Volatility has returned to the stock market, and what the market gave investors on Monday, it took away on Tuesday. As we've seen for the past several trading sessions, investors appear to be focused on the coming news on interest rates from the Federal Reserve later this month. Many fear that despite mixed talk from public officials, the Fed might nevertheless choose to make a rate hike, and that could send stocks into a full-blown correction of the sort investors haven't seen very often over the past several years.
Even amid the concerns about the Fed's possible future action, some individual stocks bucked the downtrend and posted solid gains. Among them were Intersil (NASDAQ:ISIL), At Home (NYSE:HOME), and Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD).
Intersil gets bought
Integrated circuits specialist Intersil jumped almost 10% after receiving a buyout bid from Japanese semiconductor company Renesas. The deal is worth about $3.2 billion and will pay Intersil shareholders $22.50 per share in cash. As the two companies see it, the combination will create "the world's leading embedded solution provider," with expertise in microcontroller and system-on-chip designs as well as precision analog and power applications. Renesas expects synergies to produce $170 million in cost-efficiency savings, and Intersil CEO Necip Sayiner argues that there is "great potential in combining the Intersil and Renesas portfolios and gaining the scale that will provide a platform for accelerated growth." The merger will continue the trend toward consolidation in the tech industry in particular and in the broader market generally.
At Home jumps ahead of earnings
At Home Group climbed 6% in anticipation of its first quarterly release of financial results as a public company. The self-styled home decor superstore's financials eventually justified investor optimism, as revenue jumped more than 20% as At Home reversed a year-ago loss with a profit of $0.12 per share. Even as much of the retail sector has struggled lately, At Home's results were solid, including a 0.9% rise in comparable-store sales and a strong pace of expansion, with 10 new stores opening during the quarter. At Home believes it can support more than five times the stores it currently has in its network, and its fiscal 2017 outlook expects the current 20% top-line growth rate to continue throughout the year. Shareholders don't always guess right when they jump the gun and buy prior to an earnings release, but At Home delivered the goods for bullish investors today.
Lithia looks to the Northeast
Finally, Lithia Motors gained 4%. The car dealership network announced it had purchased Carbone Auto Group, a smaller set of dealerships featuring nine different store locations in New York and Vermont. Lithia intends to integrate the Carbone dealerships into its existing network in the region, and the company believes its operations will be able to add between $0.20 and $0.25 per share to its overall earnings during 2017. In addition, the Carbone purchase could be just the beginning of a larger push toward building out exclusive markets in the Northeast, and with 150 stores nationwide, Lithia has the potential to become a key player throughout the U.S. for would-be car buyers.