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3 Stocks to Sell If They Crash on Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In a companion article, I discuss five stocks that could be bargains if they experience weakness on earnings. Here, I consider three to stay away from, at least for the time being, if they fall hard post-earnings.

While a low-priced stock like Nokia (NOK) could be a speculative buy and a powerhouse like Intel (INTC) could be a screaming buy on downside, investors should run away from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Quick, without the assistance of Google, who is CEO at AMD?

Answer: Rory Read.

Not to knock Read, but he most likely was not AMD's first choice to replace Dirk Meyer. Executives from several large companies, including Oracle (ORCL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and EMC (EMC) turned the gig down.

First, it's a pretty bad sign when you can't get somebody to leave HP to come to your company. Second, the guy from EMC who spurned AMD, Pat Gelsinger, told The Statesman newspaper in Austin: "I said no, and I said no again."

AMD needed a prom date, so, at the very last minute, when all of the cheerleaders and football players had turned the company down, the Board chose Read. He came from Lenovo, where he performed well. He guided the company's entrance into mobile, which is probably why AMD looked at him. The Board ousted Meyer due to a disagreement over the company's mobile strategy. (Translation: There really wasn't one.)

About a year after Read's hiring, does anybody really think AMD can beat, let alone compete with, Intel and ARM in the mobile chip market?

Enough said. Right now, AMD equals a falling knife. On weakness, it's just that much closer to two bucks a share.

While AMD may never present as a buying opportunity, other stocks that report earnings over the next two weeks might. If AMD dumps on the most recent quarter's report, I would stay away.

Now, consider Apple (AAPL).

A miss this quarter or anything construed by Wall Street as negative could send the stock reeling back below $600. Chances are we do not see a significant new product from Apple until fall. That's when the effects of Q3 (back to school) and Q4 (holiday shopping) start to impact Apple's September and January earnings releases.

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