Wednesday was another positive day on Wall Street, as market participants reacted favorably to signs that business investment remains strong. Major benchmarks were generally up between 0.6% and 0.7%, and other parts of the financial market also did well, with oil prices climbing 3% to around $58.50 per barrel and gold picking up 1% to $1,311 per ounce. Several individual stocks enjoyed even larger gains, with company-specific news bolstering their prospects. Oaktree Capital Group (OAK), Guardant Health (GH -3.18%), and Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE -1.11%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Oaktree joins forces with a rival
Investors in Oaktree Capital Group enjoyed a gain of more than 12% in the value of their investment after the asset management company announced that industry peer Brookfield Asset Management (BN -3.24%) had agreed to purchase a 62% stake in Oaktree's overall business. The ownership structure of Oaktree is complicated, but under the terms of the deal, Brookfield will buy all of Oaktree's outstanding Class A equity units for $49 per unit in cash or 1.0770 shares of Brookfield stock. Oaktree investors will be able to express their wish about which form of payment they want, but in the aggregate, Brookfield wants to pay for the $4.8 billion deal half in cash and half in stock. The move should help both entities compete more effectively against rivals in the asset management space, where size is of the utmost importance.
Guardant looks healthy
Shares of Guardant Health skyrocketed nearly 28% following the company's release of its fourth-quarter financial report. The provider of innovative liquid biopsy screenings said that sales for the quarter soared 64% from year-ago levels, completing a year that featured 82% top-line growth. Guardant lost money, but the losses were narrower than expected, and 2019 growth projections looked equally ambitious. With the potential to transform the way biopsy work gets done, Guardant is likely to remain a hot company for the foreseeable future.
A clear win for Clean Energy
Finally, Clean Energy Fuels' stock soared almost 29%. The operator of natural gas fueling stations said that it delivered close to 100 million gallons of fuel during the fourth quarter of 2018, up 14% from year-earlier levels. Clean Energy also posted a modest profit for the period, although gains on commodity derivative securities contributed to the company's net income. The natural gas specialist did warn that legislative changes could play a major role in 2019 performance, but investors seem confident that the progress that Clean Energy has made is sustainable and will continue.