Wednesday was another positive day on Wall Street, with major benchmarks finishing higher for the second session in a row. Market participants focused largely on a flood of earnings reports as well as signs that the U.S. economy remains on a solid footing, and some traders also noted that after the extensive pullback over the past several weeks, stocks were overdue for a bounce. Some companies had particularly good news that lifted their shares far higher than the overall market. Sprint (NYSE:S), Yum China Holdings (NYSE:YUMC), and Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Sprint runs ahead

Shares of Sprint climbed 8% after the company announced its fiscal second-quarter financial results. The mobile carrier reported gains of 6% in revenue, which allowed the company to post net income of $196 million and reverse a year-earlier loss. Sprint reported net additions of 95,000 retail customers, with postpaid figures rising for the fifth quarter in a row, and it said that network improvement has helped it catch up with some of its competitors. Investors continue to look at the likelihood of the company's merger with T-Mobile US as a key component of their thesis on the stock, and with solid performance, Sprint raised the odds that the deal will eventually go through.

Laptop with Sprint logo on it, in front of a window showing green shrubbery.

Image source: Sprint.

Hungry investors say, "Yum!"

Yum China Holdings stock soared 14% in the wake of the fast-food company's third-quarter report. The operator of KFC and Pizza Hut locations in China said that sales grew 4% from year-earlier levels, and although same-store sales were down 1% systemwide due largely to weakness at Pizza Hut, net income climbed by 15%. Even more exciting for investors was Yum China's decision to pay a 20% higher dividend than in previous quarters, and the company also boosted its authorization to buy back stock. Concerns about trade relations between the U.S. and China have hung over China-centered companies like Yum China, but the popularity of the its food offerings appears to remain intact.

Universal looks for positive trends

Finally, shares of Universal Display rose 14%. The maker of organic light-emitting diode displays doesn't report its earnings results until tomorrow, but positive comments from major electronics manufacturer Samsung pointed to strong demand for OLED panels and technology in consumer products. Universal Display has been a pioneer in the manufacture of OLED products, and it stands to benefit from greater marketplace demand for the technology. Just because more OLEDs get used doesn't automatically mean more business for Universal Display, but the company will have a natural competitive advantage over those suppliers that have less experience in the industry niche.

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