The stock market has gone through a rocky time lately, and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.28%) has taken an especially hard hit. But on Thursday, the Nasdaq managed to hold its own, and as of 2 p.m. ET, the index was down only 0.4%. That was quite a bit better than other major market benchmarks.
Indeed, a couple of Nasdaq stocks were extremely strong performers. Singapore's Grab Holdings (GRAB) jumped after reporting favorable earnings results, while drug company Siga Technologies (SIGA 3.50%) got good news about a candidate treatment. Read on for the details.
Grab claws back some gains
Shares of Grab Holdings were up more than 25% Thursday afternoon. The Southeast Asian e-commerce platform provider reported strong financial results for the first quarter and pointed to a healthy economic outlook, and that helped the stock bounce back from tough times lately.
Grab's numbers were generally good. Gross merchandise value rose 32% year over year to $4.8 billion, with the platform attracting 2.9 million additional users to total 30.9 million. Grab's revenue was up a more modest 6% to $228 million, but the company narrowed its losses substantially from year-ago levels.
Grab said that countries in the region have gradually eased their pandemic restrictions, and that has helped to drive new interest in the company's super app. Spending per user was up as well, climbing 19% to $155.
Investors were also pleased about Grab's outlook. The company sees gross merchandise value growing 30% to 35% in fiscal 2022, with total revenue amounting to between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion. If Grab is correct and the worst of the pandemic restrictions are behind it, then this positive outlook might actually improve as the company's driver base comes back online to meet rising demand for deliveries.
Siga gets a smallpox win
Shares of Siga Technologies were up more than 15%. Amid concerns about new disease outbreaks, the pharmaceutical company got a boost from regulators for an alternative form of a key treatment.
Siga said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its intravenous formulation for its TPOXX treatment for smallpox. The shot will serve as a viable alternative for those patients who aren't able to swallow the oral capsule formulation of the treatment.
With the move, the U.S. joins Europe and Canada in approving the Siga treatment for smallpox. Of perhaps more immediate relevance, though, the European approval also includes TPOXX's use in monkeypox and cowpox treatment, as well as in patients who suffer complications from immunizations with various vaccines. With a patient in the U.S. now suffering from monkeypox, that disease has gotten new attention from public health advocates, and Siga's drug might be able to play a useful role in ensuring that any further cases get taken care of quickly without causing a more widespread epidemic.
Siga has a mixed history, having looked promising as an investment after going public in the late 1990s but falling sharply as it sought bankruptcy protection in the mid-2010s. Since then, the stock has done well, but it still has further to climb before it can reach its all-time high again.