The stock market had another topsy-turvy day, with various major benchmarks moving in different directions from each other. The worst losses came for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which was down largely on worries about social media companies and the potential for government regulation of their operations. Elsewhere, though, a few indexes actually managed to post gains, with investors overcoming anxiety on trade and instead focusing on favorable business fundamentals. Some troubling news affecting certain high-profile individual stocks weighed on the overall market. RH (NYSE: RH), Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY), and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly.
RH hits a minor sales slump
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Shares of RH dropped 13% after the high-end home furnishings retailer reported its second-quarter financial results. Despite extremely strong bottom-line growth that was substantially better than most investors had expected, revenue gains of just 4% fell short of what Wall Street had hoped to see. CEO Gary Friedman was unconcerned with the sales slump, arguing that RH's whole philosophy involves being willing to give up low-quality revenue in exchange for maximizing margin and profit. That strategy has worked well for other companies, but at least for today, RH shareholders weren't ready to accept it as an explanation for the shortfall in sales.
Workday falls down on the job
Workday stock fell 9% in the wake of the company's release of its second-quarter financial report. Revenue jumped 28% on a better-than-30% gain in subscription-based revenue for the HR and finance enterprise cloud computing specialist. However, adjusted net loss widened from year-earlier levels, and even though Workday boosted its revenue estimates following the acquisition of business planning specialist Adaptive Insights, shareholders seemed disappointed that the pickup in anticipated sales wasn't even greater. Those who've watched Workday in the past know that the company has a reputation for lowballing its guidance, however, and so some see today's slump as a great opportunity to consider Workday stock at a bargain price.
Halliburton sees trouble ahead
Finally, shares of Halliburton finished lower by 6%. The oil services giant said that slowing growth in activity levels in the Permian Basin region of West Texas could contribute to a shortfall in earnings for the current quarter. In addition, Halliburton pointed to sluggishness in starting new contracts in the Middle East. All told, the company sees an $0.08- to $0.10-per-share hit to earnings for the quarter, blaming high labor costs, a lack of transportation infrastructure, and overall inflation levels. Unless higher oil prices bring more demand for its services, Halliburton worries that the current environment could lead to another slump for the oil-field services industry in the near future.
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