The broader stock market finished Friday with generally modest changes, as weakness in the Nasdaq Composite offset better performance from the Dow Jones Industrials. Market participants generally focused their attention southward, where Hurricane Irma has barreled through the islands of the Eastern Caribbean and looks poised to make landfall in Florida over the weekend. Yet some individual stocks suffered from company-specific news that weighed on their future prospects or reflected weaker conditions in their respective markets. Kroger (NYSE: KR), Science Applications International (NYSE: SAIC), and Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) 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.
Kroger sees earnings fall
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Kroger declined 7.5% after the grocery store giant released its second-quarter financial report. The company said that revenue rose nearly 4% on a 0.7% rise in identical-store sales (excluding fuel), but earnings fell by more than a fifth on an adjusted basis compared to the year-ago quarter. Kroger also reiterated its earnings guidance for the full year but failed to include any negative impact from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in its projections. CEO Rodney McMullen said that he believes that Kroger has "the ability to grow identical supermarket sales and market share in 2018," but investors remain concerned that consolidation in the grocery space will weigh on its competitive position going forward.
SAIC takes a hit
Scientific Applications International dropped 18.2% in the wake of the release of its financial results for the second quarter. The technology integration specialist said that revenue eased downward by 2% due to the completion of key contracts, and pressure on margins resulted in declines in operating income and earnings. The company pointed to new projects with U.S. Central Command and the Army Software Engineering Directorate, as well as expanded relationships with several other government agencies. Yet investors seemed nervous about the fact that the numbers were weaker than anticipated. Until the company can turn around its sluggish sales, shareholders could remain skeptical about SAIC's future prospects.
Freeport watches oil slump
Finally, Freeport-McMoRan lost 6.4%. The mining and energy company had to deal with adverse moves in the oil sector today, where crude oil fell more than $1.50 per barrel to $47.50. Copper prices also reversed their recent upward move, falling in response to news of moderating demand from the Chinese market for the industrial metal. Despite the move lower today, many investors see Freeport as having the potential for outsized gains in the years to come, especially if the commodity markets that the company serves begin to perform better. Challenges remain, but Freeport is taking steps to make the most of its opportunities.
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