Wednesday brought continued volatility to the market, and investors had to endure a 400-point swing in the Dow Jones Industrials before settling for gains of 0.5% to 1% for most major market benchmarks. Oil prices jumped back above the $32 per barrel mark, and that sent a huge number of energy-related stocks climbing higher. But even outside the oil patch, several stocks celebrated good news, and among some of the stronger performers on the day were Arista Networks (NYSE:ANET), Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR), and Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI).
Arista Networks climbed more than 7% despite the company's loss in a court ruling over a patent dispute against Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). Cisco had alleged that Arista had violated Cisco's patents, and a judge at the International Trade Commission found in favor of Cisco on two of the five patents at issue in the case. Yet even with the adverse ruling potentially leading to a negative adjudication expected within the next four months or so, Arista investors seemed confident that the company could find a way to get around any intellectual property issues and release new software that will avoid any controversy going forward. In particular, Arista has done a good job of assuring customers that there won't be any disruption in their services regardless of the eventual outcome of the case, and investors have faith that the company therefore won't see a big drop in revenue as a result.
Energizer Holdings soared 17% after reporting fiscal first-quarter results Wednesday morning. The battery-maker managed to squeeze out a small revenue increase for the quarter, defying expectations for a decline of around 8%, and earnings of $1.16 per share were $0.45 higher than the consensus forecast among investors. After accounting for currency issues and other factors, organic sales climbed across Energizer's global footprint, with the strongest results coming in North America, and the weakest from the Asia-Pacific region. Energizer also guided earnings per share for the full fiscal year to the upper end of its previous range of $1.90 to $2.10 per share, and that led investors to conclude that the company is holding up well in an environment in which many of its peers have struggled to avoid deep contractions in sales.
Finally, Angie's List jumped 14%. The provider of consumer reviews and information on services providers could reportedly get another takeover bid from IAC/InterActive, which has sought a combination in the past. Angie's List has rejected previous overtures toward a merger, saying in November that the terms IAC/InterActive gave last year didn't reflect the full value of the company. In addition, Angie's List preferred to have more time to come up with its own independent strategy before deciding whether a combination made sense. Reports indicated that any bid would likely not come right away, but given Angie's List's inability thus far to gain traction in its stock price since its 2011 IPO, many investors might be ready to throw in the towel for a reasonable offer.