Why Frontier Communications, Triangle Capital, and Hormel Foods Jumped Today

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Wednesday was an extremely volatile day, with the stock market recovering from large declines to post solid gains by the end of the session. After having lost more than 500 points in the morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a triple-digit gain, and other major benchmarks also bounced back into the green by the day's end. Chinese retaliation on the trade front initially raised concerns of a full-blown trade war, but investors quickly quashed those fears and focused instead on hoped-for strength in companies' fundamental performance in the coming earnings season. Good news from some key individual stocks also contributed to a positive mood. Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR), Triangle Capital (NYSE: TCAP), and Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Will Frontier seek some advice?

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Shares of Frontier Communications jumped 9% on speculation that the telecommunications company would seek advice on some potential strategic moves. Reports suggested that Frontier had engaged an investment banking specialist to help it with potential divestitures of assets. If true, the move would make sense as Frontier tries to work its way through an extensive debt load while focusing its attention on its best future business opportunities. With major acquisitions not having gone as well as shareholders had hoped, Frontier has only a limited amount of time left to make positive moves that can help return the telecom company to a more successful trajectory.

Triangle makes a deal

Triangle Capital stock climbed 10% after the business development company announced the sale of its investment portfolio and a new agreement with an investment advisory firm. Triangle will get $981 million in cash from Benefit Street Partners in exchange for its portfolio of assets, and it will accept an $85 million payment from investment advisory company Barings to become Triangle's advisor. Shareholders will get the benefit of the $85 million payment in the form of a $1.78-per-share distribution, and then Barings will invest the $981 million within the continuing Triangle entity. If investors approve the deal, Triangle could look very different by this summer.

Hormel: looking to buy?

Finally, shares of Hormel Foods picked up 5%. The food company behind products like Spam and Dinty Moore beef stew was the subject of a report in The Wall Street Journal suggesting that Hormel has looked at private equity sources to find potentially interesting targets for acquisitions. Despite concerns about Chinese tariffs that would focus on food sellers, Hormel is seeing the benefit of its strategy to stay in front of changing consumer preferences by acquiring popular food companies. Moreover, as long as trade issues don't become overly contentious, Hormel's international strategy to expand into hot areas like Latin America and Asia could deliver even faster growth in the future.

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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.