The stock market lost ground on Thursday, with major benchmarks falling around 1% on the day. Rising tensions on the geopolitical front weighed on sentiment, especially because of the North Korean test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and the attendant threat that it poses to the U.S. and its allies. Domestic economic news also threw cold water on the market when private employment numbers came in worse than expected. Even though stocks broadly fell, some bucked the downtrend and posted substantial gains. HSN (NASDAQ: HSNI), Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR), and BeiGene (NASDAQ: BGNE) 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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HSN makes it biggest sale yet: itself
Shares of HSN jumped 27% after the operator of the Home Shopping Network accepted a takeover bid from its primary rival in the space. Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ: QVCA), which is the parent company of rival shopping channel QVC, offered to buy HSN in a deal that puts an enterprise value on the target company of $2.6 billion. Liberty already owns 38% of HSN, and under the terms of the deal, HSN shareholders will receive 1.65 shares of Series A QVC Group stock for every share of HSN they own. HSN board chair Arthur Martinez lauded the deal, saying that it "will give us instant access to global consumer markets, a leadership team with deep expertise and a global perspective, and the opportunity to further strengthen our content-based brand portfolios in a changing retail landscape." For Liberty, buying HSN will increase QVC's scale and allow it to compete more effectively with online retail specialists and cut internal costs.
Herman Miller gets comfortable
Herman Miller stock climbed 8% in the wake of the company's fiscal fourth-quarter financial report. The office furniture specialist suffered a revenue decline of about 1%, as new order activity declined from year-ago levels. Net income fell more sharply on a reported basis, but after accounting for certain extraordinary items, adjusted earnings were up 14% from the year-ago quarter. Part of the reason for the downward pressure on revenue came from price increases that went into effect in February, as Herman Miller said that customers rushed to get orders in before the prices rose. Yet CEO Brian Walker noted that the consumer segment built momentum in revenue and orders, and he was pleased to see efforts to broaden its distribution channels work so effectively. With a dividend increase also indicating the company's confidence, Herman Miller has shareholders excited about its future.
BeiGene collaborates for big gains
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Finally, shares of BeiGene closed 27% higher today. The Chinese biopharmaceutical stock said that it had made a collaborative agreement with biotech giant Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) under which Celgene will acquire worldwide rights beyond Asia to distribute cancer tumor-fighting candidate drug BGB-A317. In exchange, BeiGene will receive $263 million in cash, a $150 million equity investment, and exclusive licenses to sell three key Celgene drugs in China. Many investors were amazed at the terms that BeiGene was able to negotiate with one of the industry's largest companies, but as a gateway to the Chinese pharmaceutical market, BeiGene used its leverage extremely well, and other competing drug companies are likely to take notice as they come up with their own strategies for tackling China.
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