The stock market finished modestly lower on Thursday, as investors seemed to have only a minimal reaction to the abrupt end of discussions between the U.S. and North Korea concerning nuclear weapons programs and economic sanctions. Most major indexes were down around 0.3%, but there were plenty of companies that saw their share prices rise due to company-specific news. In particular, favorable financial results were a key catalyst for some stocks as earnings season starts to wind down. Monster Beverage (MNST -1.43%), Horizon Pharma (HZNP 0.06%), and Guardant Health (GH -0.99%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Monster feels energized
Shares of Monster Beverage picked up nearly 9% after the energy drink specialist reported its fourth-quarter financial results. Monster said that sales climbed 14%, helping to boost net income by 19% from year-earlier levels. The drink specialist said that international sales growth picked up from its pace in past quarters, and CEO Rodney Sacks pointed to continued opportunities for successful expansion in 2019. With new product launches planned as well as moves into new geographical areas, Monster has shareholders excited about the near-term future of the company.
Horizon gets a win
Horizon Pharma's stock price soared 33% after the pharmaceutical company reported favorable results in a clinical trial. In its phase 3 confirmatory trial of its active thyroid eye disease treatment teprotumumab, Horizon said that the drug reached the primary endpoint of meaningful improvement in bulging of the eye. As Horizon CEO Tim Walbert described it, "This is a key milestone as we evolve into a research-focused company developing innovative new medicines to address challenging diseases with very few effective options." If the treatment can gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval quickly, it could serve to reignite Horizon's revenue growth at a key time for the company.
Guardant passes the test
Finally, shares of Guardant Health rose 20%. The company announced study results that showed that its Guardant360 assay for identifying biomarkers in first-line advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients was successful in roughly matching the performance of standard tissue testing techniques, while offering a faster turnaround time. The advantage of Guardant360 is that it can test blood rather than requiring invasive tissue sampling. If Guardant can use these results to demonstrate the superiority of blood-testing methods over more invasive alternatives, it could bolster its long-term business prospects considerably.