Why American Outdoor Brands, MoneyGram International, and Community Health Systems Slumped Today

The stock market continued to surge on Wednesday, with just about every major benchmarks reaching unprecedented heights. Bullish sentiment spanned the globe as 2018 started on a positive note, and investors continue to anticipate strong earnings results when companies begin to report their fourth-quarter financials in the next few weeks. Yet even though stocks overall were generally higher, some lost ground. American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ: AOBC), MoneyGram International (NASDAQ: MGI), and Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) were among the worst performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so poorly.

American Outdoor misses the target

Shares of American Outdoor Brands fell 9% on a down day for gun stocks generally. The maker of Smith & Wesson firearms didn't perform very well in 2017, and it now trades at levels not seen in more than three years. The big problem for American Outdoor Brands has been that more accommodative policies from the White House and Congress have been in place lately, making the prospects for further regulation unlikely in the near future. That takes away the impetus for gun buyers to make purchases quickly. American Outdoor Brands has tried to pivot toward other products beyond guns, but Smith & Wesson still makes up a huge part of its overall sales. That will leave the stock exposed to weakness in gun demand until the next wave of potential regulation comes.

MoneyGram gets bad news

MoneyGram International stock dropped 9% after the global payment service provider had a proposed acquisition blocked by U.S. regulators. MoneyGram had been looking to move forward with a $1.2 billion bid from China's Ant Financial, but the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States chose not to approve the proposed transaction. As a result, Ant Financial terminated its merger agreement. Although the two companies said they will work together on less extensive strategic initiatives, shareholders were still disappointed. As MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said, "The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction," and investors will have to get used to MoneyGram seeking to thrive as an independent entity for the foreseeable future.

Community Health lags behind

Finally, shares of Community Health Systems declined 8%. The hospital operator was the recipient of negative comments from analysts at Goldman Sachs, who gave Community Health an initial rating of sell. They noted that Community Health has extensive debt, and it hasn't done a good job of keeping up with other peers in its industry. Goldman set a $3 per share price target on the stock, which implies that the share price could drop another 25% to 30% from current levels. With healthcare still in flux, Community Health faces challenges that it will need to overcome in order to allay investors' concerns.

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