Wall Street went through another choppy day of trading on Thursday, with major benchmarks seeing broad swings that signaled just how little confidence some market participants have about the immediate future prospects for stocks overall. Mixed messages on the interest-rate front from the Fed and the bond market are confusing some traders, and as earnings season starts to draw to a close, investors will focus more on macroeconomic and geopolitical factors that have the capacity to cause surprises in either direction. Yet some companies left no question that they have run into difficult conditions. Boston Beer (SAM -3.72%), Wayfair (W -9.57%), and Snap (SNAP -5.95%) 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.
Boston Beer foams over
Shares of Boston Beer fell nearly 14% after the maker of Sam Adams reported lackluster fourth-quarter financial results. Revenue fell 6% on an even larger drop in shipment volume, and a rise in net income came solely from the one-time positive impact of new tax reform laws. Some but not all of the decline stemmed from a shorter 13-week quarter in 2017 compared to the 14 weeks in the same period in 2016, but founder Jim Koch said that he's still "seeing challenges across the industry, including a general softening of the craft beer and hard cider categories, more and more start-up brewers opening their doors, and retail shelves that offer an increasing number of options to drinkers." Finally, shareholders seem to be paying attention to a slowdown at Boston Beer that's actually been going on for some time.
Wayfair deals with rising competition
Wayfair stock plunged 23% in the wake of the company's earnings release. The home furnishings e-commerce specialist once again saw huge sales gains, with revenue climbing 46% and management pegging future growth rates above 40% as well. Yet a decline in gross margin caused wider losses and led some to be concerned about whether other home furnishings companies might look to disrupt Wayfair's first-mover advantage. Some e-commerce companies seem to be able to go for years without signs of profit growth and see no downward impact on their share price, but Wayfair didn't have that magic today.
Snap gets panned by a celebrity
Finally, shares of Snap fell 6%. The company behind the Snapchat social media service saw its stock drop after a tweet from well-known Snapchat user Kylie Jenner said that the celebrity no longer opened Snapchat anymore. Some saw the comments as the latest sign of discontent about recent changes to the service, which include a redesigned app that requires more effort to drill down on desired content. With competition among social media offerings getting fiercer, Snap can ill afford more controversy if it wants to avoid further alienating its users.