Politics often operate independently of the stock market. But the Presidential election is just six weeks away, and investors kept a close eye on Monday's Presidential debate to see if there was any obvious winner. Few political commentators declared a resounding victory for either candidate, but neither did many people find themselves surprised by the tone of the debate, or the messages that each candidate delivered.
That general takeaway seemed to satisfy Wall Street, which responded with gains of between 0.5% and 1% for major market benchmarks. Some individual stocks showed even stronger performance, and among the biggest gainers on the day were Synnex (NYSE:SNX), Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP), and Yelp (NYSE:YELP).
Synnex builds a money-making business process
Synnex climbed 10% after posting its fiscal third-quarter financial results late Monday. The business process services company said that revenue climbed 10%, pushing adjusted operating income up by more than 20%, and producing adjusted earnings of $1.73 per share. That was well above the $1.56 per share that investors had expected,
Synnex said that internal investments that it has made to try to bolster its business have paid off with greater efficiency and higher sales and profits in both its technology solutions division and its Concentrix unit. Moreover, guidance for sales of between $3.83 billion and $3.93 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter was greater than expected, as were calls for adjusted earnings of $2.06 to $2.11 per share. If Synnex can keep executing this well, then further share-price gains are likely.
Ballard powers up
Ballard Power Systems picked up 6% in the wake of an encouraging announcement from one of its partners. Late Monday, Ballard said that automaker Audi had issued purchase orders that would accelerate the development collaboration between Ballard and Audi parent Volkswagen Group. With Audi taking the lead role in fuel cell development within the Volkswagen Group, Ballard believes that the move will eventually lead to vehicles using fuel-cell stack technology for power.
Ballard's deal with Volkswagen currently runs through March 2019, with an optional two-year extension, and the companies expect roughly $80 million to $112 million in value for the contract over its lifetime. Ballard CEO Randy MacEwen believes that the purchase order activity "confirms Volkswagen Group's commitment to fuel cell technology and its long-term partnership with Ballard," and investors hope that further gains follow.
Yelp keeps getting good reviews
Finally, Yelp gained 6%. Some speculated that Tuesday's rise was a delayed reaction to a couple of pieces of news from earlier in the week, including the social-media company's move over the weekend to convert its former class A and class B common stock into a single share class on a one-for-one basis. The move effectively reduces the additional control that insiders had under the dual-class structure, and some argued that the single class of shares could make it more likely that a buyer would become interested in Yelp.
Consolidation activity in the market has indeed risen, and even after recent gains, Yelp trades at less than half what its shares fetched in early 2014. That gives plenty of upside for those willing to speculate on Yelp as a takeover candidate.