Why Infinera, New York Times, and Woodward Jumped Today

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Thursday brought another episode of severe declines for the stock market, as the Dow fell over 1,000 points and other major benchmarks also finished with losses of about 4% on the day. Bond yields resumed their move higher, spooking some into believing that an exodus from dividend-paying stocks toward fixed-income investments might be hurting the market. Even with the huge drop in the indexes, some companies managed to post strong gains on favorable news. Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN), New York Times (NYSE: NYT), and Woodward (NASDAQ: WWD) 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.

Infinera proves itself

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Shares of Infinera jumped 30%, continuing their rise from earlier in the week as the fiber optic networking company confirmed its success by reporting fourth-quarter financial results. Previous gains came from competing companies announcing good conditions in the industry, but Infinera's results gave investors a nice surprise, including an 8% rise in sales and a loss that wasn't quite as bad as initially expected. Infinera also believes that revenue in the current quarter will be higher than previously forecast. With the fiber-optic industry waiting for a catalyst, Infinera is in good position to benefit when customers really start ramping up their spending on network upgrades.

New York Times makes news

New York Times stock picked up 10% after the newspaper company released its fourth-quarter financial report. The company posted a 10% jump in revenue that helped lift adjusted earnings per share by 30% from year-earlier figures, and New York Times reported success in getting readers to subscribe to its digital publications. Digital-only subscription revenue now makes up 20% of New York Times' total sales, and the company believes that the growth can continue. The key will be whether heavy promotional discounts can start to lighten up once subscribers get used to paying for content, but the company is hopeful that they will.

Woodward gets interest

Finally, shares of Woodward 7.5%. The aerospace components company is reportedly a takeover target, with industry giant Boeing (NYSE: BA) being rumored to want to make a deal. Boeing has made a number of overtures toward building a vertically integrated empire, including expressing interest in regional jet specialist Embraer and its partnership with seat-specialist Adient. The benefits of bringing Woodward's parts business in-house are obvious, but the outstanding question is whether the two parties can reach an agreeable price and convince regulators that the combination is a healthy one for the competitive situation in the industry.

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Dan Caplinger owns shares of Boeing. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Infinera. The Motley Fool recommends Embraer-Empresa Brasileira and The New York Times. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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