Friday marked a positive end to a tumultuous week on Wall Street, with most major benchmarks gaining ground. Geopolitical concerns continued to overhang the financial markets more broadly, but strong earnings from the nation's largest athletic footwear and apparel company helped bolster confidence in the consumer economy. Even though some technology stocks were again relatively weak, investors felt comfortable compartmentalizing the sector, and good news from a number of companies also helped support the market. Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), Parkway (NYSE: PKY), and Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ: CRZO) 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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Hain Celestial makes one activist investor hungry for more
Shares of Hain Celestial Group climbed 9% after activist hedge fund investor Engaged Capital announced that it had accumulated just under 10% of the organic and natural foods distributor's stock. Engaged Capital has launched a proxy fight, nominating seven of its own board candidates to Hain's board of directors, which currently has eight slots. The activist investor is interested in having Hain pursue a sale of the company, especially in light of the challenges that the company has faced lately. With Hain still under investigation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, some shareholders might be extremely pleased to accept the exit strategy that Engaged Capital is urging the company to consider more closely.
Parkway makes a deal
Parkway stock jumped 12% in the wake of the company accepting a buyout offer from a Canadian pension fund. The office-property real estate investment trust said that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will offer Parkway shareholders a total of $23.05 per share in cash, consisting of $19.05 per share at closing as well as a $4 per share special dividend immediately before the consummation of the deal. The move is the latest in a string of REIT mergers and acquisitions in recent days, indicating that demand for high-quality real estate remains strong even as short-term interest rates begin to rise. Because the stock market is at such high levels, it's possible that investors are looking for alternative investments that will behave differently from ordinary stocks in the event of a market correction.
Carrizo buys more property
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Finally, shares of Carrizo Oil & Gas gained 6%. The Houston-based exploration and development company said on Wednesday that it had agreed to pay $648 million in cash to privately held ExL Petroleum Management in exchange for almost 16,500 net acres in the lucrative Delaware Basin area. The assets that Carrizo purchased currently produce about 8,000 barrels of oil per day, and other companies have been looking closely at the Delaware Basin as having new potential for production. The delayed positive impact likely resulted from Carrizo having to do a secondary offering of shares to finance the deal, but once the new offering was successfully completed, investors felt more comfortable betting on the positive impact that the purchase should have for Carrizo going forward.
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