Friday was a solid day on Wall Street, as major market benchmarks all posted modest advances to end the week on a positive note. Investors still had some worries, including this weekend's runoff election in France, but strong numbers on the U.S. employment front and a rebound in the oil sector helped improve market sentiment. Moreover, several key companies enjoyed favorable news, and Immunomedics (IMMU), MercadoLibre (MELI 1.95%), and Pearson (PSO -1.18%) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Immunomedics plots a new way forward
Shares of Immunomedics climbed 17.5% after the biopharmaceutical company announced a change in its core strategic vision going forward. The company said that it would terminate its previously announced licensing agreement with Seattle Genetics (SGEN -0.23%), which will result in Immunomedics regaining full control over its breast cancer candidate therapy sacituzumab govitecan, also known as IMMU-132. In addition, Immunomedics said it had raised $125 million from a private offering of preferred stock, and it presented a timeline for the future development of IMMU-132 to include submission of a biologics license application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration either toward the end of this year or the beginning of 2018. At the same time, a phase 3 study to confirm results will proceed, with expectations for a potential U.S. launch of the drug next year. Finally, CEO Cynthia Sullivan will step down, with CFO Michael Garone taking the role of interim CEO. Investors approve of the new strategy, and the move puts the onus on Immunomedics to make the most of its pipeline going forward.
MercadoLibre sees more shoppers
MercadoLibre stock climbed 16% in the wake of strong first-quarter financial results. The Latin American e-commerce giant reported revenue growth of 74%, which pushed net income up by three-fifths. Exceptional performance came from MercadoLibre's core marketplace business, as well as from ongoing explosive growth at its MercadoPago electronic payment service and its MercadoEnvios shipping services unit. Economic rebounds in Brazil and Mexico were highlights of the quarter, and the long-term story for MercadoLibre remains the same: Counting on a rising consumer middle class in Latin America to bolster the level of e-commerce traffic and confirm MercadoLibre's status as the top player in a budding new market.
Pearson keeps restructuring
Finally, shares of Pearson finished up 13%. The British educational publishing company issued an update on its first-quarter performance that also included information on its ongoing restructuring efforts. Pearson reported that first-quarter sales were up 6%, led by its North American higher education business. Yet even though the company has already reaped about 650 million British pounds in costs from restructuring efforts, Pearson thinks it can get another 300 million pounds every year by the end of 2019. In addition, the publisher said that it will engage in a strategic review of its options with respect to its U.S. K-12 courseware publishing unit, which it said has seen sluggish adoption rates in a competitive environment. Investors liked the idea of further simplification for Pearson, which seems to be a trend in several sectors of the economy right now.