Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Why Helen of Troy, PG&E, and Lindsay Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger - Updated Apr 15, 2019 at 5:12PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Tariffs, market headwinds, and fears of liability were among the factors that sapped the strength from these stocks.

Wall Street kept up its positive momentum on Tuesday, building on the gains from the last couple of trading sessions. The upward moves of major benchmark indexes seemed largely tied to optimism about the possibility of favorable resolutions for Washington's trade disputes, as well as signs that economic policymakers are less likely to make moves that could push the U.S. economy into recession. Yet amid the generally upbeat sentiment, some companies were faced with more individual headwinds. Helen of Troy ( HELE 0.97% ), PG&E ( PCG 1.53% ), and Lindsay ( LNN 0.99% ) were among the market's worst performers -- here's why each fared so poorly.

Helen of Troy deals with tariff blemishes

Check out the latest Helen of Troy earnings call transcript.

Shares of Helen of Troy fell 13% after the seller of beauty products and other home and health consumer goods reported its fiscal third-quarter results. Sales rose a modest 2.4% from year-ago levels, but adjusted earnings were down slightly. CEO Julien Mininberg pointed to currency headwinds and a slowdown in Chinese e-commerce activity as partial causes of the mixed results, and said the need to raise prices due to tariffs could hurt the company's short-term shipment volumes. Even though Helen of Troy boosted earnings guidance for the full fiscal year, a cut to the upper end of its expected sales range was enough to worry shareholders.

A water purifier system and three fans against a white backdrop.

Image source: Helen of Troy.

PG&E gets its bond rating cut

Check out the latest PG&E earnings call transcript.

Utility PG&E's stock lost another 10% today, adding to a series of recent declines. Beyond the concerns the company has faced about its potential liability due to its equipment sparking major wildfires in California, PG&E also took a dramatic hit to its financial strength when Standard & Poor's cut its bond rating from BBB- to B. That move caused PG&E to lose its investment-grade status, potentially sending its future borrowing costs soaring, and putting further pressure on the ailing utility. All that, combined with the surprise announcement that key executive Patrick Hogan -- senior vice president of electric operations -- was retiring, left many investors nervous about what the future might hold for PG&E -- such as a possible bankruptcy filing.

Lindsay falls following earnings

Check out the latest Lindsay earnings call transcript.

Finally, shares of Lindsay finished the day lower by 10%. The irrigation and infrastructure specialist said that revenue fell 10% in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019, due largely to its strategic decision to sell off some non-core businesses recently. Charges related to the company's latest growth initiative hit the bottom line hard, causing earnings to drop by more than half from year-ago levels. However, after adjusting for those extraordinary charges, adjusted net income was higher by nearly 30%. Nevertheless, investors seemed to focus on CEO Tim Hassinger's more negative comments, such as his assertion that "market headwinds in North America constrained demand for irrigation equipment." Lindsay will need to work to restore its prior backlog levels and boost its business if it expects to see its share price regain the ground it has lost.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Lindsay Corporation Stock Quote
Lindsay Corporation
LNN
$153.37 (0.99%) $1.51
PG&E Corporation Stock Quote
PG&E Corporation
PCG
$12.63 (1.53%) $0.19
Helen of Troy Limited Stock Quote
Helen of Troy Limited
HELE
$254.45 (0.97%) $2.45

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

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
652%
 
S&P 500 Returns
142%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/08/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.