The stock market has been extremely volatile in the past couple of months, as investors try to figure out whether the long bull market is finally coming to an end. Yet even though major market benchmarks have given up considerable ground over that time frame, you can find many stocks that have essentially ignored the market's correction and have kept climbing strongly. Let's take a closer look at three particularly extraordinary stocks to find out what has them continuing to rise despite the market's turbulence.
Best Buy turns out to be a smart buy
Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY 8.97%) has defied the market's declines, rising 18% since the S&P 500 hit its highest level of the summer on July 20. The bulk of the retailer's gains came in late August after the company released its fiscal second-quarter financial report. Best Buy reported unexpected sales growth of 1%, defying calls for a 7% decline, and a 17% gain in adjusted earnings per share was also far better than the year-over-year drop that the consensus forecast had called for the retailer to suffer. Double-digit increases in online sales helped drive a 3.8% jump in comparable sales at in the U.S., which in turn sent the stock higher. Even more importantly, Best Buy managed to widen its margins as it aimed to use its store locations as online-order pickup centers as well as ordinary retail outlets.
CEO Hubert Joly has aggressively moved forward with cost-cutting strategies while still focusing on making sure that its employees can handle customers who visit stores after initially seeing products through mobile apps or online channels. With a solid rise in big-ticket items like large-screen televisions and major appliances, Best Buy hopes that new releases like the new iPhone will help drive even better results in the future.
Under Armour is still in style
The 11% gains that Under Armour (UAA 7.03%) shareholders have experienced since late July came soon after the S&P 500 topped out, as the athletic apparel retailer reported its quarterly earnings fairly early in the season. Under Armour's second quarter features a 29% jump in sales, with training and base-layer clothing helping to fuel a big jump in apparel. Moreover, Under Armour's attempts to gain stronger penetration in the footwear market have started to pay off, as the new Stephen Curry shoe line helped send the segment's revenue up by 40%.
Under Armour has significant growth potential for the future, as international revenue nearly doubled from year-ago levels and sales from its e-commerce channel rose by a third. Even though margins declined due to rising expenses, Under Armour believes that investing in marketing for its new product lines should pay off in the long run, and the company raised its guidance in response. As customers keep flocking to athletic apparel, Under Armour has done a good job of capitalizing on the key trend.
Activision Blizzard is playing to win
Game specialist Activision Blizzard (ATVI 0.88%) has jumped 14% since late July, and a couple of things helped send shares higher. First, the company has successfully transitioned away from retail sales of its video games, instead getting its customers to obtain new game products directly through digital downloads. The rise in recurring revenue has replaced one-time game-sales revenue, and while that gives Activision an upfront hit, it can pay off in the long run with its popular games.
In addition, Activision got the good news that it would join the S&P 500 index in late August. That forced index-tracking investors to add the stock to their portfolios, further sending the shares higher. With its games more popular than ever before on the strength of both longtime favorites and brand-new offerings, Activision Blizzard could have even more potential for growth ahead.
Market corrections can be scary, but it's important to remember that if you own the right stocks, you can weather downturns and still see your portfolio rise in value. Over time, strong stocks like these three can demonstrate their ability to do well even during tough times and produce long-term shareholder gains for patient investors.