After seeing the Dow finally hit its first record-high close of 2014, the stock market took a pause Thursday, easing back, with broader markets posting narrowly mixed results. Yet, even as investors wait for tomorrow's report from the Labor Department on the jobs picture for April, shares of Vonage Holdings (NYSE: VG ) , Catamaran (NASDAQ: CTRX ) , and Yelp (NYSE: YELP ) all moved sharply higher today, with favorable earnings news pushing all three stocks upward despite the general malaise in the stock market.
Vonage Holdings climbed 13% as the voice-over-Internet specialist's quarterly report included a 6% jump in revenue, and a net addition of 13,000 new subscribers. Even though adjusted earnings plunged by 40%, they were still enough to come well ahead of the even-worse declines that investors had expected to see. Most importantly, Vonage's business-solutions division boosted the company's presence in the enterprise-communications niche, which most investors see as being potentially more lucrative than Vonage's traditional consumer-targeted business. If Vonage can press forward and gain more market share in helping small and mid-sized business customers, then it may lead to marked improvement in the company's results in the future.
Catamaran gained almost 13% as the provider of pharmacy benefit-management services and health-care information technology reported its quarterly earnings this morning. Catamaran's sales soared by 53%, with operational cash flow more than doubling, and the company's net income rising by 23%. The company said that it earned more than $1 billion in new revenue from implementing its solutions for new clients. The results helped investors shake off concerns from earlier in the year about whether Catamaran could sustain its pace of growth. Going forward, Catamaran gave guidance that satisfied growth investors that it will deliver on the potential that its shareholders see for the company in the long run.
Yelp rose nearly 10% after posting a smaller-than-expected loss for its most-recent quarter. Revenue for the provider of reviews of restaurants and other businesses climbed more than 65%, with average monthly visitor counts jumping by 30%. Bolstered by impressive international growth, Yelp boosted its guidance for the rest of 2014, topping what investors had expected by 1% to 2%. Even after the earnings-based gains, though, Yelp has lost a third of its value just since the beginning of March. It's unclear whether even these stellar growth rates will be enough to make shareholders happy about Yelp's risk-reward prospects.
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