During the past few weeks, investors have noticed a trend on Fridays, as traders who got burned by Russia's initial moves against Ukraine have been reluctant to take the risk of having positions over the weekend. That dynamic seemed to be at work today, as markets initially posted reasonably sizable gains before giving them up late Friday afternoon. Even with the turnaround, though, ANN (NYSE:ANN), CommScope Holding (NASDAQ:COMM), and Thompson Creek Metals (NYSE:TC) all managed to hang onto strong share-price advances today.
Women's retailer ANN jumped 13% after private equity investor Golden Gate Capital disclosed a 9.5% stake in the company behind the Ann Taylor chain of stores. Unlike many hedge funds and private-equity firms lately that have taken positions with plans to act as activist investors and propose major changes, Golden Gate said that it doesn't expect to follow that aggressive course. As a result, shareholders took the move as validating the turnaround efforts that ANN has made to keep its Ann Taylor brand strong and to build up its successful Loft concept, as well.
CommScope rose more than 10% following last night's announcement that the telecom-equipment company expects better results from strengthening conditions in its wireless business. With new expectations for 13% sales growth for the current quarter, and overall revenue growth in the mid-single digits for the full 2014 year, CommScope is benefiting from substantial investments by major wireless-network operators to improve the coverage and quality of their networks. Moreover, as areas around the world catch up and make improvements to their 3G networks, CommScope is getting its share of that business, as well. With so much growth potential, CommScope has further to climb if it can maintain its market share in this expanding niche.
Thompson Creek Metals added 9.5%. Friday was a strong day for copper companies and, increasingly, market participants have treated Thompson Creek like other copper miners in light of the huge prospects of its Mt. Milligan copper and gold mine. During the past several weeks, copper has gotten hit hard, as some fear that a potential crisis in the Chinese financial systems could have an impact on the base metal, which is used as collateral for loans in many cases. As long as Mt. Milligan's prospects remain solid, Thompson Creek's long-term growth seems assured, albeit with the potential exposure if copper prices were to fall dramatically from current levels.
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