Why Hanesbrands, FireEye, and athenahealth Slumped Today

The stock market did extremely well on Friday following a strong report on the employment front. With the U.S. economy producing 227,000 nonfarm jobs in January, investors took the news as being generally positive for the prospects for the broader U.S. economy. In addition, executive orders reducing potential regulatory pressure on financial institutions also lifted that sector of the market. Yet some stocks didn't participate in the rally, and Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI), FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE), and athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN) 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.

Image source: Hanesbrands.

Hanesbrands gets exposed

Hanesbrands plunged more than 16% after the maker of underwear reported its fourth-quarter financial results. The company's numbers certainly looked strong, including a 12% rise in revenue and a 20% gain in adjusted earnings per share for the quarter. However, CEO Gerald Evans noted that Hanesbrands' results weren't as good as the company had hoped, and he blamed weak conditions in the retail industry for the shortfall. In particular, Hanesbrands reported declines in retail consumer traffic, and although the company has worked hard to adapt to online sales trends and changing consumer buying behavior, even its ambitious guidance for strong earnings growth didn't live up to investor expectations. Until retail conditions improve, Hanesbrands might have difficulty in getting its stock to recover.

FireEye suffers some high-profile departures

FireEye also dropped 16% in the wake of its fourth-quarter results and new announcements of executive departures. By some measures, the cybersecurity company's financial performance was much improved, as FireEye managed to narrow its adjusted net loss by more than 90% from the year-ago quarter. However, revenue was flat, and news that executive chairman David DeWalt and CFO Mike Berry will both leave the company raised new questions about FireEye's future direction. With exceedingly strong competitive pressure in the cybersecurity arena, FireEye will have to get its leadership together and work toward the common goal of maximizing its ability to capitalize on the current opportunity in the industry.

Athenahealth deals with slower sales

Finally, Athenahealth fell 14%. The healthcare technology company said in its fourth-quarter results that revenue climbed 12%, leading to a nearly 40% gain in adjusted earnings per share compared to the year-ago quarter. Yet even though the company's major products continue to gain adoption among physicians and other healthcare providers, investors nevertheless had hoped to see even faster growth going forward. The biggest uncertainty the company faces is the extent to which any changes to or repeal of the Affordable Care Act will result in less demand for Athenahealth's services. At this point, though, that doesn't seem likely, and today's decline might well prove to be unwarranted given the health-tech specialist's future prospects.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends FireEye. The Motley Fool recommends athenahealth. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.