Why Wynn Resorts, K12, and Air Transport Services Group Jumped Today

By Dan CaplingerMarketsFool.com

The stock market ended the week on a mixed note on Friday, as all three major market benchmarks finished within 0.1% of where they closed Thursday. After a momentous week of earnings releases on Wall Street and geopolitical intrigue in Washington, investors seemed largely content to coast through to the weekend.

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Other financial markets were similarly quiet, with the 10-year Treasury yield remaining near 2.5%, gold prices remaining roughly flat, and oil prices falling by about 1%. Yet some stocks escaped the malaise and pushed higher, and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN), K12 (NYSE: LRN), and Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ: ATSG) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

Image source: Wynn Resorts.

Wynn wins in Macau

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Wynn Resorts climbed 8% despite reporting fourth-quarter financial numbers that failed to match up to investor expectations. Adjusted net income plunged by more than half from the year-ago quarter, and revenue from its older properties dropped by about $65 million since last year. But shareholders celebrated strong results from the new Wynn Palace resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau, which enjoyed revenue of $419 million and adjusted property pre-tax operating earnings of $77.5 million.

Macau, overall, still hasn't fully recovered, and the potential cannibalization by Wynn Palace was evident in the 11% revenue drop from its older Wynn Macau resort property. Still, investors think that the novelty factor from Wynn Palace could still lead to further growth, especially given that other competing properties have come on line lately.

K12 learns to earn more

K12 gained 16% after announcing its fiscal second-quarter earnings results Thursday afternoon. The technology-based educational company saw sales climb 6%, pushing net income up by more than a third and producing earnings of $0.30 per share.

CEO Stuart Udell noted that the recent acquisition of language specialist Middlebury Interactive Languages leaves K12 "even better positioned with deep language literacy expertise to help schools, districts, and families prepare students for college and careers." Many education-related companies have struggled recently, but K12's elementary and secondary school focus sets it apart from hard-hit for-profit colleges and universities, and could foster further gains in the future.

ATSG climbs despite warning

Finally, Air Transport Services Group gained 10%. The company reported late Thursday that it expects its pre-tax operating earnings from continuing operations for 2016 to be $7 million less than its previous guidance had suggested.The shortfall came from a labor dispute that led to a short work stoppage before a federal court issued an injunction requiring pilots to return to their jobs.

Yet investors focused instead on optimistic views for 2017, which the company said "will benefit from the significant growth in ATSG's externally leased fleet of 767 freighter aircraft during 2016."With prospects for air transportation looking strong, ATSG seems like a good play for 2017.

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