Hot Stocks: FDS, SCS drop on earnings news; VIRT rallies; HQY sets 52-week high

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Further selling in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s latest rate increase sent the major U.S. equity averages lower on Thursday. With the decline, the S&P 500 reached its lowest close since June.

Looking at individual stocks, FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS) was among the standout decliners, falling on earnings news. Meanwhile, weak financial figures and cost-cutting measures sent Steelcase (SCS) to a new 52-week low.

On the other side of the ledger, Virtu Financial (VIRT) climbed on reports of a favorable regulatory turn. Elsewhere, HealthEquity (HQY) expanded its recent earnings-related gains to set a new 52-week high.

Standout Gainer

Virtu Financial (VIRT) rallied nearly 9% following reports that U.S. regulators were backing off of calls to completely ban payment for order flow, a key cog in VIRT’s business.

Market maker VIRT, one of the firms known for its penchant for paying brokers for the right to execute trades, saw its stock rise by $1.83 to close at $23.24.

With the advance, the stock, which is hovering off an intraday 52-week low of $20.90 set earlier in the year, reached its highest close since the beginning of the month. Overall, VIRT has dropped 34% in the past six months.

Standout Decliner

The release of earnings news sparked a sharp decline in FactSet Research Systems (FDS). With a lower-than-projected quarterly profit, shares dropped 8%.

FDS reported Q4 non-GAAP EPS of $3.13, missing projections by $0.08. This came despite strong revenue growth, with the top-line figure jumping 21% to $499M.

The disappointing bottom line came in part as the company faced higher interest expenses from its investment grade senior notes and outstanding term loan.

Weighed down by the news, FDS finished the day at $394.75, a retreat of $35.70.

On Sept. 12, the stock reached a close of $457.08, its highest finish since early January. Shares have slipped since then, reaching levels last seen in mid-July.

Notable New High

HealthEquity (HQY) added to a recent upswing, climbing another 2% to reach a new 52-week high. Shares have been rising over the past several weeks, following the release of a strong earnings report earlier in the month.

Shares of the custodian of health savings accounts closed Thursday’s session at $73.50, an advance of $1.65 on the day. The stock also recorded an intraday 52-week high of $74.04.

HQY has been rising steadily since releasing its quarterly results on Sept. 7, which showed better-than-expected results and a raised forecast. Shares have climbed 16% since their closing price the last day before the earnings announcement.

Longer-term, HQY has climbed 57% so far in 2022.

Notable New Low

Spending cuts and disappointing revenue prompted a wave of selling in Steelcase (SCS). Shares dropped 10% to reach a new 52-week low.

The maker of office furniture beat expectations with its quarterly profit. However, the firm’s revenue total fell short of projections, despite a 19% increase from last year.

Meanwhile, the company’s forecast came in below analysts’ expectations. At the same time, SCS reduced its dividend and announced a cost-cutting plan that includes the elimination of up to 180 salaried positions.

Hurt by the news, SCS dropped 93 cents to close at $8.31. Meanwhile, shares reached an intraday 52-week low of $8.06.

Thursday’s drop added to a recent downtrend. Shares have dropped about 28% since its close on Sept. 12. SCS has fallen about 30% in the past month.

For more of the day’s biggest winners and losers, head over to Seeking Alpha’s On The Move section.



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