Tuesday was a good day for the stock market, with major benchmarks all moving higher. Nearly all of the attention among investors remained squarely on today's midterm elections, and absent any clear indication of what the outcome will be, market participants seemed to be pleased that putting the long-awaited event behind them would allow greater certainty about the future regardless of its direction. Meanwhile, earnings season continued, and some stocks saw solid gains on good news. Mylan ( MYL ), Mosaic ( MOS 0.19% ), and Martin Marietta Materials ( MLM -0.45% ) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Mylan gives a healthy report
Shares of Mylan soared 16% after the pharmaceutical maker reported its third-quarter financial results. Weak pricing on generic drug sales in the U.S. market sent Mylan's revenue down 4% compared to the previous year's third quarter, but adjusted net income jumped 10%, which was stronger than most had expected. CEO Heather Bresch touted Mylan's launch of nearly 475 new products, with particularly extensive exposure to the generics and biosimilar markets. With plans to get its balance sheet in order by paying down debt, Mylan looks to be preparing itself for whatever changing conditions might come in the pharmaceutical industry.
Mosaic keeps growing
Mosaic stock climbed nearly 11% in the wake of the fertilizer manufacturer's release of its third-quarter financial report. Sales jumped nearly 50% thanks largely to Mosaic's acquisition of the Vale Fertilizantes unit of Vale, but higher prices for potash and other key fertilizers also helped to boost top-line results. CEO Joc O'Rourke pointed to strong fundamental performance and building momentum in boosting the company's guidance for the full year, with new calls for the fertilizer company to bring in adjusted earnings of $1.80 to $2 per share, up $0.20 to $0.35 per share from its previous projection. Plans to pay down long-term debt also pointed to Mosaic's relative health, and investors are optimistic about the industry's future.
Martin Marietta builds its profits
Finally, shares of Martin Marietta Materials finished higher by 8%. The producer of aggregates and building materials said that revenue rose 12% during the third quarter of 2018 compared to the year-earlier period, helping to send net income up 19%. The results highlighted the health of the construction industry, and CEO Ward Nye pointed to rising shipments of aggregates, cement, and ready-mixed concrete, as well as greater pricing power, in driving strong results. Even with the negative impact of Hurricane Florence late in the period, Martin Marietta sees the construction cycle remaining strong, and that should produce even better opportunities for the aggregates specialist in the months and years to come.