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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly – Sep 7, 2018 at 5:06PM

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Stocks closed the week with losses on tariff concerns, while Okta reported huge growth and Mattel announced a new film division.

Stocks were up and down during the day, but ended the week with losses on worries about new tariffs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.60%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.17%) both lost ground.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.31%) (79.33)
S&P 500 (0.22%) (6.37)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Homebuilding stocks had a challenging day, with the iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB -0.32%) falling 1.8%. The retail sector was a rare bright spot; the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 0.33%) gained 0.3%. 

As for individual stocks, Okta (OKTA 1.31%) surprised observers with huge customer growth and Mattel (MAT 3.99%) announced it is creating a theatrical film division.

Collage of falling stock graphs.

Image source: Getty Images.

Customers are flocking to Okta

Identity software specialist Okta reported blistering growth in its second quarter that exceeded already high expectations, and shares soared 19.5%. Revenue grew 57% to $94.6 million, compared with the 41% growth analysts were expecting and above the guidance of 39% to 41% the company gave three months ago. Non-GAAP net loss per share of $0.15 was better than the $0.19-per-share loss Wall Street was expecting.

Subscription revenue grew 59%, driven by record customer growth. Growth in customers who are generating more than $100,000 in annual recurring revenue accelerated to 55% year over year, including the addition of enterprise customers such as City of Phoenix, First National Bank of Omaha, and the State of Georgia. Okta now has 5,150 customers, an increase of 10% from the quarter before. Although the company operates at a loss, operating cash flow margin improved 4.8 percentage points to a negative 5.6% of revenue.

Little-known Okta is capitalizing on the need for identity solutions as companies move to cloud-based systems. "Every organization must not only adopt and build best-in-class technology to survive and thrive in today's rapidly changing world -- organizations also need to maintain the highest levels of security, as every person is a potential target," said CEO Todd McKinnon. "The traditional corporate firewall no longer exists, and users are now the final control point for both IT and security teams."

Barbie goes to Hollywood

Mattel announced it is creating Mattel Films, a division that will be focused on developing and producing motion pictures based on its brands and characters. The company has hired producer Robbie Brenner to lead Mattel Films as executive producer, reporting to CEO Ynon Kreiz. Brenner produced the Oscar-nominated film Dallas Buyers Club and has overseen the production of dozens of movies.

"Mattel is home to one of the world's greatest portfolios of beloved franchises, and the creation of Mattel Films will allow us to unlock significant value across our IP," said Kreiz in the press release. "Robbie is a gifted storyteller and a highly respected filmmaker with deep relationships in entertainment. She is the perfect leader to bring our celebrated brands to life."

The owner of Barbie, Hot Wheels, and American Girls brands is following the lead of recent successes in turning toys into movies, such as The Lego Movie and rival Hasbro's Transformer movie series. The company has reportedly been working on a Barbie movie for years, but that has yet to make it out of the studio.

Mattel has been hurt by the collapse of Toys R Us, is losing market share to Hasbro, and recently turned in yet another a painful quarter. After reportedly rebuffing a merger attempt from Hasbro, its strategy is now to increase the value of its brands, and it also recently created a franchise management group to find new ways to extend the company's brand to new commercial opportunities.

Investors, who bid up shares 2.3% today, will be assessing whether these latest steps will be enough to allow Mattel keep up with its chief rival, which is already showing signs of recovering from a challenging retail environment.

Jim Crumly owns shares of HAS and Okta. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends HAS and Okta. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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