Every once in a while, a single news event dominates investors' attention, and that was definitely the case on Friday. With the giant of internet retail buying a struggling organic and natural foods grocer, many market participants focused solely on the impact the deal would have on the grocery industry and on retailers more broadly. Yet the rest of the market was relatively quiet, with major benchmarks finishing the day mixed. News from individual companies overshadowed any broader-based macroeconomic or geopolitical issues. Some stocks managed to gain significant ground, and Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR), Impinj (NASDAQ:PI), and Sanchez Energy (NYSE:SN) 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.
Finisar climbs on solid earnings, iPhone hopes
Shares of Finisar rose 8% after the maker of optical subsystems and components reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results late Thursday. Finisar reported record sales for the full fiscal year, rising 15% from the previous year's total, and adjusted net income more than doubled from year-ago levels. A favorable outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 also boosted investors' mood, but their real hope is that the company will earn a place in helping to add 3D-sensing capability to the next generation of the iconic iPhone smartphone. CEO Jerry Rawls was optimistic about Finisar's ability to meet demand for key components, and although he stopped short of identifying his potential customers, shareholders weren't afraid to connect the dots on their own. A design win of this magnitude could bring even more gains to Finisar stock in the long run.
Impinj jumps on follow-on hopes
Impinj stock soared 19% as investors focused on the potential prospects for the maker of RFID technology to enter into a partnership with the leading company in internet retail. Impinj's RFID chips make it easier for customers to track individual items, and many believe that its products could end up playing a key role in the evolution of the Internet of Things. Moreover, retailers can use RFIDs to reduce theft and manage their inventory more effectively. With plans to ship 8 billion chips in 2017 alone, Impinj has gotten enough economies of scale to make the technology affordable for a wide range of customers in different industries. If Impinj can break into the e-commerce world more effectively, it could lead to even faster growth for the company.
Sanchez makes a sale
Finally, shares of Sanchez Energy gained 13%. The oil and gas exploration and production company announced that it had sold a non-core asset in the lucrative Eagle Ford shale play to Lonestar Resources. In exchange, Sanchez will receive $50 million in cash, as well as preferred stock in Lonestar that would allow Sanchez to convert at a later date to 1.5 million shares of common stock. Sanchez hasn't invested much of its capital in the asset, which is located in the eastern portion of the Eagle Ford region. The company believes that by selling off this property, it will be better able to focus on its more extensive assets in the western part of the Eagle Ford. Investors agreed, and even with oil prices remaining fairly weak, many see future potential from Sanchez Energy.