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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 9, 2017 at 5:07PM

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Tailored Brands sank and National Beverage soared as indexes rose.

Stocks jumped back from modest declines that came late in Thursday's trading session, and by the closing bell, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.31%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.43%) indexes had posted tiny gains.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

0.01%

2.46

S&P 500

0.08%

1.89

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Oil prices posted losses for the second straight day, and that dragged the popular United States Oil ETF (USO 2.03%) down by 1.3%. Financial stocks modestly outperformed, allowing the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF -0.46%) to rise slightly for the day.

Tailored Brands (TLRD) and National Beverage (FIZZ -0.08%) were two of the biggest individual stock movers on Thursday.

Winners and losers

Shares of formal clothing specialist Tailored Brands dove 32% after the company posted surprisingly weak fiscal fourth-quarter earnings results. Sales fell 3.9% to $793 million, while consensus estimates were targeting a more modest decline to $805 million.

Softer-than-expected demand hurt results across the company's core brands. The Men's Wearhouse line, its biggest, endured a 2.2% comparable-store sales drop as the Jos. A. Bank segment only grew by 3.6%. In early December, management had targeted gains in the mid- to high-single digits for the latter.

A man wearing a tuxedo.

Image source: Tailored Brands.

Tailored Brands was also forced to increase promotions to keep its inventory moving, and that hurt profitability. "[T]he challenging retail environment resulted in soft traffic across our retail brands," CEO Doug Ewert said, "which drove lower than anticipated fourth quarter and full year net sales and gross margins."

Ewert and his team see the current rough environment continuing into the new fiscal year, and their 2017 outlook calls for decreases at the Men's Wearhouse line and only a modest rebound for Jos. A. Bank. Meanwhile, cost savings from store closures will ideally give management ammunition to invest in other sales channels that aren't so reliant on customer traffic. Yet overall, Tailored Brands will likely generate weaker earnings this year than it did in 2016.

A collection of LaCroix branded soda cans.

Image source: National Beverage.

Shares of National Beverage, the soda and sparkling water specialist, rose 10% following the release of the company's third-quarter report. Bucking the weak overall industry trends, sales soared 20% to $195 million on healthy demand for its carbonated beverages, particularly LaCroix sparkling water. Operating margin expanded as well, which allowed net income to more than double to $24 million, translating to $0.52 per share. Wall Street would have been happy with $0.39 per share.

"In conventional times, great things happen if great choices, great strategies, great teams, and great fortune all align!" CEO Nick Caporella said in a press release.

National Beverage's results demonstrate that the company is extremely well-positioned as sparkling water outgrows traditional soda. Retailers are dedicating more and more shelf space to products like its LaCroix franchise, and that trend provides a healthy platform for it to launch new flavors and other product innovations -- at increasing average prices.

Shareholders can look forward to a special dividend headed their way over the next few months that's funded by the company's surging cash flow. A unique dividend that rewards long-term owners will follow that. But investors are likely more pleased today that National Beverage is soaking up market share and continuing to find ways to keep its most popular brands fresh in the eyes of consumers who are moving out of the traditional soda ecosystem.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$31,402.01 (-0.31%) $-98.74
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,894.77 (-0.43%) $-16.97
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund
XLF
$32.19 (-0.46%) $0.15
United States Oil Fund LP Stock Quote
United States Oil Fund LP
USO
$82.92 (2.03%) $1.65
Tailored Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Tailored Brands, Inc.
TLRD
National Beverage Corp. Stock Quote
National Beverage Corp.
FIZZ
$48.60 (-0.08%) $0.04

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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