The stock market had a tumultuous session on Wednesday, as major benchmarks started the day weak but bounced back in the afternoon. Investors weren't happy with the current state of geopolitical uncertainty, with trade disputes threatening to become larger problems than ever. But the release of the minutes of the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee convinced many that the central bank will be slow to do lasting damage to the economic expansion, remaining measured in the pace of its interest rate increases. Moreover, some companies had good news that sent their shares higher. Tiffany (TIF), BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust (BPT -5.44%), and Ralph Lauren (RL -1.48%) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Tiffany bounces back
Shares of Tiffany soared 23% after the high-end jewelry retailer reported fiscal first-quarter financial results. The jeweler said that revenue jumped 15% on a 10% gain in comparable sales, with a combination of strong fundamental performance and favorable currency impacts helping to boost the company's top line. Net earnings soared by more than half from year-ago levels. CEO Alessandro Bogliolo attributed the strong performance to its list of strategic priorities, which involves using its well-known brand to take leadership in a competitive market and create an omnichannel experience combining both attractive in-store experiences and efficient sales channels using technology. Guidance for the remainder of the year was solid, and many see Tiffany's having more room for gains ahead.
BP Prudhoe Bay stays volatile
BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust stock gained 8%, bouncing back from losses yesterday as oil prices stabilized in the $71- to $72-per-barrel range. The energy royalty trust has benefited greatly from the rise in crude oil, seeing its shares jump by half since late February. Higher prices help the trust not only by bringing more profits from existing production sales but also by making it economically viable for the trust's assets to produce over a longer lifespan. Yet with a finite existence, investors need to be careful before putting too much weight on recent dividend distributions that misleadingly imply an 18% dividend yield.
Ralph Lauren gives investors a nice surprise
Finally, shares of Ralph Lauren finished higher by 14%. The premium retailer overcame a 2% revenue drop in its fiscal fourth quarter to produce unexpectedly large earnings growth, with its adjusted bottom line managing to rise slightly from year-earlier levels. CEO Patrice Louvet pointed to key strategic successes in boosting the value of the Ralph Lauren brand, offering customers a premium shopping and product experience, expanding its presence both in e-commerce and in international markets, and improving internal business productivity. Despite expectations that fiscal 2019 revenue will fall slightly from 2018 levels, investors were pleased at the way Ralph Lauren has moved in a more favorable direction after a long slump.