Friday was relatively quiet on Wall Street, with most major benchmark indexes finishing the day close to where they started it. Market participants seemed reasonably comfortable with the immediate prospects for the market amid rising expectations about the likelihood of a resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute. Moreover, the Federal Reserve appears likely to give the economy another boost this month. Yet some stocks lost significant ground Friday due to company-specific factors. Lumber Liquidators Holdings (LL 2.29%), Progressive (PGR -0.96%), and Fastly (FSLY 8.67%) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.
A Lumber Liquidators buyout plan disappears
Shares of Lumber Liquidators Holdings lost more than 13% as investors evaluated the diminishing chances that it would get taken private. Earlier this month, shareholders in the flooring specialist got excited when founder Thomas Sullivan said he was looking at possibly doing a leveraged buyout of the company. However, Lumber Liquidators share price climbed significantly in the days that followed, and Sullivan said Friday that they had risen too high for him to contemplate a buyout. The stock finished the day close to where it started the month, at the lower end of the trading range in which it has been mired for close to five years.
Progress could get harder for Progressive
Insurance giant Progressive's stock dropped more than 5% after it announced key metrics for the month of August. Fundamental volume measures looked solid, with a 13% rise in net premiums written and a 14% jump in net premiums earned. Progressive saw particularly solid gains in its agency and direct auto insurance lines, and its property business also experienced healthy increases. However, net income was down 36% year over year during the quarter, a result that fed worries about prospects for insurance-company profitability in the near future. Even with Friday's pullback, though, Progressive shares are still up more than 20% so far in 2019, and many analysts see the insurance company as having more room to run over the long term.
Fastly slows down
Finally, after being down almost 10% in late afternoon trading, shares of Fastly closed about 3.5% lower. The cloud platform provider's stock dropped at the expense of newly public Cloudflare (NET 2.11%), a cloud security specialist whose shares rocketed 20% higher from their IPO price of $15 per share. There has been rising concern among investors that recent tech IPOs have gotten overextended, especially in the crowded cloud computing space. Fastly suffered losses in the months following its initial public offering before bouncing back sharply in August, but it's likely that the stock will keep getting whipsawed in the market until the fundamental prospects for its business become clearer in the months and years to come.