Investor enthusiasm waned a bit on Thursday, and the stock market couldn't extend its streak of three straight days of gains, as market participants instead focused on concerns whether policymakers aiming to stoke the global economy will be successful in their efforts. Oil prices remained volatile, but the modest 0.5% decline in the S&P 500 looked more like a natural pause after an extensive upward move since last Friday than a reversal motivated by changes in the fundamental prospects for the market. Despite the lack of strong negative news to affect the entire stock market, several individual stocks posted substantial declines, including DISH Network (DISH -2.19%), Perrigo (PRGO -0.81%), and MGM Resorts (MGM -0.90%).
DISH Network dropped 6% after the satellite-television provider reported an unexpected loss for the fourth quarter. The Thursday morning report showed that overall subscriber counts were down 81,000, to about 13.9 million, and churn rates rose to 1.71% for the year. Some analysts projected that DISH saw more customers jump to its online-streaming Sling TV service, but the primary untapped potential that DISH currently has comes from its extensive stockpile of spectrum assets.
The value of DISH's spectrum could well exceed the market capitalization of the entire company, but the company has been slow to come up with firm plans for exactly what it expects to do with its assets. Until it does, shareholders will remain in the dark about the true capability for DISH Network to boost its long-term growth.
Perrigo fell 10% in the wake of its own disappointing fourth-quarter financial report. The pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications maker failed to meet investors' expectations for quarterly earnings per share, which has become so unusual for Perrigo that it shocked shareholders with the substantial loss. Perrigo also further reduced its full-year guidance, and the company took asset impairments against intangibles that it acquired in conjunction with its acquisition of Omega Pharma.
Investors had hoped that Perrigo's efforts to strengthen its position in the branded consumer-products category would be more successful, but so far, Perrigo hasn't been entirely satisfied with its performance in the segment. A tame winter season in the U.S. could be to blame for some of the shortfall, but Perrigo will nevertheless need to find ways to enhance its strategy in order to recover.
Finally, MGM Resorts declined 8%. The casino giant succumbed to poor conditions in the Macau gaming market, posting a net loss for the quarter. MGM said that Macau-based revenue fell 31%, which was worse than the declines that some of its casino-resort competitors gave in their quarterly reports. Moreover, MGM wasn't even able to get a bounce from its U.S. operations, because revenue fell on lower slot and table-game sales.
With MGM delaying the opening of its planned resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau until 2017, investors don't have clear catalysts to support a recovery for the stock. Unless conditions in Macau improve much faster than most expect, MGM Resorts could remain under pressure for some time.