Why Tenet Healthcare, Scientific Games, and PDL BioPharma Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger Markets Fool.com

Friday was a quiet day for the stock market, but major market benchmarks managed to bounce back from early losses to finish the day just above the unchanged mark. Fed Chair Janet Yellen earned a lot of attention during the day, as she gave comments to a group of executives in Chicago that signaled that the Federal Reserve is very likely to boost interest rates at its Federal Open Market Committee meeting later this month. Also helping to hold markets up was positive sentiment related to a number of individual stocks, and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC), Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS), and PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ: PDLI) were among the best 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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Tenet bounces back

Shares of Tenet Healthcare climbed 10% today, regaining some of the ground they lost earlier in the week. Back on Tuesday, the hospital operator sank 15% after reporting a 4% drop in revenue and dramatically lower earnings than investors had expected to see. Moreover, expectations for 2017 were fairly downbeat, and shareholders in Tenet seemed concerned about what could happen as a consequence of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Yet Friday's jump seemed to come as investors focused more on the positives in Tenet's future, especially as uncertainty grows about exactly how much of Obamacare will disappear in the months to come. Moreover, with good figures in doubtful account provisions, Tenet is taking care to be prudent with its patient management. That realization is likely behind some of today's move.

Image source: Tenet Healthcare.

Scientific Games cuts its losses

Scientific Games stock was up 8% in the wake of the gaming-technology specialist's fourth-quarter financial report Thursday night. Revenue was up 2% from the year-ago quarter, and the company narrowed its net losses slightly. Scientific Games said that its Gamescape platform has won widespread acclaim among customers, and the lottery division won several large contracts and launched successful lottery systems both in the U.S. and internationally during the period. Moreover, the gaming-tech specialist said that its efficiency efforts have paid off with cost reductions, and refinancing operations have reduced interest expense and made the company's balance sheet stronger. With strong potential looking forward, Scientific Games has won back investors' confidence, having quadrupled in price since early 2016.

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PDL BioPharma recovers its footing

Finally, shares of PDL BioPharma finished up 6%. The company's stock bounced back from a 4% loss on Thursday following its Wednesday evening report of fourth-quarter results. The biopharma royalty specialist said that total revenue plunged 63% from the year-ago period, with the expiration of vital patent licensing agreements having led to decreases in major royalty streams. Net losses of $10.3 million were problematic, but a large portion of the increased operating expenses came from a loss on the extinguishment of certain notes receivable that PDL held. Looking forward, investors seemed more comfortable today with the idea that even if PDL won't be as big as it was before, it could still remain a viable company with the potential to earn profit in the future.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.