Why Newfield Exploration, Global Blood Therapeutics, and Nautilus Slumped Today

By Dan CaplingerMarketsFool.com

Wednesday was an up-and-down day for the stock market, which lost substantial ground early in the day only to climb back toward the unchanged mark by the end of the session. A slight rise for the Dow Jones Industrials led to yet another record-high close, and although other major market benchmarks weren't quite as lofty, they nevertheless finished with only modest losses on the day. Generally favorable news and sentiment helped the market bounce back during the day, but some stocks still finished lower. Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX), Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT), and Nautilus (NYSE: NLS) 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.

Continue Reading Below

Newfield looks a bit less energetic

Newfield Exploration stock fell 8% after the company reported its fourth-quarter financial results and outlook for 2017. The oil and gas exploration and production company actually did quite well during the quarter, posting a 15% rise in revenue and reversing a huge loss from last year's fourth quarter to produce a modest profit. Yet investors seemed to focus on the company's plans for the coming year, which include a change in priority for Newfield. As CEO Lee Boothby explained, "Our focus has now shifted to development, as we plan to aggressively attack our SCOOP and STACK plays to accelerate value creation for our stockholders." The vast majority of the $1 billion capital budget the company has set for 2017 will go toward the two key regions, and Newfield expects to run 10 rigs in the Anadarko Basin over the next three years, along with a single rig in the Williston Basin. Yet investors seem nervous that oil and gas prices will need to keep rising in order to maximize the profit opportunity for Newfield, and that likely resulted in today's share-price decline.

Image source: Getty Images.

More From Fool.com

Secondary offering hits Global Blood

Shares of Global Blood Therapeutics dropped 14% in the wake of the biopharmaceutical company's announcement of pricing on its secondary offering of shares. The company said that it had sold 5.1 million shares of stock for $24.50 per share, producing gross proceeds of about $125 million. That was a larger offering than the $75 million it had announced just the day before, yet it was clear that Global Blood Therapeutics was trying to take maximum advantage of the big move higher in its stock over the past month. Investors have been optimistic about the company's prospects in light of a new phase 3 clinical trial that has just begun, and the potential for a treatment for sickle cell disease could be a game changer for the company. Even with today's decline, the stock is up by nearly half in just the past month, and many are enthusiastic about its long-term prospects.

Nautilus' organic growth slows

Finally, Nautilus stock declined 17%. The maker of workout equipment said that net sales rose 15% during the fourth quarter, but all of that gain came from the acquisition of Octane Fitness. Single-digit-percentage declines in the organic retail and direct-sales categories weighed on Nautilus' results. The company said that retail results suffered from certain accounts that left the company during 2016, and direct segment performance suffered from weak media response rates early in the quarter that only improved somewhat after the November elections. CEO Bruce Cazenave is hopeful that Nautilus will benefit from the Octane acquisition in 2017 as integration efforts continue, but investors appear less certain that the fitness equipment provider will be able to bulk up in the coming year.

Offer from The Motley Fool: The 10 best stocks to buy now

Motley Fool co-founders Tom and David Gardner have spent more than a decade beating the market. In fact, the newsletter they run, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the S&P 500!*

Tom and David just revealed their ten top stock picks for investors to buy right now.

Click here to get access to the full list!

*Stock Advisor returns as of 1/30/2017

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.