friday at $19.65. The company has been hurt by the credit crunch and posted a big loss for 2007, and now even its bonds are falling in price as supply has grown faster than demand.
But sister corporation Fannie Mae, which has also been hurt by the credit crunch and posted a big loss for 2007 and is watching the price of its bonds fall, is not on our list of 10 biggest losers of the past year. However, it did make the 6 spot on the week's biggest losers, with shares down 18 percent. Fannie shares are down 58 percent in the past year, closing up 4.9 percent Friday at $22.77. They hit their 52-week low on Thursday, while Freddie shares got theirs on Friday.

USA Mobility (USMO) of Alexandria, which provides paging and other wireless services, was the top one-week loser, with shares dropping 23 percent, to $8.04. The company reported earnings after the market closed Wednesday, and shares dropped almost 21 percent Thursday. USA Mobility reported a loss of $5.2 million for last year, compared with a profit for $40.2 million in 2006. One of the stock's main attractions, according to an article from the Motley Fool, is its 65-cent-a-share dividend. But the outlook isn't great for pagers as customers move toward different wireless services, and chief executive Vincent Kelly stated that the dividend could drop. The Motley Fool article concludes that its stock is a "bad call."

Liquidity Services (LQDT) also made it onto the list of last week's losers, with shares down 20 percent, at $7.73. Shares are down almost 65 percent from their 52-week high of $22, hit last May. The District-based company reported its first-quarter results just over a month ago, with profit basically unchanged.

One of the week's biggest gainers was Ciena (CIEN) of Linthicum Heights, whose shares jumped 11.5 percent on Friday, closing at $27.80. That was an 8 percent gain for the week. Investors were cheered by the communications equipment maker's first-quarter earnings, reported Friday. Its recent acquisition of World Wide Packets also could help boost revenue, and chief executive Gary Smith said in a statement that the company expects annual revenue growth of up to 27 percent in its fiscal 2008.

Integral Systems (ISYS) of Lanham was last week's biggest gainer, with shares up 11 percent, closing at $27.13. On Monday, the company announced a repurchase of 11 percent of its outstanding shares - all of the shares owned by Fursa Alternative Strategies.

GeoEye (GEOY), which is set to report its financial results Thursday, was another gainer, with shares up 7 percent for the week, at $32.21. Its chief executive, Matthew M. O'Connell, was elected last week to the board of the nonprofit U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 10, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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