Why Toll Brothers, Lantheus Holdings, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger Markets Fool.com

The stock market once again proved its resiliency on Wednesday, bouncing back from extensive declines early in the session to recover most of its losses. The Dow Jones Industrials actually managed to post yet another record close with a modest gain, and although other major market benchmarks suffered declines, they weren't significant. Moreover, some favorable news from certain pockets of the market helped bolster investor confidence. Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), Lantheus Holdings (NASDAQ: LNTH), and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NASDAQ: NCLH) were among the top performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

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Toll Brothers sees a spring in housing's step

Shares of Toll Brothers climbed 6% in the wake of positive news from the housing market as well as a solid earnings report for its fiscal first quarter. News that existing-home sales climbed to levels not seen in a decade helped bolster homebuilders generally, especially given that the increase was at an unexpectedly strong pace. Moreover, the homebuilder didn't see its quarterly profit fall as sharply as some investors had expected, and despite some lower sales prices for its luxury new homes, Toll Brothers said that unit sales were up 12% for the quarter, and net signed contracts were up by more than a fifth in terms of homes sold. Rising interest rates haven't yet had any impact in slowing growth, and that's good news for the economy more broadly, as well as for housing in particular.

Image source: Toll Brothers.

Lantheus makes a deal

Lantheus Holdings' stock soared 30% after the company reported solid earnings and a new partnership. The diagnostic imaging specialist said that net income rose by more than 25% during the quarter on a modest 4% rise in revenue, with the company's Definity and TechneLite devices providing much of the growth in sales. Favorable 2017 guidance included expected sales gains of 4% to 6% and solid bottom-line performance. Yet what attracted the most attention was a new deal with General Electric (NYSE: GE) under which GE's healthcare unit will help fund a clinical study of flurpiridaz F 18, which the companies believe could help improve diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Flurpiridaz F 18 is an investigational agent that could make it easier for positron emission tomography scans to pick up the most common form of heart disease. Under the deal, Lantheus will get an upfront payment of $5 million along with potential milestone payments of up to $60 million. Royalties will also provide a future income stream to Lantheus if the agent gets approved. Investors were pleased to see interest from such a massive player in the space, and the implications for Lantheus are huge.

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Norwegian cruises higher

Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings shares gained 7%. The cruise operator said that earnings growth was stronger than most had expected after posting a 9% boost to revenue, and guidance for the first quarter and full year in 2017 was better than the consensus forecast among those following the stock. Norwegian Cruise Line has made efforts to bolster its fleet of cruise ships, and the company said that those moves were instrumental in producing stronger growth. CEO Frank Del Rio noted that the company is "now in the best booked position in our company's history with pricing slightly above the prior year," and Norwegian Cruise Line hopes that will result in even better results over the coming year.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.