The stock market finished near the unchanged mark on Wednesday, but the final result doesn't show some of the intraday volatility that investors suffered in order to get there. Major market benchmarks recovered from sizable early losses, and by the mid-afternoon hours, most of them were modestly in positive territory.
Even though stocks finished almost unchanged overall, some stocks never managed to regain their early losses. Among the biggest decliners were Daktronics (NASDAQ:DAKT), Adeptus Health (NYSE:ADPT), and Lands' End (NASDAQ:LE).
Daktronics plunged 20% after the company reported a loss in its fiscal fourth-quarter financial report. Net losses for the electronic display maker came to $2.9 million, or $0.07 per share, and orders for the quarter fell by more than 25% as quarter-end backlogs eased lower from year-ago levels.
The company blamed timing issues for declines in demand from its international segment, but even though live-events revenue was down, Daktronics argued that the year-ago period included an NFL stadium project that skewed comparisons. Although the company cited strong demand and a solid competitive position, factors like low oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar could create an uncertain environment for the projects that demand Daktronics' products. Nevertheless, the extent of Daktronics' struggles came as a surprise to many investors.
Adeptus Health finished down 14% in the wake of changes to its guidance late Tuesday afternoon. For the full year, Adeptus boosted its expected sales to a range between $640 million and $670 million, with anticipated adjusted earnings of $2.55 to $2.65 per share. The earlier opening of an Adeptus hospital location in Houston is primarily responsible for the change, but preliminary estimates of $0.48 to $0.52 per share in adjusted earnings for the current second quarter weren't as rosy in shareholders' eyes.
Moreover, Adeptus said that it would sell 2.75 million shares of stock, with roughly a third to be sold by a major shareholder. Pricing hasn't yet been announced, but downward moves in response to a secondary stock offering are fairly common because of the implied vote of no confidence among selling shareholders.
Finally, Lands' End finished the day down 6%. The retailer reported fiscal first-quarter results that included a 9% drop in overall revenue, and a 7% decline in comparable-store sales. Gross margin fell, and Lands' End posted a loss of $5.8 million, or $0.18 per share, reversing a year-ago profit.
Although CEO Federica Marchionni argued that the company is continuing to make progress on trying to turn itself around, overall weakness in the retail environment is hurting Lands' End's ability to maximize growth. Aggressive discounting and promotional activity among the company's peers are forcing Lands' End to respond in kind, and the CEO sees further challenging times ahead, even as the company fights to build positive momentum going forward.