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.
Thursday's market action brought a sigh of relief for bullish investors, with the Dow climbing close to 200 points, and broader market benchmarks posting better-than-1% gains. But even with those tailwinds helping stocks, several companies came out with bad news on the earnings front, and Twitter (TWTR), Pandora Media (P), and Chesapeake Energy (CHKA.Q) were among the worst performers in today's session.
Twitter (TWTR) plunged by 24% after its earnings report raised questions about whether the social-media giant would be able to grow fast enough to satisfy investors in the future. The number of monthly average users grew by only about 4% sequentially for the quarter, with nearly all of that growth coming from outside the key U.S. market. Moreover, even though the company saw revenue more than double from year-ago levels and posted an adjusted profit for the quarter, Twitter's huge post-IPO share-price rise left it no margin for error. Unless the company can draw more mainstream appeal, today's losses might be just the beginning for Twitter.
Pandora Media (P) dropped 10% with a fairly similar story to Twitter's, with concerns about the music service's future outlook outweighing solid past results. Despite 13% year-over-year growth in listener hours for January and a 12% jump in active listeners, Pandora has seen those numbers flatten out, or even fall slightly from December levels. With 2014 revenue guidance coming in 1% to 3% below what investors had expected, and adjusted profits that could fall short by as much as a third from expected levels, Pandora has work to do to convince shareholders that it can sustain its growth.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) fell 7% after the oil and natural-gas giant announced that it would cut its planned capital expenditures by 20% in 2014, predicting production growth of just 2% to 4%. Most of the production-growth sluggishness comes from the fact that Chesapeake sold off some of its assets last year and, after adjusting for those sales, the company expected 8% to 10% growth coming predominantly from natural-gas liquids and oil production. Still, considering that natural gas prices rebounded, investors were likely disappointed at the fact that Chesapeake is still having to focus only on its most lucrative prospects.