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Why General Electric, Advance Auto Parts, and Vodafone Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Nov 13, 2018 at 4:31PM

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Selling off a stake in a subsidiary helped one of these stocks bounce back.

The stock market went through some big swings on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up as much as 75 points and down as much as 200 before settling for a roughly 100-point decline. Major benchmarks initially bounced back from Monday's lows on hopes that the trade environment globally would improve, but stocks in the industrial manufacturing sector held the overall market back despite fairly good performance from technology stocks. Some companies saw particularly positive news lift their shares, and General Electric (GE -1.45%), Advance Auto Parts (AAP -0.18%), and Vodafone (VOD -2.27%) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

GE moves forward

Shares of General Electric climbed 8% after the industrial conglomerate announced that it would sell a portion of its stake in oil services company Baker Hughes (BKR 0.48%) more quickly than previously anticipated. Originally, GE had committed to keeping its stake in Baker Hughes until mid-2019 under a lock-up agreement, but the two companies agreed to change those provisions. GE now expects to sell 101 million Baker Hughes shares in a secondary offering, with Baker Hughes also agreeing to repurchase 65 million shares from GE directly. The moves should raise about $4 billion in cash for General Electric, addressing bond-market concerns about the conglomerate's level of liquidity while still keeping majority control of the oil services company.

Worker overseeing rig operation at sea.

Image source: Baker Hughes.

Advance makes a U-turn

Advance Auto Parts stock drove 10.5% higher in the wake of promising third-quarter results. The auto parts specialist saw comparable-store sales growth of 4.6%, its best showing in eight years, and adjusted earnings jumped by nearly a third on a per-share basis. CEO Tom Greco was happy with the progress that the company has made on its turnaround plan, and he announced boosts to full-year guidance for sales, comps, and free cash flow. Through a combination of stock repurchases, internal initiatives, and competitive drive, Advance Auto Parts has earned back investors' confidence in a big way.

Vodafone makes the call

Finally, shares of Vodafone picked up 8%. The British telecom giant reported its financial results for the first half of its fiscal year, which included a rise in adjusted earnings and planned dividends that are essentially unchanged from year-earlier payouts. Instead of returning more capital to shareholders, Vodafone will concentrate on cutting costs, with the goal of using proceeds to reduce debt that has crept up to uncomfortable levels recently. Moreover, even if dividends don't rise, the current payout implies a yield of almost 9% -- well above what most telecoms pay currently.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

General Electric Stock Quote
General Electric
$66.46 (-1.45%) $0.98
Vodafone Stock Quote
$11.43 (-2.27%) $0.27
Advance Auto Parts Stock Quote
Advance Auto Parts
$167.34 (-0.18%) $0.30
Baker Hughes Company Stock Quote
Baker Hughes Company
$23.82 (0.48%) $0.12

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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