Wednesday served as a reminder to stock market investors that uncertainty can lead to at least mild turbulence. After having been up sharply early on, major indexes pared their gains as conflicting data about the prospective health of the global economy whipsawed investors. Some bad news from certain corners of the market also weighed on sentiment. Range Resources (NYSE:RRC), Advaxis (NASDAQ:ADXS), and StoneCo (NASDAQ:STNE) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.
Range Resources runs out of gas
Shares of Range Resources fell 6% as investors reacted negatively to fears about the natural gas market. The spring months are always a time of transition for natural gas, which relies on heating demand during the winter. In just two weeks, natural gas prices have fallen from around $2.90 to below $2.70, and some fear that inventory statistics and rig counts could cause prices of the fuel to fall even further. Despite the overall move among many exploration and production companies to emphasize oil over natural gas, Range Resources remains a key producer of gas, and that unfortunately leaves it especially exposed to perceived threats to that part of the industry.
Advaxis sells cheap
Advaxis saw its stock plunge 30%, giving up its recent gains after proposing and pricing a secondary offering of stock. With the price having closed Tuesday at $5.90 per share, Advaxis sold 2.5 million shares at $4 per share in the offering, representing a 32% discount. It's not unusual for companies to see big downward moves in share prices when they do secondary offerings, and that's especially true in the case of companies that see substantial share-price increases, as Advaxis did on Monday. However, with Advaxis having just completed a reverse stock split, the fact that it went to such lengths to raise just $10 million points to some fundamental uncertainties in the business that shareholders are only now starting to come to grips with.
Stone goes cold
Finally, shares of StoneCo dropped almost 9%. The Brazilian financial technology company announced a follow-on offering of stock, selling 19.5 million shares at $40.50 per share. StoneCo itself didn't get any proceeds from the sale, with the money instead going to the selling shareholders involved in the offering. The move came just after StoneCo announced preliminary first-quarter results that included about a 60% rise in total payment volume and a roughly 85% jump in revenue. As with Advaxis, it's not unusual to see share prices drop after an offering, but here, the disconcerting thing is the apparent lack of confidence that early investors apparently have in justifying their decision to sell out.