The stock market ended the week on a quiet note, with major benchmarks finishing fairly close to where they started the day. Economic data got a lot of attention, with solid levels of U.S. economic growth pointing to sustained business activity. Earnings season also continued to bring good news from several corners of the market, with investors taking particular notice of the e-commerce industry. Market participants took heart from positive news from several individual companies. SVB Financial Group (SIVB -3.65%), Exact Sciences (EXAS -3.21%), and Sprint (S) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
SVB has a blowout quarter
Shares of SVB Financial Group soared 19% after the Santa Clara-based regional bank reported its first-quarter financial results. Earnings nearly doubled compared to the year-ago period, and the bank reported loan growth of 20% on a 12% rise in deposits. SVB is a diversified financial company that also has a money management division, and that area also generated substantial profits and growth in assets under management. Between lower taxes, higher interest rates, and solid loan quality, SVB is firing on all cylinders, and the bank boosted its 2018 outlook with several ideas for how it can continue to grow.
Cologuard lifts Exact Sciences
Exact Sciences stock climbed almost 12% in the wake of the company's first-quarter financial report. The maker of the Cologuard colon cancer screening test said that sales climbed 87% from year-ago levels, with similar-sized increases in the volume of tests administered during the period. About 186,000 patients used Cologuard during the period, with 9,000 new prescribing medical professionals joining the ranks of those who've issued prescriptions of the cancer screening test in the past. Even with the big gains, Exact Sciences is still losing money, but those losses were narrower than many had expected. The question ahead is when the company can turn sales into profits, but for now, investors are optimistic about its prospects.
Hope springs eternal for Sprint merger
Finally, shares of Sprint rose 8%. New reports suggested that the company might be coming up with final terms under which it will merge with rival T-Mobile US (TMUS -2.62%). Speculation over combining the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers in the U.S. market has swirled for quite a while now, but those watching the potential deal closely believe that a final announcement could be made as early as next week. Given that the stock has already risen in anticipation of a deal getting done, anything other than a merger announcement with favorable terms in the near future could force Sprint to give up its recent gains.