Friday was a good day on Wall Street, as positive news on the domestic political front spurred market participants to send stock benchmarks to substantial gains. Earnings season has reached its peak, but overall, investors have been a lot more comfortable with the idea that sustained economic growth could last further into 2019 than they were during the stock market's swoon in December. Nevertheless, not every company was able to find success during a tough period. Newell Brands (NASDAQ:NWL), TrueCar (NASDAQ:TRUE), and XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.
Newell's results leave shareholders throwing a tantrum
Shares of Newell Brands dropped 21% after the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results. The maker of products including Graco baby strollers, Rubbermaid kitchenware, and Sharpie pens said that revenue fell 6% in the fourth quarter compared to the year-earlier period, and modest gains in earnings didn't match up to what investors had hoped to see. Poor results were found throughout the business, with the learning and development, food and appliances, and home and outdoor living segments all seeing top-line declines. Moreover, Newell warned that sales challenges would likely persist throughout 2019. CEO Michael Polk is optimistic that the company can complete its transformation plan this year, but that forces shareholders to continue being patient for another year.
TrueCar runs off the road
TrueCar saw its stock plunge 25% following the release of its fourth-quarter financial report. The online car-shopping service saw sales climb 10% from year-ago levels, but TrueCar still posted a modest loss for the period, and adjusted earnings weren't as strong as those following the stock had expected. Unique visitor counts to its website were down from year-earlier marks, and CEO Chip Perry pointed to troubles with TrueCar's operations in explaining both the downbeat results and the restrained projections the company made for 2019. Until it can demonstrate its ability to get back in gear, TrueCar might have trouble regaining investor confidence.
XPO can't go the extra mile
Finally, shares of XPO Logistics fell nearly 13%. The transportation and logistics company said that sales growth slowed to just 5% during the fourth quarter of 2018, falling from double-digit percentage levels in the previous quarter. XPO noted that challenges in key parts of Europe weighed on its results, but the logistics company also suffered from weaker profitability due to strategic decisions from its largest customer, which is widely believed to be highly dependent on e-commerce-related deliveries. CEO Brad Jacobs warned that those obstacles could remain in place well into 2019, and that has some shareholders looking at whether it makes sense to bank on a near-term recovery for XPO.