At first glance, the stock market might have seemed ready for a bit of a break on Friday morning. Futures markets pointed to a relatively flat open after four days of huge swings. Futures contracts on the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.53%) were up just 6 points to 15,995 in a sign of the relative calm on Wall Street on the last day of what's been a crazy week.
However, hiding in plain sight under the index's mild move were two stocks seeing violent swings. DocuSign (DOCU -2.46%) investors were awash in share-price losses following the electronic document management specialist's latest financial report, while shareholders in Marvell Technology (MRVL -3.43%) were having big celebrations. Below, we'll look at both reports to see whether they have any clues about when the Nasdaq's market volatility might come to an end.
DocuSign gets executed
Shares of DocuSign were plunging Friday morning, down more than 31% in premarket trading just after 8 a.m. ET. The company that has become the go-to provider for electronic signature services signaled that the factors that produced its immense growth might be ending, and that shocked investors who had thought that the good times could last longer.
To be clear, DocuSign's numbers were still impressive. Total sales were up 42% year over year, with subscription revenue rising 44% from year-ago levels. Gross margin levels improved dramatically, rising 5 percentage points to 79%, and adjusted earnings of $0.58 per share were more than 150% higher than they were in the same period a year ago.
However, DocuSign's guidance wasn't all that encouraging. Projections for fourth-quarter revenue were only a few percent higher than the company's actual third-quarter results, showing an expectation for slowing growth. Some investors weren't happy with billings projections either, especially as third-quarter numbers had gone up only 28%.
CEO Dan Springer had a simple warning for DocuSign shareholders, noting, "we saw customers return to more normalized buying patterns." If that trend continues, some fear that DocuSign won't be able to keep up the momentum it built during the first year of the pandemic, and today's plunge could be just the beginning of a larger reversal of fortune for the stock.
Shareholders marvel(l) at a rising stock
On the other side of the coin, shares of Marvell Technology jumped more than 22% in premarket trading Friday. The semiconductor company's third-quarter financial results gave investors just about everything they had hoped to see.
Marvell's revenue hit a new record of $1.21 billion, soaring 61% from the year-ago period. The company's data center segment did especially well, seeing sales more than double year over year. Marvell's small but fast-growing automotive and industrial unit also saw massive gains from year-ago levels, and its enterprise networking segment also managed to produce outsize sales growth of 56%.
The semiconductor company's bottom-line numbers were also favorable. Adjusted net income of $364 million was more than twice the $168 million it posted in the third quarter last year. Even with a big jump in outstanding share counts, Marvell's earnings of $0.43 per share were up more than 70% on an adjusted basis.
Marvell also gave plenty of positive guidance, calling for fourth-quarter revenue to rise almost 10% to $1.32 billion and similar gains in earnings to $0.48 per share. That's exactly what investors wanted to hear from the chipmaker, and it bodes well for the stock heading into 2022.
Expect more bumps in the road
Investors want growth, and they have high expectations for it. Companies like Marvell that make the grade can still get big rewards in the market. Companies that fall short, like DocuSign, are getting punished. As long as that continues, the Nasdaq is likely to remain volatile.