Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Stocks kept moving higher today, as favorable economic data eased concerns that the U.S. economy wouldn't be able to sustain its upward trajectory without ongoing Federal Reserve intervention. Yet Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI), Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD), and American International Group (NYSE:AIG) all failed to enjoy the broader market's gains, instead falling dramatically. Let's dig deeper to see what was behind the poor performance in these stocks today.
Ellie Mae dropped 17% as the company's quarterly earnings report left investors wanting more. Sales for the maker of software for mortgage lenders and related professionals grew by 20%, but that top-line growth didn't produce any lift for adjusted net income, which dropped 25%. Moreover, falling mortgage origination forecasts led Ellie Mae to cut its guidance for the remainder of the year, disappointing growth investors who'd hoped for more. Until the interest rate picture gets clearer, Ellie Mae could suffer short-term headwinds even as its long-term prospects remain sound.
Barrick Gold fell by 7% after the gold miner took extraordinary measures to shore up its finances in light of challenging conditions for the industry. Barrick decided to stop work on its Pascua-Lama gold mine on the Argentine-Chilean border, marking an ugly concession after the miner spent billions of dollars developing the promising gold and copper mine. Yet even with low expected operating costs from Pascua-Lama, Barrick instead chose to batten down its finances to preserve capital, including a dilutive offering of $3 billion in stock at a price 5% below where shares had closed yesterday. With further moves including another $500 million in cost cuts, Barrick is trying to transform itself in order to survive lower gold prices.
AIG also posted a 7% decline. Last night's headline numbers on the insurance giant's quarterly results looked reasonably good, with a 17% rise in net income that led to better-than-expected earnings per share. But weakness from the property and casualty segment disappointed investors, and CEO Robert Benmosche alarmed long-term investors by suggesting that AIG might not meet some of its goals. Yet with the stock still fetching a huge discount to its tangible book value, AIG's share price provides a margin of safety even if the insurer doesn't produce growth as quickly as it had originally hoped.