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Why PG&E, Jabil, and Axalta Coating Systems Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Jun 19, 2019 at 4:31PM

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Big news on multiple fronts helped lift these stocks.

The stock market saw modest gains on Wednesday as investors reacted favorably to the latest from the Federal Reserve on interest rates. The central bank chose not to make any changes to its Fed funds rate for June, but it did signal that a majority of participating members expect to see lower rates in the future. Moreover, there was one dissenting vote that called for an immediate rate cut, and that gave market participants confidence that the Fed will work to support economic growth even in the face of a possible global slowdown. Some stocks saw much larger moves higher due to company-specific events, and PG&E (PCG 2.29%), Jabil (JBL 0.28%), and Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA 0.32%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

PG&E reaches settlements

Shares of PG&E climbed 7% after the California electric and natural gas utility reached settlements to resolve liability to certain cities, counties, districts, and public agencies for wildfires over the past four years. The company said it would pay $1 billion to 18 different public entities to resolve claims for the Butte fire in 2015, various wildfires in Northern California in 2017, and the Camp fire last year. The deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court overseeing PG&E's pending case under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The utility still has other stakeholders where it'll need further resolution, but CEO Bill Johnson said that PG&E is making progress and hopes to keep working on finding ways to move forward.

Towers carrying power lines near dawn or dusk.

Image source: Getty Images.

Jabil gets growing

Jabil's stock jumped 10% after the product solutions company reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results. Jabil said that revenue climbed 13% compared to the year-earlier quarter, helping to lift adjusted earnings by 24%. The company continued to acquire new work sites for its healthcare segment, working on a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson's medical device unit to integrate various healthcare facilities into Jabil's business. At the same time, strong gains in electronic manufacturing services offset a slight decline in diversified manufacturing, and Jabil has high hopes that its outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year reflects the full potential that areas like cloud computing and the rollout of 5G wireless networks could bring.

Axalta looks to make a deal

Finally, shares of Axalta Coating Systems gained nearly 14%. The paint specialist revealed that its board of directors has begun to review strategic options for the company, which could include a potential outright sale. CEO Robert Bryant highlighted the fact that Axalta has continued to follow a long-term strategy focusing on lower costs and smarter investments in growth, and he believes that given its current industry position in key areas, the time is right for Axalta to look to maximize shareholder value. There's no guarantee that Axalta will be able to find a potential buyer, but even the effort to seek one out seems to be making investors more comfortable in their views about the company.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends JNJ. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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