Why World Acceptance, Carriage Services, and Gogo Tumbled Today

Stocks fell sharply across the board on rising geopolitical tensions that outweighed positive news on the domestic economic front. Find out more about what made these stocks fall so much.

Mar 13, 2014 at 8:30PM

On Thursday, the stock market finally succumbed to some of the nagging problems that have plagued it over the past couple of weeks, as investors pointed to the situation between Ukraine and Russia as well as nervousness about China's economy as their justification for a broad-based sell-off. Major stock market benchmarks posted losses of roughly 1% to 1.5%, but World Acceptance (NASDAQ:WRLD), Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV), and Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) suffered much more dramatic declines today due to company-specific issues.

World Acceptance dropped almost 20% after the provider of small consumer loans said that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was investigating the company's business practices. World Acceptance received a civil subpoena from the newly created regulatory agency requesting documents related to the company's loans and other business. Payday lender Cash America International (NYSE:CSH) also fell on the news, with that company already having paid a $19 million settlement last year in what appears to be a similar investigation to what's going on with World Acceptance now. The move shows that the CFPB intends to move aggressively to curb what many see as questionable business models among consumer lenders.

Carriage Services fell 9% as the death-services provider announced that it would raise $120 million in capital through a private offering of convertible subordinated notes. The company said it would use the proceeds to repurchase or redeem existing convertible debt, but investors are clearly worried that the issuance of new debt could only compound the potential for long-term dilution. With the notes not maturing until 2021 and with holders allowed to convert to shares until late 2020, the debt could put a ceiling over Carriage Services' upside potential for years to come.

Gogo declined about 8% despite releasing a quarterly report that included higher revenue and a narrower loss than expected. The provider of in-flight Internet services initially climbed after the report, but investors might have had second thoughts about Gogo's revenue guidance for the 2014 fiscal year. Given Gogo's potential as a leader in a high-growth industry, investors have high expectations for the stock, and even solid results won't necessarily be enough to keep Gogo's share price from falling in the future.

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