Wednesday was a down day on Wall Street, with major benchmarks moving in both directions throughout the session as investors tried to get their bearings after recent market volatility. The huge surge in stocks in early January, followed by the lightning-fast correction and subsequent bounce in February, raised uncertainty about what the future of the market will look like. With the bull run now 9 years old, some believe that fatigue is setting in, while others think tailwinds like lower corporate tax rates will keep the market on the rise. Some individual stocks were able to ignore the negative sentiment, and Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ: AAXN), Student Transportation (NASDAQ: STB), and TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Axon shoots higher
Shares of Axon Enterprise soared 28% after the maker of Tasers and body camera equipment reported its fourth-quarter financial results. Axon saw strength in both parts of its business, but the rise in interest in software and sensors such as body cameras led to a much higher jump in revenue of 27% in that segment, compared to just a 10% rise in sales of weapons. High expectations for the coming year also played a role in the stock's movement, and at least some investors saw the decision of founder to exchange a traditional salary for a complex system of fundamentally pegged long-term incentive compensation as a net positive for Axon going forward.
Student Transportation makes a deal
Student Transportation stock gained 25% in the wake of the school bus transportation provider's acceptance of a buyout proposal from various private investors. A group led by Canadian public pension management giant Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec made a cash offer of $7.50 per share in U.S. dollars for the shares that the group doesn't already own. CDPQ has a more than 8% stake in Student Transportation already, and members of the Student Transportation board of directors found the valuation of the deal compelling. Investors will lose the monthly dividend income that Student Transportation provides, but the big jump today is a nice reward in exchange.
TJX has a good quarter
Finally, shares of TJX Companies rose 8%. The company behind T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, and other retail chains said that comparable sales were up 4% in the fourth quarter, helping the company boost its top line overall by 16% from year-earlier figures. A 25% dividend increase was another sign of TJX's enthusiasm about the future, and investors should also see some benefit from around $2.5 billion to $3 billion in potential stock buyback activity over the coming year. With signs that the retail industry might finally be coming out of its malaise, TJX shareholders have high hopes that 2018 will be even better for the bargain-conscious retail specialist.
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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Axon Enterprise. The Motley Fool recommends The TJX Companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.