Investors got some relief Thursday from the generally bearish sentiment on Wall Street lately, as the stock market posted its first gain in four sessions. Major market benchmarks rose around half a percent as some investors started to project that hard-hit stock sectors might be approaching bottoms. Yet the better mood didn't help shares of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Ciena (NYSE:CIEN), or Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ:PBYI), all of which suffered substantial declines on the day.
First Solar finished the day down 8% following the solar giant's release of its 2016 guidance Wednesday night. The company said that it expected net sales of between $3.9 billion and $4.1 billion, with solar-power systems making up the vast majority of total revenue. First Solar provided earnings guidance of between $4.00 and $4.50 per share, including extraordinary gains from an investment sale, and the company's share of profits from its 8point3 limited partnership.
The company expects to boost its capital spending to between $300 million and $400 million in order to make new investments in technology and efficiency-building initiatives. Shipment expectations for between 2.9 and 3 gigawatts reflect the continued optimism about the size of the solar market. Even though First Solar remains optimistic, investors were hoping to see sales at the high-end of that range, and it's uncertain to what extent consensus forecasts for $3.94 per share in 2016 earnings took into account the one-time items that First Solar included.
Ciena plunged 17% after reporting its fiscal fourth-quarter results Thursday morning. The network specialist said that revenue climbed 17%, helping Ciena reverse a year-earlier adjusted loss by posting adjusted quarterly earnings of $0.42 per share. Sharp gains in the converged-packet optical segment helped offset declines in optical transport, but investors weren't happy with the guidance it gave for the current fiscal first quarter or for the full 2016 fiscal year.
Specifically, revenue of between $555 million and $590 million was well short of the $636 million consensus forecast among investors, and the projections that Ciena provided for gross margins and operating expenses suggested shortfalls on the bottom line, as well. Company management remains optimistic about Ciena's prospects; but until it can become sustainably profitable, some investors will want to wait and see how Ciena fares in the future.
Finally, Puma Biotechnology dropped 11% following the release of results from phase 2 studies of its PB272 neratinib candidate treatment for breast cancer. In one trial, Puma evaluated the use of PB272 in patients with locally advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, with one researcher commenting that "we are pleased to see the promising clinical activity of neratinib in combination with trastuzumab" with a subset of the study participants.
CEO Alan Auerbach said that the results "should help us determine the best path forward for neratinib." Puma also released interim results from a study of another type of breast cancer, with Auerbach expressing his optimism about the preliminary findings, and looking forward to seeing whether the drug can help a wide array of patients with different breast-cancer attributes.