The stock market kept moving higher on Wednesday, adding to gains from the previous trading session as investors became increasingly comfortable with the idea that the global economy might not slow down as much as some had feared. Energy prices continued to regain ground from their 2015 crash, and crude oil prices in the U.S. are approaching the $50 per barrel mark for the first time all year. Amid all the enthusiasm in the market, some individual stocks produced truly outstanding results for their shareholders. Among the best performers Wednesday were Computer Sciences (CSC), Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT 0.40%), and Nimble Storage (NYSE: NMBL).
Computer Sciences soared 42% after Tuesday afternoon's announcement that it would work with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise on what it referred to as a "spin-merger." The transaction will involve HP Enterprise spinning off its enterprise services business, and then having it merge with Computer Sciences to form a pure-play global IT services company. The net result of the deal will be that HP Enterprise shareholders will own about a 50% stake in the post-merger Computer Sciences. As Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie described it, the two companies together "will have the scale, foundation, and next-generation technologies to innovate, compete, and grow in a rapidly changing marketplace." The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017, and it should result in no adverse tax consequences to shareholders of either company.
Sarepta Therapeutics jumped 27% in the wake of a decision from the Food and Drug Administration to delay its consideration of the company's Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen. The drug had received an unfavorable recommendation from an FDA advisory panel, with a 7-6 vote finally deciding that it failed to demonstrate a clinical benefit in dystrophin production. A 7-3 vote, with three abstentions, found that eteplirsen was not effective in treating the condition. Given the likelihood that the FDA would simply follow the advisory panel's decision and reject the drug, many speculated that the delay might be due to FDA efforts to find reasons to support the drug. If the FDA chooses to approve eteplirsen, then the previous advisory panel recommendation will be irrelevant, and investors clearly hope that that will be the eventual outcome.
Finally, Nimble Storage finished the day up 16%. The data-storage company's fiscal first-quarter report included a better than 20% gain in revenue, and even though that resulted in a net loss of more than $20 million, the bottom-line figure was actually better than many had feared. Even though Nimble Storage is losing money, many believe that its strategy of sacrificing short-term earnings in order to build up a loyal customer base and claim market share from its rivals is the best response in a competitive market. Eventually, Nimble Storage will have to find ways to make profits, but for now, investors are celebrating the company's vision and believe that it's on the right path strategically to maximize its long-term opportunities.