Friday was mixed on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite eking out minor gains even as most other major benchmarks finished down modestly. Market participants seemed largely content to see how things played out on the geopolitical front between the U.S. and North Korea, and key reversals in other financial markets helped send 10-year Treasury rates back below 3% and also resulted in a substantial drop in crude oil prices. Despite generally quiet conditions, bad news sent shares of certain companies lower. Accuray (ARAY -2.04%), Cincinnati Bell (CBB), and Chesapeake Energy (CHKA.Q) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly.
Accuray misses the cut
Shares of Accuray dropped 11%, continuing a downtrend that has persisted throughout much of 2018. Many investors have been excited about the prospects for robotic surgery generally, and products like the Accuray Cyberknife promise to capture their fair share of interest in a highly competitive industry environment. Yet some investors have been nervous about Accuray's financial results, which included a wider loss than many had expected in its fiscal third-quarter report earlier this month. The company will keep needing to make strategic investments to bolster its long-term growth, but the corresponding downward pull on immediate profitability could keep a lid on share-price gains until accelerating sales gains become evident.
Analysts hang up on Cincinnati Bell
Cincinnati Bell stock plunged 21% after the regional telecom got negative reviews from analysts. Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock from equal weight to underweight, reducing its price target for the stock from $16 to $14 per share. The analyst company sees Cincinnati Bell as having made smart strategic decisions in emphasizing the need to build out an improved fiber network rather than relying on legacy businesses like wireline services, but Cincinnati Bell's acquisition of Hawaiian Telcom is having a negative impact on the overall company's prospects. Unless it can be more successful in all of its markets, Cincinnati Bell could see further challenges ahead.
Chesapeake deals with an energy reversal
Finally, shares of Chesapeake Energy sank 5.5%. The energy company was a victim of poor conditions throughout the crude oil markets, with prices sinking $3 per barrel to finish below $68 per barrel. Chesapeake has done quite well recently, seeing its shares soar by 50% since the beginning of the month before today's decline. Even with oil prices becoming more volatile, it's a positive sign that Chesapeake is starting to use more discipline in making decisions about capital investment in new wells, but it would clearly be beneficial for shareholders if crude can climb back above $70 and maximize Chesapeake's profit potential in the near term.