The stock market performed well on Wednesday, as the S&P 500 rose to a record high and other major benchmarks also posted solid gains of between a third and a half of a percent. The Federal Reserve captured most of the attention of investors today, with the release of its latest policy committee minutes suggesting how it intends to reduce the size of its balance sheet over time. Most market participants seemed pleased with the idea that artificial support of the economy was no longer needed, and that helped set a positive tone on Wall Street. Yet some companies had bad news to report, and Dycom Industries (DY -0.33%), Chico's FAS (CHS), and Bristow Group (BRS) were among the worst performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so poorly.
Dycom deals with disappointment
Shares of Dycom Industries dropped 18% even though it reported solid fiscal third-quarter financial results. The telecommunications infrastructure specialist said that its revenue climbed 18% from year-ago levels, resulting in a 20% jump in adjusted earnings. Yet some investors weren't pleased that the pace of the company's organic growth slowed to its worst level in nearly two years, and forecasts for the coming quarter were substantially lower than those following the stock had expected to see. Given expected demand for telecom infrastructure services as major network carriers work on rolling out updated wireless networks, Dycom's fundamental business seems sound, and if that's the case, then today's decline might eventually prove to be a head-fake for long-term investors in the company.
Chico's hits a multiyear low
Chico's stock finished the day down 11% after the women's clothing and accessories retailer released its first-quarter earnings report. Sales fell more than 9% on an 8.7% drop in comparable sales, with widespread weakness throughout its operations. Chico's is hardly the only retailer that's facing difficult conditions right now, but the extent to which the company is seeing its business deteriorate has sent the stock to its worst levels in nearly seven years. With the company expecting mid-single-digit percentage declines in comps for the entire 2017 fiscal year, Chico's investors will have to get used to sluggish conditions for the foreseeable future.
Bristow has a hard landing
Finally, shares Bristow Group plunged more than 35%. The helicopter services specialist suffered a more dramatic loss than expected as sales fell 14% from year-ago levels, and Bristow projected that conditions in fiscal 2018 are unlikely to improve markedly from the current slump. The main problem is that Bristow relies on extensive levels of activity in the offshore drilling industry, and with crude oil prices remaining at relatively low levels, oil and natural gas exploration and production companies simply aren't doing as much high-cost exploratory activity in the offshore realm. Until the energy industry bounces back more extensively, it'll be hard for Bristow to regain even a portion of the nearly 90% it has lost since mid-2014.