The U.S. stock market's major benchmark indexes sank on Friday as concerns about the post-midterms political situation weighed on investor sentiment. New controversies regarding the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a toll, as did the prospect of House Democrats pursuing investigations into President Trump's campaign and administration once they take power in January.
Yet despite those headwinds out of Washington, some stock prices headed higher on company-specific upbeat news. Hertz Global Holdings (HTZG.Q), Revlon (REV -4.54%), and Finisar (FNSR) were among the best performers; below, we'll look more closely at these companies to tell you why their shares did so well.
Hertz drives ahead
Hertz Global Holdings climbed 18% after its third-quarter financial report proved more positive than many had expected. Overall revenues for the rental-car giant climbed 7%, largely due to a 10% jump in rental car revenue. Hertz also boosted its bottom line by more than half from year-ago levels. CEO Kathryn Marinello pointed to the success of the company's operational turnaround, which helped it to target "a higher-quality revenue mix while making investment in our operations, brands, and technologies" in pursuit of long-term growth. By minimizing depreciation of its vehicle fleet while still offering popular models to renters, Hertz hopes to stay ahead of competitors in terms of offering a superior customer experience.
Revlon tries to look prettier
Revlon's share price soared 32%, apparently on news of its plans to make some strategic changes. The cosmetics company's third-quarter results were mixed: It experienced a 1% drop in net sales, but delivered a modest adjusted profit, reversing the loss of a year earlier. Solid profit gains from its Revlon and Elizabeth Arden brands supported the overall performance, but investors seemed to react most enthusiastically to Revlon's plans to optimize its global supply chain, make the most of opportunities to improve internal execution, and streamline its business to cut overhead costs. Management asserted that the maneuvers have the potential to unlock $125 million to $150 million in annual expenses by the end of 2019, and Revlon investors clearly hope that much of those savings will fall down to the bottom line, and also help it compete better against its powerful rivals.
Finisar gets an offer it can't refuse
Finally, Finisar shares jumped 16%. The facial recognition sensor manufacturer received a $3.2 billion takeover bid from laser maker II-VI (COHR -0.71%). The union would create what the two companies hope will be a complementary leader in photonics and compound semiconductors. Under the terms of the deal, Finisar investors will get $15.60 in cash plus 0.2218 shares of II-VI for every Finisar share they own, totaling up to $26 per share based on Thursday's closing price of II-VI stock. As with many acquisitions involving stock, shares of the purchaser declined after the announcement, but Finisar investors still seem pleased about what they'll get in the deal.