Stocks were generally quiet on the day before Thanksgiving as major market benchmarks finished close to the unchanged level. Yet even though most stocks didn't see much excitement Wednesday, a few posted substantial gains. Movado Group (NYSE:MOV), American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS), and Keurig Green Mountain (UNKNOWN:GMCR.DL) were among the top performers on the day.
Movado gained 7% after the company released its third-quarter earnings report. The watchmaker reported sluggish results for the quarter, with sales falling 1.6% and net income easing downward by about 3% from the year-ago quarter. Yet investors liked the fact that the midpoint of Movado's guidance was above the consensus forecasts for the full 2016 fiscal year. Movado predicted that earnings would come in between $2 and $2.10 per share, with total sales of between $590 million and $600 million. Given the struggles that many other luxury retailers have gone through lately, even the glimmer of hope that Movado could weather the storm and find ways to build up some positive momentum from the holiday season were enough to please nervous shareholders.
American Capital climbed nearly 10% after the business development company took a number of strategic steps that activist investors had been looking to see. American Capital's board authorized a full strategic review of alternatives, enlisting aid from a prominent Wall Street firm to evaluate its options. The review could include a sale of the entire company or of particular business lines, and the company said that its goal was to maximize shareholders value. In addition, the company boosted the size of its stock buyback program to between $600 million and $1 billion, in an effort to address substantial discounts in its share price compared to net asset value. With the program allowing purchases only when shares are at a 15% discount to net asset value, American Capital hopes that its stock will finally reflect the true value of the company in its eyes. With activists at Elliott Associates having called for American Capital to reconsider its planned spinoff and look for ways to reward shareholders, many saw the company's move today as a concession to Elliott.
Finally, Keurig Green Mountain rose 8%. The maker of the Keurig home-brewing system announced that it had started selling its Keurig Kold beverage machines in Canada, adding a new market to boost sales beyond its previous U.S. release. The move extended the gains that Keurig has posted since releasing its most recent quarterly results, as investors appear willing to wait and see whether the holiday season works the same magic with Keurig Kold that it has in the past with its hot-beverage machines. Given how cheap Keurig shares have become, anything short of a holiday meltdown could be enough to keep Keurig Green Mountain stock moving higher in the future.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Keurig Green Mountain and Movado Group. 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.