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Why Marathon Petroleum, Synnex, and Cintas Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Sep 25, 2019 at 4:30PM

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These stocks stood out on a solid day for the markets.

Major benchmarks picked up ground on Wednesday, bouncing back from Tuesday's weakness. Market participants are still trying to figure out how to balance political controversy in Washington against economic prospects both in the U.S. and around the world. Today, investors seemed to focus more on the favorable conditions that currently prevail domestically. Some good news from individual companies also bolstered sentiment. Marathon Petroleum (MPC 3.48%), Synnex (SNX 3.38%), and Cintas (CTAS 3.26%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Marathon under activist pressure

Shares of Marathon Petroleum rose more than 8% after activist investor Elliott Management followed up on calls it first made several years ago to take steps to enhance the energy company's shareholder value. Specifically, Elliott suggested that Marathon break itself into three separate components, with the new companies to focus on retail gas stations, refining operations, and midstream transportation and storage assets, respectively. The move is the second time that Elliott has targeted Marathon, but shareholders seem pleased at the prospect that the energy specialist might take bigger steps this time around than it did in 2016 -- especially given the stock's recent weakness.

Oil refinery along a body of water.

Image source: Getty Images.

Synnex makes progress

Synnex enjoyed a nearly 18% jump in its share price following the release of its fiscal third-quarter financial results. The business processes specialist said that revenue soared 29%, helping to send adjusted net income up by 70% compared to year-earlier figures. In particular, CEO Dennis Polk pointed to the company's technology solutions segment as contributing to its overall success. Moreover, earnings projections for the fiscal fourth quarter were better than most of those following the stock had expected. The move has Synnex shares at their highest levels since early 2018.

Cintas gets to work

Finally, shares of Cintas gained 6%. The provider of rental uniforms and business services reported strong fiscal first-quarter results, including a 7% gain in sales and a 22% jump in net income from continuing operations. A solid job market helped boost revenue in its uniform rental and facility services segment, but the company actually saw even faster growth from its first aid and safety services business. Cintas typically does well when the economy's firing on all cylinders, and with employment levels still near all-time highs, the company has the wind at its back for now.

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

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Stocks Mentioned

Marathon Petroleum Corporation Stock Quote
Marathon Petroleum Corporation
MPC
$102.79 (3.48%) $3.46
Cintas Corporation Stock Quote
Cintas Corporation
CTAS
$400.84 (3.26%) $12.65
SYNNEX Corporation Stock Quote
SYNNEX Corporation
SNX
$83.93 (3.38%) $2.74

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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