On Wednesday, the stock market backed off from its record closes in recent days, as investors had some second thoughts about how sustainable the big upswing in the major-market benchmarks might be for the rest of 2014. For the most part, the declines in the broader market were modest. But that didn't stop 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) , DSW (NYSE: DSW ) , and Walter Energy (NASDAQOTH: WLT ) from suffering much more extensive losses today.
3D Systems dropped 11%, as the maker of 3-D printing equipment announced and priced another secondary offering of shares. The company issued 5.95 million shares and, although it didn't give the price per share, it said that gross proceeds would total $317 million, leaving it to investors to do the math and come up with $53.28 per share. The closing price today was well below that level, though, indicating shareholders' dissatisfaction with 3D Systems' decision to do a secondary offering after its shares have fallen by nearly half from their highs earlier this year. Given the uncertainty surrounding the 3-D printing industry, 3D Systems might end up making better use of the cash raised in the offering than investors currently believe. Yet, shareholders don't want their interests diluted too much, and so 3D Systems and its peers have to walk a fine line in implementing their capital-raising decisions to keep investors happy.
Shoe and accessories retailer DSW plunged 27% Wednesday, becoming the latest retail company to suffer from terrible quarterly results. Same-store sales dropped 3.7%, with DSW blaming the usual culprits of bad weather and a highly competitive promotional environment for failing to meet investors' expectations for revenue and net income. Even worse, DSW now believes that its comps for the full year will also decline significantly, and a downgrade to its earnings guidance also bodes badly for the fate of the footwear and accessories company. Given the headwinds facing players throughout retail, it's hard to know whether DSW can buck its own negative guidance and recover more strongly than expected in the quarters to come.
Walter Energy fell 9% as the coal-mining industry suffered yet another bad day. In particular, Walter Energy's focus on metallurgical coal has been problematic, as the rise in natural-gas prices has at least put a floor under the shares of most producers of thermal coal. By contrast, steel production remains at low levels and, although some signs of a possible rebound in construction activity have started to appear, few expect beaten-down met-coal prices to recover very quickly. Until that happens, it will be very hard for Walter Energy to make up all the ground it has lost.
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