The stock market lost ground on Wednesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by triple digits. The latest readings on regional economic outlooks across the U.S. came out today, and the results showed a mixed picture of sluggish growth, with a couple of key areas of the country facing challenges. A rising trade deficit also reawakened fears about trade relations. Yet many stocks managed to post advances, and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Zayo Group Holdings (ZAYO), and AeroVironment (AVAV 0.69%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Abercrombie is back in fashion
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch soared more than 20% after the teen and young-adult apparel retailer reported its fourth-quarter financial results. A&F said that revenue was down 3% from year-ago levels, but comparable-sales growth came in at 3%, with gains at the company's Hollister chain outweighing slight declines for its namesake stores, and calendar effects and foreign-currency impacts were largely responsible for the top-line hit. Earnings were better than expected as well, and Abercrombie projects that full-year 2019 sales will rise 2% to 4% on continued solid performance in comparable sales. The gains returned A&F stock to its best level since 2016, but the company still has further to go to reach its full potential.
Zayo looks to make a connection
Zayo Group Holdings saw its stock jump nearly 13% after the communications infrastructure company said that it is looking at strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The move, which typically foreshadows an outright sale or the divestiture of a key business unit, came amid pressure from activist shareholders in the company, and CEO Dan Caruso said that he believes Zayo will continue to expand its fiber infrastructure reach "whether public or private." With Zayo already having looked at moves to break its business into multiple pieces, it'll be interesting to see which route the company takes going forward.
Check out the latest earnings call transcript for Abercrombie & Fitch, Zayo, and AeroVironment.
AeroVironment flies higher
Finally, shares of AeroVironment gained over 9%. The maker of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) said that revenue in its fiscal third quarter soared 38%, with a solid profit reversing a loss in the year-earlier period. Order backlog remained strong, and the drone maker boosted its earnings forecast for the full 2019 fiscal year. For a long time, AeroVironment hasn't focused as much on the UAV market as many would've liked, but CEO Wahid Nawabi has high hopes that the future will keep getting brighter for the drone specialist.