The stock market gave up ground on Friday as investors expressed nervousness about the extent to which interest rates have climbed. Over the past couple of weeks, rates on the 10-year Treasury note have risen by more than half a percentage point, a huge move that has taken the rate above 2.3% and pushed mortgage rates upward dramatically in concert. Major market benchmarks were down about a quarter percent, but some stocks managed to gain ground. Among the best performers were Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL), Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN), and Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH). Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Marvell Technology jumped 11% in the wake of a combination of better-than-expected quarterly results and a stock buyback plan. The storage, networking, and connectivity semiconductor solutions provider said it had sales of $654.4 million, which were down about 3% from year-ago levels, but still better than the company had projected. Moreover, Marvell reversed a year-ago loss to post a $0.14 per share profit during the quarter. Double-digit percentage growth in the data storage and network infrastructure arenas drove the company higher, and Marvell also announced a new $1 billion share buyback program, half of which it intends to implement within the next 12 months. With the IT industry offering so many growth opportunities, Marvell looks like it's doing a good job of taking maximum advantage of them.
Nuance sounds good
Nuance Communications finished higher by 9% after reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results. The maker of voice and language technology solutions exceeded expectations by posting roughly flat adjusted revenue and net income, and record net new bookings helped propel enthusiasm about Nuance's future prospects. Strength in the enterprise and imaging segments was particularly encouraging, and the company's efforts to encourage and build recurring revenue sources have been largely successful so far. With high hopes for increased organic growth over the next two years, Nuance investors think the company still has a long way to run to take advantage of rising demand for its services.
Community Health makes a sale
Finally, Community Health Systems rose 5%. The hospital company agreed to sell its Spokane-based Rockwood Health System assets for $425 million, making a deal with MultiCare Health System. The sale includes Deaconess Hospital in Spokane as well as the smaller Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley and the Rockwood Clinic property. CEO Wayne Smith said the sale will allow the Rockwood Health System facilities to "benefit from joining a growing regional health system that is expanding its network across the Pacific Northwest." The deal allows Community Health to move forward with efforts to reduce leverage and improve its balance sheet going forward.