Wall Street celebrated the last day of the first quarter with gains for the stock market, as investors marveled at the way in which major indexes have regained much of the ground they lost during the last three months of 2018. As April begins next week, investors will prepare for the next onslaught of earnings releases, and they'll mark the first time in a year that tax impacts won't have a major effect on profits. Most of the focus today was on individual stocks, some of which posted sharp gains on promising news. BlackBerry (NYSE: BB), Galapagos (NASDAQ: GLPG), and Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
BlackBerry looks sweeter than ever
Shares of BlackBerry picked up almost 14% after the mobile device pioneer announced its fourth-quarter financial results. The company reported an 8% jump in adjusted revenue compared to the year-earlier quarter, with earnings rising significantly over the same period. BlackBerry has transformed its business, and a massive portion of the company's revenue now comes from recurring sources that should help guarantee its sustained success. Despite many investors having written off BlackBerry as a casualty of the smartphone wars, strong demand for its services from enterprise customers could well power growth for years to come.
Galapagos sees success ahead
Galapagos saw its stock soar 22.5% following the release of favorable study results for its candidate rheumatoid arthritis treatment, filgotinib. In partnership with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), Galapagos said that the drug met key primary endpoints in two separate studies, including meeting specified response rates when compared to AbbVie's Humira or a placebo. Filgotinib also demonstrated better responses when used in conjunction with the existing treatment methotrexate compared to simply using methotrexate alone. The news has shareholders excited about the future for Galapagos, but it could be a while before filgotinib starts moving further toward FDA approval.
Progress Software makes a buy, soars on earnings
Finally, shares of Progress Software jumped 16%. The application development and digital technology specialist said that revenue and earnings fell during the fiscal first quarter compared to the year-earlier period, but those figures were better than most had expected. Moreover, Progress said that it would acquire privately held Ipswitch, which helps make data file transfer and network management software. The $225 million cash deal should immediately add to Progress' adjusted earnings per share and improve cash flow, and investors are excited that the big growth move will help the combined company compete more effectively in the cutthroat space.
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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.