The stock market's volatility continued on Friday, and technology stocks took the brunt of the hit, as many high-profile social media and cloud-computing companies suffered earnings-related declines. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell more than 3%, and broader-based market indexes posted declines of 1% to 3%, with smaller stocks taking more punishment than large caps.
USG jumped 10% after the maker of building-construction materials reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings Friday morning. The company doubled its adjusted net income, and posted a huge GAAP profit thanks to the release of an income tax valuation allowance. More importantly, however, USG saw improved pricing in both its gypsum and its ceilings business.
Cost-cutting measures have also paid off in bottom-line improvement, and margin expansion has helped make USG even more profitable. CEO James Metcalf was proud of how well USG did in posting its most-profitable year since the housing boom, even though demand remains much lower than it was during the mid-2000s. USG expects further growth in 2016 despite global uncertainties about economic growth.
Tyson Foods also gained 10% in the wake of the meat-production company's fiscal first-quarter financial report. The company managed to boost net income by more than half despite seeing a double-digit percentage drop in revenue, relying largely on cost-containment measures to keep its bottom line moving in the right direction.
Tyson also raised its 2016 earnings guidance to between $3.85 and $3.95 per share, and the recent merger with Hillshire Farms should give the meat producer even more opportunities to realize cost-saving synergies and boost its earnings further. Sales prices for beef, chicken, and pork all fell, but lower costs for feed offset those declines, and should continue to help Tyson remain more profitable in the future.
Finally, Callaway Golf rose 6%. The golf retailer reported a smaller loss than investors had expected, boosting revenue by 14%, and posting an improvement of nearly six percentage points in its gross margins. The company celebrated recent innovations in golf club and golf ball technology, and from a financial perspective, Callaway has made a lot of progress in strengthening its balance sheet by eliminating debt.
The golf retailer also believes that 2016 will be a stronger year for the industry, pointing to rising PGA Tour viewership and stable figures for amateur play. In addition, a new joint venture with longtime licensing partner TSI Groove & Sports should give Callaway even greater exposure to the important Japanese market, where golf has just as much, if not more, importance than in the U.S.