Wednesday was a good day on Wall Street, as major stock indexes continued to recover from their recent losses. Many market participants focused on friendlier talk on the trade front from the U.S. as it looked for ways to treat countries in Europe and in the Americas more favorably than it's done lately with China. Yet even with that backdrop helping to bolster stocks overall, some companies had bad news that prevented them from participating in the rally. The Children's Place (PLCE -0.98%), Agilent Technologies (A -0.14%), and Immunogen (IMGN) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.

Children's Place loses ground

Shares of The Children's Place fell 7% after the kid-focused retailer posted significant declines in sales and earnings, even though the numbers were actually better than what many had expected to see for the first quarter. The company said that net sales fell 5.5% from the year-ago period, and adjusted net income plunged more than 80%. Investors had been expecting a net loss on a bigger drop in sales, but what seemed to spook Children's Place shareholders was the retailer's call for flat comparable-sales growth and further weakness in revenue.

Five children running in a grass field with hula hoops.

Image source: Getty Images.

Agilent falls short on sales

Agilent Technologies saw its stock drop 11% following the release of its fiscal second-quarter financial results. The life sciences and diagnostics specialist said that revenue rose 3%, helping to lift adjusted net income by 9% compared to the year-earlier quarter. CEO Mike McMullen explained the reason for disappointment but still tried to inspire a longer-term positive attitude, noting that "while overall revenues were below our expectations, the story of our second quarter results is one where we demonstrated the resilience of Agilent's business model." Yet with its reduced sales guidance for the full fiscal year, shareholders worry that Agilent could still have further problems to resolve in the future.

Immunogen takes a hit

Finally, shares of Immunogen plunged 32%. The cancer-treatment antibody-drug conjugate specialist said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had recommended that it do a new phase 3 study of its ovarian cancer treatment mirvetuximab soravtansine, following news that the results of a previous phase 3 trial didn't meet its primary endpoint. Immunogen had hoped that mirvetuximab would lead to greater progression-free survival rates among the entire body of patients or among a specific subset of those patients, but it failed to do so. The FDA concluded that despite encouraging results on secondary endpoints, it wouldn't allow an application to approve the treatment based on those secondary endpoints alone. The news brought Immunogen's stock-price losses to about 80% over the past year, showing the skepticism that shareholders have about the company's ability to overcome these latest challenges.