Looking for justifications for daily movements in the overall market can be challenging. Most of the attention among market commentators again focused on the Federal Reserve, and the consensus remains that the likelihood of an interest rate increase within the next couple of months has increased substantially in just the past week or so. Yet even though that explanation was used to justify Thursday's market decline, commentators argued that Friday's advance stemmed from a greater comfort level among investors that the economy could withstand higher interest rates in the near-term. Regardless of the reason, broad stock market benchmarks rose around half a percent, and some stocks did much better. Among the top winners on the day were InterOil (NYSE: IOC), Amplify Snack Brands (NYSE:BETR), and 8x8 (NASDAQ:EGHT).
InterOil soared 38% after announcing that oil and gas exploration and development company Oil Search would buy out the Papua New Guinea-focused owner of valuable oil and gas assets. Under the deal, InterOil shareholders will get 8.05 shares of Oil Search per InterOil share, which at prevailing prices represented about $40.25 per share in value. In addition, however, shareholders will receive one contingent value right for every share of InterOil they own, giving them a potential additional payment of $6.05 per share for every trillion cubic feet above the targeted 6.2 trillion cubic feet certified resource in the key Elk-Antelope fields. The deal will allow the two companies to combine assets and allow for more complete cooperation in developing their joint prospects, and InterOil shareholders will still have the opportunity to get additional proceeds if the Elk-Antelope gas field proves to be more prosperous than originally thought.
Amplify Snack Brands jumped 13% as it announced the pricing of its secondary offering of stock. Existing shareholders registered to sell 10 million shares of stock earlier in the week, and as often happens in such cases, the stock price fell in response. This morning, the company said that the offering had priced at $11.25 per share, which was well below the roughly $12 closing price Thursday night. Yet investors were pleased simply to have the offering behind them, and the rally in the stock today returns the company closer to where it traded last week before the announcement of the secondary offering was made. Now, investors can refocus their attention on whether the snack company can make a bigger dent into the franchises of industry leaders.
Finally, 8x8 gained 7%. The telecom company announced its fiscal fourth-quarter results Thursday night, and they included a revenue jump of 32% on particular strength from the middle-market and enterprise customer segment. New monthly recurring revenue from that segment more than tripled from year-ago levels, and 8x8 reported that more of its customers are looking to move their communications infrastructure into the cloud to take greater advantage of efficiency and available cost savings. As 8x8 looks to continue innovating and expanding its reach to a more global audience, investors hope that its efforts to extend the use of its unified communications and contact center platform will pay off with even better results in the coming fiscal year.