Thursday brought a return to volatility for the stock market, but most investors were pleased with the sizable gains that they saw. Hopes that the Federal Reserve would be slower to raise interest rates than many had feared were a major contributor to the improvement in sentiment among investors, and the Dow posted gains of more than 175 points as major market benchmarks climbed between 1% and 1.5% on the day.
The market's resilience in what has traditionally been a poor month for performance has impressed many investors, but some individual companies still weren't able to satisfy their shareholders. Among the worst performers on the day were Apogee Enterprises (APOG -0.68%), Ferrellgas Partners (FGP), and Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT 2.66%).
Apogee's success is not enough
Apogee Enterprises dropped 6% despite producing strong performance in its second-quarter earnings report Wednesday evening. The maker of architectural glass surpassed the expectations of most investors, posting a 16% rise in sales that helped send Apogee's bottom line up by more than half.
Apogee noted that its outlook on the state of the construction market appeared to be strong, and the company took the opportunity to boost its guidance on earnings for the full year. Yet even though the stock gained ground in after-hours trading last night, Apogee investors apparently decided today that they would have preferred to see even more signs of positive performance from the glass specialist going forward.
Ferrellgas gets a downgrade
Ferrellgas Partners saw its partnership units lose 5% after the company received a negative assessment from analysts at RBC Capital. The analyst company downgraded Ferrellgas from sector perform to underperform, cutting almost 25% from its previous price target to $13 per unit.
The propane delivery and refill specialist has had to deal with turbulent conditions in the energy markets for a couple of years now, and Ferrellgas has also worked at trying to cut its costs in order to support its impressive distribution yield. Yet being vulnerable to unfavorable weather has taken its toll on Ferrellgas at certain times in the past, and the company's success will depend, in part, on whether it gets better treatment from Mother Nature in the remainder of the year.
Sarepta Therapeutics does an about-face
Finally, Sarepta Therapeutics fell 7.5%. The move downward gave up only a portion of yesterday's 27% gain, which resulted from hopes that the departure of a critical voice within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could lead to a more favorable result in the evaluation of muscular dystrophy drug candidate eteplirsen. Yet today, some analysts raised doubt about that positive assessment.
With the advisory committee for the drug narrowly choosing not to recommend accelerated approval of the drug, all eyes are now on the full FDA to see if it chooses to make a final ruling sooner than expected. At least for today, investors seem to have doubts about Sarepta's near-term future.