Stocks closed modestly lower Friday, as violence in Ukraine's third-largest city raised the chances of more aggressive Russian intervention and whatever response Western nations would make to such a move. Favorable jobs data helped counteract the impact of geopolitical tension somewhat, but Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW ) , Endocyte (NASDAQ: ECYT ) , and Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN ) all fell much more sharply than the broader stock market, as troubling news affected their respective businesses.
Manitowoc fell 10% after the company reported surprising weakness in its crane-manufacturing segment. Although Manitowoc saw adjusted earnings jump 62% from the year-ago quarter, revenue fell 5%, with an even greater 14% drop in crane sales offsetting strength in Manitowoc's foodservice equipment division. Investors weren't satisfied with Manitowoc's reiteration of its full-year guidance, even though it implies that the company expects to make up for any shortfall during the remainder of the year. With other construction-equipment companies reporting more favorable results, investors will have to decide whether Manitowoc's results are a one-time aberration or a sign that its rivals are doing a better job of capturing opportunities in the recovering construction market.
Endocyte plunged 62% after the company announced a setback for its vintafolide treatment. Endocyte had received a positive opinion for condition marketing authorization for the drug by the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use earlier this year, raising hopes for the company's future. But a data safety monitoring board covering a phase 3 trial of Endocyte's vintafolide in the U.S. recommended that the trial be stopped because it hadn't met its goal of greater progression-free survival for platinum-resistant ovarian-cancer patients. With the bad news, Endocyte will have to work with its partner to determine whether to keep developing vintafolide, or concentrate on other opportunities.
Seattle Genetics dropped 11% even as the biotech announced solid revenue growth in its first-quarter results last night. Sales for Seattle Genetics rose 19%, with just about all of its revenue coming from product sales and affiliated revenue related to its Adcetris antibody-drug conjugate, which has thus far received FDA approval to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Yet, even those results weren't enough to satisfy Seattle Genetics shareholders, and guidance for the full year suggested that Adcetris' upside could be far more limited than investors previously thought. Although the technology behind antibody-drug conjugates has great potential, Seattle Genetics will need to capitalize on that potential in order to reassure shareholders.
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