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20 Stocks with the Potential to Drop

It's the basic question when investing in a stock: is it on the way up or down?

The street has developed numerous ways of attempting to predict what will happen, estimating various attributes tied to stock performance in order to determine what the future holds for a company's valuation.

After dissecting the data, analysts following a particular stock produce a price target of where they believe the stock is headed. With data from Thomson Reuters, CNBC.com grouped stocks in the S&P 500 with average consensus estimates farthest below their stock prices.

In the S&P 500, the average short interest (as a % of float) stands at 3.68, while some companies included in this list have short interest as high as 34.56. The prices and analysts’ estimates presented here are as of the market close on March 21, 2012.

So, which stocks are analysts expecting to have the biggest drops? Click ahead to find out!

By Giovanny Moreano& Paul Toscano
Posted 21 March 2012

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP Creative | Getty Images