The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) traded roughly a percentage point lower last week, with energy and financial sectors weighing down the markets ahead of this week's infamous meeting of monetary policy setters in the ongoing "will they, won't they" rate-raising drama. But let's avoid that drama for a bit longer and instead take a look at a few companies making big moves -- or big headlines -- this week.
The Apple effect
Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) was one of the hottest stocks during the week, with its stock price moving nearly 15% higher. There was a mix of news that helped propel Skyworks, including strong sales estimates for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) new iPhone 7, set for a Sept. 16 release. Thanks to Skyworks' position as a well-known supplier to Apple, and it deriving a large chunk of its top-line revenue from the company, investors were happy to jump on the Skyworks bandwagon.
Probably helping both Skyworks and Apple was Samsung's recent recall for its Galaxy 7 Note on reports of battery explosions -- yes, explosions. Samsung's exploding phones will certainly test the old saying, "any publicity is good publicity."
But wait, there's more. Beyond riding Apple's coattails and Samsung's debacle, Oppenheimer's Rick Schafer and Joshua Buchalter published a positive analyst note about the company and had this to say before commenting that they remain buyers:
We had the opportunity to host two days of meetings with Skyworks senior management this week. Demand was high and tone bullish. We came away incrementally impressed with Skyworks' position in both its core mobile and broad markets/IoT segments.
One bidder to rule them all
Shares of NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG) were down this week, falling as much as 10% on Tuesday alone after the company won an auction for bankrupt SunEdison assets. While investors knew this was a possibility, it seems they weren't sure what to make of the assets after hearing that NRG Energy was in fact the sole bidder. In terms of the auction itself, NRG Energy's $144 million bid for 2.1 GW of SunEdison assets was a success -- unless there is an unknown reason for there being no other bidders.
It's also possible NRG Energy's stock price recovers once more information is made available, such as how much capital NRG Energy will have to invest to complete some of the projects and assets. However, in the grand scheme of things, $144 million is a small bet that could unlock a lot of shareholder value.
My colleague Travis Hoium has pointed out how the next steps could unfold:
If NRG Energy does acquire 2.1 GW of assets, it'll complete them and likely drop them down to its yieldco, NRG Yield. The yieldco would pay cash for the assets and presumably the dropdown would both add cash to NRG Energy's coffers immediately and add to NRG Yield's dividend going forward.
Staying competitive is expensive
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) investors likely had mixed feelings about the company's investor day presentation on Wednesday. That's because while Ford had some encouraging strategies for growing its business outside of the traditional automotive industry -- through electrification, autonomy, and mobility projects -- it also noted its overall profits would be dented as it invested more capital to accomplish those strategies.
More specifically, Ford expects its adjusted pre-tax profits in its "core business" will improve between this year and 2018, but that its total will decline to look like the scenario below.
Ford will spend heavily in its attempt to achieve three key goals. First, Ford plans to fortify its strengths in producing and selling trucks, commercial vehicles, and SUVs, which are the company's bread and butter -- and highly profitable products. Spending in this area will likely go toward keeping important models updated and fresh.
Second, Ford plans to focus on areas that need improvement. One of the company's examples was its high-profit Lincoln luxury brand, which is on pace to record its third consecutive year-over-year sales gains in the U.S. market, but it's still a long ways from its peak in the late 1990s.
Lastly, Ford intends to grow by investing in emerging opportunities that are outside of its traditional manufacturing of cars -- think of mobility projects similar to Uber. It made a small splash recently when it acquired Chariot, a shuttle-bus start-up out of San Francisco, with plans to quickly expand its shuttle business to five additional cities.
All three of those aspects will cost money, but they are also very necessary to remain competitive and explore a compelling growth story at the same time. It's just another day for investors within a capital-intensive industry.