Why CalAmp, Lithia Motors, and Lam Research Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger Markets Fool.com

Wednesday was a mixed day for the stock market, as the Dow Jones Industrials dropped by triple digits but other major benchmarks fared much better. Crude oil prices fell nearly $2 per barrel to $50.50, and that hurt energy companies, along with a poor earnings report from technology giant IBM. Yet the broader market held up better, and the Nasdaq Composite actually gained ground. In particular, some good news from a few individual companies helped hold the markets up, and CalAmp (NASDAQ: CAMP), Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD), and Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX) 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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CalAmp makes a connection

Shares of CalAmp jumped 14% after the company reported solid fiscal fourth-quarter financial results late Tuesday. The machine-to-machine communications company enjoyed a 22% rise in revenue, and although CalAmp posted a net loss on a GAAP basis, adjusted earnings were better than some investors had expected. Guidance from the company was in line with what shareholders were looking to see, and CEO Michael Burdiek was pleased with the progress that CalAmp has made with respect to expanding both the scope of its product lines and service offerings along with its geographical reach. With many investors continuing to believe that the Internet of Things could provide huge long-term growth opportunities, CalAmp appears to be moving in the right direction.

Tracking software products. Image source: CalAmp.

Lithia drives higher

Lithia Motors stock gained 11% in the wake of the company's first-quarter report Wednesday morning. The car dealership network said that it enjoyed the best revenue and earnings per share figures for a first quarter in its history, seeing GAAP earnings per share jump 30% from year-ago levels on a 13% boost in sales. Same-store sales gains were only 3%, but strength in used vehicles and in sales of service, body, and parts led the way higher. Lithia increased its dividend by 8%, now paying $0.27 per share quarterly, and it gave positive guidance for the full year, including $8.03 to $8.35 of adjusted earnings on revenue of $9.2 billion to $9.4 billion. A favorable market for automobiles is helping to lift Lithia, and the company is enthusiastic that more growth is in its future.

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Lam has a good quarter

Finally, shares of Lam Research rose 7%. The semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results late Thursday, and investors were pleased with its performance on all fronts. Lam said revenue soared 64% from year-ago levels, and net income more than quadrupled to $574.7 million. Moreover, the company expects the growth trends to continue into the future, issuing fiscal fourth-quarter guidance for revenue of $2.3 billion, shipments of $2.5 billion, and net income in the neighborhood of $3 per share on an adjusted basis. With a strong competitive position and improving fundamental performance, Lam has developed a lot of positive momentum and is in a position to continue to grow going forward.

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