The stock market has performed horribly so far in 2016, and Thursday's early-market action made it seem like the slump would continue. Yet investors finally decided they had had enough, and bid up shares during the second half of the session, producing gains of nearly 1.5% for the Dow, and more than 2% for the Nasdaq Composite. Nevertheless, not every stock joined in the advance, and SolarCity (SCTY.DL), HudBay Minerals (HBM 5.76%), and Ambarella (AMBA 3.12%) posted substantial declines, even amid the good cheer on Wall Street.
SolarCity fell 13% after the residential-solar specialist got another adverse decision from the Nevada solar market. Utility regulators in the Silver State upheld new fees that took effect at the beginning of 2016 that reduced the amount of credit its customers received for producing more electricity than they needed, substituting wholesale rates for traditional net metering laws.
SolarCity had hoped that the state would reverse the earlier decision of its Public Utilities Commission, but those following the stock now expect the company to make good on its threat to exit Nevada's residential-solar market. Add to this some analyst concern about future financing sources, and SolarCity remains volatile as investors try to figure out what its future will look like.
HudBay Minerals dropped 14% following its release of production-guidance and capital-expenditure forecasts for 2016. The Canadian miner said that it believes that total copper production will come in between 150,000 and 180,000 tonnes, up between 2% and 22% from 2015 levels. Zinc production of 100,000 to 125,000 tonnes would compare favorably to 2015's roughly 103,000 tonne level, and precious metals production in gold-equivalent ounces will rise to between 145,000 to 180,000 ounces, up from about 140,000 ounces in 2015.
HudBay expects to cut capital expenditures by more than 20%, to $300 million in 2016, most of which it will use to sustain current operations. The report suggests that HudBay will strive to maintain its status quo, but could still face troubles ahead, and an analyst downgrade confirmed the negative sentiment among investors.
Finally, Ambarella declined 6%. The maker of video-processing chips has gotten pulled downward by the plunge of video-camera specialist GoPro, which gave up nearly 15% of its value Thursday. GoPro has had trouble selling its camera equipment during the recent holiday season, but Ambarella has done its best to try to diversify its exposure well beyond the action-camera specialist.
The long-term question for Ambarella is whether it can bootstrap its positive experience in helping GoPro into other successful relationships with rival consumer-electronics manufacturers, allowing it to survive even if GoPro fades into the sunset. Ambarella stock is starting to get into territory that many would see as a bargain opportunity, but that assessment relies on the company's ability to avoid earnings compression if GoPro keeps going south.