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Why J.C. Penney, Apogee Enterprises, and L Brands Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Apr 12, 2018 at 4:54PM

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Find out why these companies missed the rally.

Thursday was a good day on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of nearly 300 points. Market participants took comfort from the fact that trade tensions between the U.S. and China appear to be easing, with reports suggesting that the White House might even consider seeking to rejoin talks to form a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Yet even though investors were generally upbeat, a few companies didn't manage to share in the overall market's success. J.C. Penney (JCPN.Q), Apogee Enterprises (APOG -1.59%), and L Brands (BBWI -3.39%) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly.

J.C. Penney falls on retail woes

Shares of J.C. Penney dropped almost 9% on a bad day for the retail industry on the whole. The department-store retailer isn't exactly in the same category as home products specialist Bed Bath & Beyond, which suffered huge declines after reporting drops in comparable sales and a poor outlook for the coming year. But the two companies face many of the same challenges, including an overall lack of mall traffic and growing competition from e-commerce retailers. Without any obvious solution to changing shopping trends, J.C. Penney could end up following its brick-and-mortar peer in the months ahead.

Outside J.C. Penney storefront without people.

Image source: J.C. Penney.

Apogee's disappointing outlook

Apogee Enterprises stock fell 9% after the company reported its fiscal-fourth quarter financial results. The company closed the fiscal year on a record note, posting double-digit percentage growth in sales and profits for the quarter. Investors weren't as comfortable with the architectural glass specialist's outlook for the coming year, however, which included slowing top-line growth projections and expectations for earnings that were weaker than the consensus forecast among those following the stock. With some worried that a cyclical downturn in construction could be around the corner, Apogee will need to keep its revenue growth from slowing further in the year to come.

L Brands turns pink

Finally, L Brands finished lower by nearly 5%. The retailer behind the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works storefronts reported its March sales figures, which included net sales gains of 7% on a 4% rise in comparable sales for the period. That sounds good, but the problem was that same-store sales for the PINK concept fell for the first time in the company's history. That signaled potential trouble ahead, and with bad news already circulating across the mall-based retailer sector today, investors aren't happy about any hint of further challenges for a retailer like L Brands right now.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apogee Enterprises. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Bath & Body Works, Inc. Stock Quote
Bath & Body Works, Inc.
$34.18 (-3.39%) $-1.20
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Stock Quote
J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
Apogee Enterprises, Inc. Stock Quote
Apogee Enterprises, Inc.
$38.55 (-1.59%) $0.62

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