The stock market took a breather on Thursday, consolidating gains over the previous two days to finish the day close to the unchanged level for most major market benchmarks. The Dow finished down 23 points, but the S&P 500 fell less than half a point, and the Nasdaq Composite actually gained ground on the day. Only two of the Dow's 30 components moved more than 1%, which is unusually calm, even for a quiet trading day.
Yet even though broader indexes hugged the flat line, several companies saw their share prices move upward strongly. Among the best performers on the day were HP (NYSE:HPQ), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF-A), and Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO).
HP rose 7% after reporting its fiscal second-quarter financial results Wednesday afternoon. The tech giant's revenue fell a greater than expected 11% to $11.6 billion, and GAAP net earnings from continuing operations were also down double-digit percentages. Yet on an adjusted basis, earnings of $0.41 per share were above the $0.35 to $0.40 per share range HP had given investors earlier. Moreover, some investors took heart from the longer-term implications of its strategic vision, and the company managed to boost earnings from the personal systems segment by 7% even in the face of falling sales. The printer division remained weak on the top and bottom lines, but HP CEO Dion Weisler believes HP's growth in the face of industrywide weakness is a mark of success that justifies Thursday's upward move for the stock.
Lions Gate climbed 8% in the wake of better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results from the entertainment giant. Revenue jumped 22%, and although adjusted earnings per share were down by more than a third from year-ago levels, most investors in Lions Gate were expecting the company to post an outright loss for the quarter. The company boasted a better lineup of films during this year's quarter compared to the year-ago period, and Lions Gate was also proud of having built out its television unit to become an even more important part of its overall business. Looking forward, Lions Gate hopes it can create more relationships that mimic the success it has had with Orange Is the New Black in its deal with streaming video service Netflix.
Finally, Gogo soared 16%. The provider of in-flight Internet Wi-Fi service revealed in an SEC filing that it has gotten a proposal from a potential airline customer to extend the service to include most of the airline's domestic flights. Although Gogo is still in negotiations with the airline and wasn't able to guarantee it would be able to reach an agreement, the Internet provider did choose to cancel a bond offering that would have brought in $525 million. If a potential deal can provide much of the funding Gogo would otherwise have had to pay high interest rates of 12% or more in the high-yield bond market to raise, that would leave Gogo with greater financial flexibility to expand and look for additional ways to boost its capacity.