Thursday was a down day for the stock market, but major market benchmarks gave back only a portion of their extensive gains from Wednesday. Losses were generally limited to around half a percent, and the Dow Jones Industrials just barely managed to stay above the 21,000 mark despite a substantial decrease in the price of oil.
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Yet even though much of the market took a breather after an extended move upward in recent months, some stocks nevertheless plowed higher, and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), W&T Offshore (NYSE: WTI), and Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT) 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.
A&F looks for a recovery this year
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch soared 14% after the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results on Thursday morning. The teen and young-adult retailer said that the tough retail environment continued to weigh on results, including a 7% drop in revenue caused in large part by a 5% drop in comparable sales during the quarter. Net income also declined, falling more than 15% and producing earnings of $0.71 per share. Yet most investors instead focused on positive comments for the coming year, which included predictions for improving comparable sales throughout 2017. Moreover, the Hollister store brand reported a 1% rise in comparable sales for the quarter, defying expectations for a slight decline. Difficult conditions are likely to persist in the first half of the year, but shareholders didn't wait to get optimistic about a brighter future down the road for Abercrombie & Fitch.
Image source: Abercrombie & Fitch.
W&T gets more energetic
W&T Offshore stock was up 6% in the wake of the company's fourth-quarter operational and financial report. Revenue climbed more than 10% from the year-ago period, and production of more than 40,000 oil-equivalent barrels was favorable for the company, especially since more than half of that production came from oil and natural gas liquids. Moreover, W&T reversed a substantial year-earlier loss with a modest profit for the quarter. CEO Tracy Krohn noted that the company benefited from improving oil and gas prices along with cost-cutting measures, and W&T's efforts to rein in capital expenditures haven't prevent the company from having solid reserve replacement rates. With conditions improving in the energy industry, W&T Offshore is hopeful that the Gulf of Mexico will remain a lucrative place for future opportunities.
Sarepta bounces back
Finally, shares of Sarepta Therapeutics climbed 7%. The biopharmaceutical company got hit hard on Wednesday after it reported that its 2017 revenue guidance would be well below what investors had expected to see. Yet the stock fought back from extensive earlier losses to finish down just 2% on Wednesday, and today, favorable analyst comments helped drive interest in Sarepta. The big question for the company is whether the coming launch process for the recently approved Exondys 51 treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy will go as well as some investors hope. It has plenty of potential, but given the complications of dealing with rare diseases that affect only a small number of patients, Sarepta is likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future.
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