Thursday finally brought a pause to the stock market's advance, but traders still showed their positive sentiment in the way that major market benchmarks bounced back from more extreme early losses. The Dow managed to post an eight-point rise that represented a new record, but other market benchmarks posted small losses. After a huge run upward over the past couple of weeks, today's market actions seemed like nothing more than an acknowledgement that stocks can't move straight upward forever. Yet few things changed about the average investor's views on the current state of the stock market, and several stocks climbed higher as earnings season begins to draw toward a close. NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES), Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), and TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) were among the top performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

NetEase hits a new high score

NetEase stock soared 14% after the company reported strong fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results Wednesday night. The Chinese online gaming giant saw revenue jump by more than half from year-ago levels, and earnings were up even more sharply with a rise of about two-thirds. Adoption of mobile gaming in China continued to build, and NetEase sees the mobile space becoming the key audience for advertising opportunities in the world's second-largest economy. In addition to the big bottom-line gains, NetEase gave shareholders a nearly 30% increase to its quarterly dividend, and CEO William Ding believes that the company is well positioned to keep taking advantage of favorable trends to drive not only its gaming empire but also ancillary businesses like e-commerce forward.

Denny's sign in front of a city landscape.

Image source: Denny's.

Denny's serves up a hot quarter

Denny's stock climbed 12% in the wake of the company's fourth-quarter financial report. The restaurant chain managed to post only tepid comparable-restaurant sales growth of 0.5%, but its bottom-line growth was exceptionally strong, climbing more than 40% on an adjusted basis. CEO John Miller credited Denny's "brand revitalization strategy, [which] delivered an improved and differentiated experience for our guests across food, service, and atmosphere." Denny's saw market share gains over the course of the year, and the restaurant company sees further modest comps growth of 0% to 2% for 2017. Those results might not look all that strong, but in an environment in which many restaurant chains are struggling just to sustain revenue and profit levels from previous periods, Denny's performance was above average.

TiVo starts paying a dividend

Finally, shares of TiVo climbed 10%. The maker of digital recording technology reported its fourth-quarter financial results Wednesday afternoon, which included a nearly 70% boost in revenue following the acquisition of TiVo Solutions. Adjusted pre-tax income climbed by more than half, and the company said that it expects further gains in sales to a range of $800 million to $835 million for 2017. In light of the strong performance, TiVo chose to declare its first dividend of $0.18 per share, with the intent of continuing the move on a quarterly basis. At the same time, a $150 million stock repurchase authorization showed even more confidence in TiVo's shares, and CEO Tom Carson said that the company's product leadership and strong licensing business "position TiVo well for long-term success in our key addressable markets."

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