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Why PG&E, Dorman Products, and AngloGold Ashanti Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger - Oct 28, 2019 at 4:35PM

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Even in a strong market, these stocks fell hard.

Wall Street had a good session on Monday, as major benchmarks climbed toward record highs. Investors remained confident about the market's long-term trajectory, especially given their expectations that the Federal Reserve will do whatever it takes to keep the economy from slipping into a recession. Earnings season also kept going forward, but although many company reports have been positive, there was still some bad news for shareholders to digest. PG&E (PCG 2.83%), Dorman Products (DORM 1.31%), and AngloGold Ashanti (AU 0.56%) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.

PG&E faces more fallout

Shares of PG&E plunged another 24% as the utility fought to sustain and restore power for California customers in the wake of another round of massive fires. Wildfires are currently spread across the state, and PG&E has had to cut power to large numbers of customers in an effort to avoid having its power lines potentially spark new blazes. Even efforts to restore power might prove to be too little, too late for investors. With the utility already being cited as possibly having caused the Kincade fire in the northern part of California, analysts are raising the likelihood that PG&E's bankruptcy plan might not result in any recovery for current shareholders.

Power lines between two towers, near daybreak or dusk.

Image source: Getty Images.

Dorman can't get in gear

Dorman Products saw its stock sink 11% after the automotive aftermarket parts specialist reported lackluster third-quarter financial results. Sales were up 2.4% from a year ago, with acquisitions accounting for about a percentage point of those gains. However, adjusted net income fell 37% over the same period. CEO Kevin Olsen blamed the poor results on "soft market conditions, particularly in our warehouse distributor channel." Moreover, the company said that those weak conditions are likely to persist throughout the remainder of the year, and it cut its expectations for fourth-quarter growth. In the long run, Dorman remains optimistic, but investors don't seem as patient.

AngloGold Ashanti looks less golden

Finally, shares of AngloGold Ashanti fell nearly 6%. The South African gold mining company warned that it now expects its production levels for 2019 to end up in the lower half of its predicted range, which was 3.25 million to 3.45 million ounces. Costs for the miner will likely rise toward the upper end of its past guidance. AngloGold cited some operational issues as contributing to the poor performance, including lower ore grades at its South African Mponeng mine and planned output reductions at other properties in Argentina and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a major gold mining stock, AngloGold has benefited from rising gold bullion prices during 2019, but it needs to be sure its business efficiency remains strong in order to take maximum advantage of good conditions in the gold market.

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Stocks Mentioned

PG&E Corporation Stock Quote
PG&E Corporation
$12.35 (2.83%) $0.34
AngloGold Ashanti Limited Stock Quote
AngloGold Ashanti Limited
$17.81 (0.56%) $0.10
Dorman Products, Inc. Stock Quote
Dorman Products, Inc.
$101.26 (1.31%) $1.31

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

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