The stock market ended the week on a positive note on Friday, closing a week in which major market benchmarks gained between 3% and 4%. Several stocks led the overall market higher on the final day of the trading week with double-digit percentage gains, and among them were Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Yelp (NYSE:YELP), and Esterline Technologies (NYSE:ESL).
Abercrombie & Fitch soared 25% after the retailer reported its latest quarterly results this morning. The long-struggling retailer is still struggling in a tough retail environment, with sales falling 4% and comparable sales easing downward by 1%. Yet the company's Hollister stores posted growth of 3% in comps, the first upward results for that chain in four years. Adjusted earnings also grew a faster-than-expected 8% from the year-ago quarter. Overall, Abercrombie's rebound efforts have included remaking its marketing presence, offering fewer promotional discounts in favor of seeking out trendier fashions, and remodeling its stores. Combined with solid international performance, Abercrombie gave investors confidence that it can overcome the headwinds plaguing the entire retail industry.
Yelp climbed 11%. The review website didn't release any obvious news justifying the move Friday, but the company has gotten a lot more attention since business-review specialist Angie's List received and rejected a buyout offer. Some investors believe that consolidation within the review industry is inevitable, especially given the fact that shares of both Yelp and Angie's List have suffered substantial declines over the past two years. Yelp is working to boost its ability to help local businesses market themselves around their reviews and to cater more toward mobile users who are looking for immediate information on restaurants and service providers. If Yelp can succeed in allowing smaller businesses to take greater advantage of favorable reputations, then the stock's gains could be just the beginning.
Finally, defense contractor Esterline Technologies jumped 11% following Thursday night's release of its quarterly financials. The company saw mixed revenue performance in its main segments, as sales of aerospace avionics and controls soared by a third and its sensors & systems segment also saw sales rise, but revenue from advanced materials fell 10%. Nevertheless, a nearly 70% rise in adjusted earnings from continuing operations was substantially better than the consensus forecast among investors. Esterline noted that 2016 will have challenges for the aerospace and defense company, but it expects its projects to increase internal efficiency and find better sourcing strategies that in turn should boost Esterline's prospects going forward.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Yelp. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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