Today's stock market
Financial stocks led all sectors in trading volume, but the popular Financial Sector SPDR Select ETF (XLF -0.28%) trailed the broader market slightly, with a 0.3% increase. Gold prices ticked higher to help the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 0.48%) rise 1.3%.
Ford gets a new boss
Ford shares rose 2% after the automaker announced a major executive shakeup. CEO Mark Fields is out, to be replaced by Jim Hackett, who previously led a turnaround at office environment specialist Steelcase.
Hackett is tasked with laying the groundwork for Ford to compete in an industry that's likely to look much different in a decade thanks to several disruptions already playing out, including ride-sharing, and the rising popularity of fully electric and autonomous vehicles. The incoming CEO will also need to oversee a revamping of the company's innovation and production processes to speed up development with tools such as artificial intelligence and big data, the company explained in a press release.
"Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space," Board of Directors President Bill Ford said .
Ford's latest results showed that its immediate concerns include falling sales volumes and lower market share in its core U.S. division. Profit in that segment is on track to drop in 2017 as the company ramps up spending on growth prospects such as electric and self-driving vehicles. The company recently announced plans to reduce its workforce to make room for that investment surge. However, this week's leadership reboot suggests the board of directors didn't think the move went far enough.
Booz Allen issues an aggressive outlook
Consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton rose 7% after posting surprisingly strong fiscal fourth-quarter results. Revenue rose 11% to $1.58 billion to edge past consensus estimates that were targeting $1.57 billion. A 24% spike in operating income, meanwhile, helped push adjusted earnings up to $0.45 per share, which was better than the $0.43 per share Wall Street was expecting.
In a press release, management cited strong demand for its services recently, including a 15% boost in its backlog. Booz Allen this quarter enjoyed its highest ratio of billed contracts yet.
"The great fiscal year 2017 results we report today," CEO Horacio Rozenski said in a press release, "demonstrate success that has been built by the people of Booz Allen over the past several years." Executives are "proud of our position as the government services industry's organic revenue growth leader and our long record of success in delivering value to investors," Rozenski continued .
Booz Allen issued a bullish outlook for the coming fiscal year that sees revenue climbing by between 4% and 7% to as much as $6.21 billion, as earnings improve to between $1.79 per share and $1.89 per share. Wall Street had been expecting slightly higher earnings but a significantly weaker sales bounce to $6.02 billion.