8 Stocks Slump to 52-Week Lows

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks slumped to 52-week lows on Thursday: Molycorp ( MCP), Arch Coal ( ACI), ArcelorMittal ( MT), MetroPCS ( PCS), Peabody Energy ( BTU), Nokia ( NOK), First Solar ( FSLR) and NutriSystem ( NTRI)

Molycorp

Shares of Molycorp hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $19.23. The stock's 52-week high of $66.62 was set on Aug. 1.

"We are increasing our price target on MCP by $5, to $55, to account for the accretion associated with the closure of the Neo Materials deal," Dahlman Rose analysts wrote in a May 29 report. "We now use a sum of the parts valuation analysis, versus our historical NAV analysis. While the NAV of the Mountain Pass mine composes the bulk of the value in our price target, $50, we are applying a 10x multiple to the $0.50 accretion that we calculate Neo Materials will contribute to the combined entity. We reiterate our Buy rating on MCP shares."

Molycorp trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 4.99 times; the average for general mining companies is 17.52. For comparison, Compass Minerals ( CMP) has a higher forward P/E of 12.09.

Analysts were split on Molycorp with five of them giving the stock a buy rating and another five rating it hold.

The stock has fallen 18.97% year to date.

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Arch Coal

Shares of Arch Coal hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $6.29. The stock's 52-week high of $30.29 was set one year ago.

"Following ACI's analyst day, despite the significant selloff in the shares (which in our view is overdone, especially given the recent credit facility alleviates near-term liquidity concerns), we continue to see a lack of near-term positive catalysts in the coal sector," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a May 24 report. "Given our still cautious view on the thermal coal markets, softness in the high vol met market and possible goodwill impairments, we maintain our Neutral Rating. Our Target Price declines from $11 to $8, which represents 6.6x our 2013 EBITDA estimate."

Arch Coal's forward P/E is 91.86; the average for coal companies is 16.69. For comparison, Consol Energy ( CNX) has a lower forward P/E of 11.65.

Fourteen of the 30 analysts who cover Arch Coal rated it hold. Eleven analysts gave the stock a buy rating and five rated the stock sell.

The stock has fallen 55.55% year to date.


ArcelorMittal

Shares of ArcelorMittal hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $13.62. The stock's 52-week high of $35.31 was set on July 1.

"Our 12-month price objective is set at EUR20/sh (US$27/ADR)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 23 report. "Our price objective is based on 7x 2012E EBITDA, in line with ArcelorMittal's historical average EV/EBITDA multiple of 7x."

ArcelorMittal's forward P/E is 4.76; the average for iron and steel companies is 6.79.

Six of the eight analysts who cover ArcelorMittal rated it buy; two analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

The stock has declined 23.8% year to date.

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MetroPCS

Shares of MetroPCS hit a 52-week low of $6.16. The stock's 52-week high of $18.52 was set on June 1.

"Leap Wireless has announced the launch of the iPhone 4S under its Cricket brand beginning June 22," BMO Capital Markets analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "The unlimited text, talk and data ( less than 2.3GB/month) plan will cost $55 per month with subsidized retail device costs of about $400 (8GB)/ about $500 (16GB). The three-year commitment with Apple will cost about $900 million and applies to future device launches. The cost represents about a third of device costs for Leap over this period and is expected to represent less than 10% of its sales mix. With the iPhone restricted to PCS frequencies, Leap's launch is restricted to 70% of its network footprint ( about 60mm POPs). Leap expects no impact on EBITDA or capital intensity for 2012, with general expectations for value accretive over time (higher ARPU, lower churn). Leap noted that a significant portion of its churn was attributable to customers leaving to get the iPhone and that currently 50% of its gross adds were from contract carriers, suggesting a sizeable market opportunity. Leap noted that handset pricing should not represent an impediment to demand. We see the iPhone launch as slightly negative for Leap given that it raises near-term uncertainty particularly given the prospect of an iPhone5 launch. For MetroPCS we also see this as negative given that it will continue to have a device disadvantage until LTE devices gain greater scale."

MetroPCS has a forward P/E of 8.48; the average for mobile telecommunications companies is 17.2.

Twenty-seven of the 31 analysts who cover MetroPCS rated it hold. Three analysts gave the stock a buy rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has fallen 27.65% year to date.


Peabody Energy

Shares of Peabody Energy hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $22.75. The stock's 52-week high of $63.08 was set one year ago.

"We raise BTU to Buy for three reasons: (1) Improving China macro data and Newcastle thermal prices should drive greater Street credit for BTU's Australia business (better growth profile than covered US peers). (2) BTU is exposed to our view that PRB-levered stocks should see improved relative performance as PRB prices continue to rise from below cash costs today to mid-cycle by the end of 1H2013. (3) Its valuation given a 9% 3-year EBITDA CAGR screens favorably vs. the coverage group. Also, discussion of China thermal and Mongolia met coal JVs remain potential long-term catalysts," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a May 28 report.

Peabody Energy's forward P/E is 6.35; the average for coal companies is 16.76. For comparison, Walter Energy ( WLT) has a higher forward P/E of 7.01.

Twenty-six of the 30 analysts who cover Peabody Energy rated it buy. Three analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

The stock has fallen 29.48% year to date.

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Nokia

Shares of Nokia hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $2.63. The stock's 52-week high of $7.38 was set on Oct. 27.

"We continue to believe 2012 will be a crucial year as Nokia continues to manage its transition to Windows Phone," Wedbush analysts wrote in a May 29 report. "While we are lowering our estimates as we see modest demand for Nokia's current smartphone lineup and encroachment by low-cost competitors in emerging markets, we believe upcoming Windows 8 devices will be a critical determining factor of Nokia's success in its turnaround. Until then, we maintain our neutral stance."

Nokia's forward P/E is 14.88; the average for telecommunications equipment companies is 11.07.

Nineteen of the 29 analysts who cover Nokia rated it hold. Seven analysts gave the stock a sell rating and three rated it buy.

The stock has fallen 44.19% year to date.


First Solar

Shares of First Solar hit a 52-week low of $12.19 on Thursday. The stock's 52-week high of $142.22 was set on June 30.

First Solar's forward P/E is 3.01; the average for renewable energy equipment companies is 7.78. For comparison, SunPower ( SPWR) has a higher forward P/E of 18.84.

Twenty-seven of the 39 analysts who cover First Solar rated it hold. Six analysts gave the stock a buy rating and another six rated it sell.

The stock has lost 62.59% year to date.

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NutriSystem

Shares of NutriSystem hit a 52-week low on Thursday of $10.13. The stock's 52-week high of $15.74 was set on July 29.

"Nutrisystem launched its new product line, Nutrisystem Everyday, at Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer," Wedbush analysts wrote in a May 15 report. "Nutrisystem Everyday, which began shipping in April and consists of a dozen SKUs of bars, smoothies, bakery, and breakfast products, is aimed at consumers interested in healthier eating and dieters transitioning from weight loss to weight management. Management anticipates signing additional distribution agreements this year, potentially in grocery, mass, drug, and club channels, with the goal of reaching full national distribution by 2013. While the retail channel is expected to represent around 5% of 2012 sales, we believe it could meaningfully contribute to sales and earnings as early as next year."

NutriSystem's forward P/E is 14.08; the average for food products companies is 21.22. For comparison, Smart Balance ( SMBL) has a higher forward P/E of 16.59.

Three analysts gave the stock a buy rating, another three rated it buy and one gave NutriSystem a sell rating.

The stock has fallen 20.34% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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