The choppy, indecisive action from the market continued today, with the major indices not even testing the waters of new highs hit on Tuesday. The S&P 500’s close of 2,294.67 was a scant 0.07% better than Tuesday’s last trade, leaving the index just a tad below where it was two weeks ago.
It wasn’t a breakeven day for all names though. In fact, for Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z, NASDAQ:ZG), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), Wednesday was downright brutal.
Here’s why each was at the bottom of the barrel.
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM)
If you want proof that sometimes not even “better than expected” is “good enough,” you only have to look at what happened to Akamai Technologies today. Despite the fact that the company managed to top is prior quarter’s earnings and revenue estimates, AKAM tumbled to the tune of 10.6% on Wednesday.
For its fourth fiscal quarter of the year, Akamai earned 72 cents per share versus expectations for profit of only 68 cents per share of AKAM. And, the top line of $616 million was better than the expected $606 million.
The prod for the sharp pullback AKAM saw today was a string of downgrades and lowered price targets after the company announced it would be spending heavily on several new business initiatives this year. As Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss commented, “With revenue growth just beginning to inflect upwards, [Akamai] embarking on another investment cycle comes as a surprise to investors.”
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)
A year and a half ago, biopharma Gilead Sciences was sitting on top of the world. It had one of the hottest new hepatitis C drugs on the market in its portfolio, and it was commanding a huge premium.
What a difference a year and a half makes. In spite of the fact that GILD handily topped last quarter’s earnings estimates of $2.61 per share with a profit of $2.70 per share of Gilead (and beat sales estimates as well), the weak outlook for its hepatitis C drugs torpedoed the stock. For the year currently underway, the company believes it will sell between $7.5 billion and $9.0 billion worth of hepatitis C treatments. The figures fall well short of the $12 billion Wall Street had modeled.
The irony? Gilead’s Hep-C drugs are a bit too effective, curing the disease once and for all rather than requiring ongoing treatments that other diseases often require.
GILD ended the day down 8.6%.
Zillow Group, Inc. (Z)
Finally, shares of online real-estate listing company Zillow Group — its voting as well as its nonvoting shares — both lost roughly 7% of their value today despite performing better than expected in its recently completed fourth quarter.
The selloff was entirely the result of a lackluster forecast for the year currently underway. Z anticipates losing between $20.2 million and $40.2 million on revenue of between $1.03 billion and $1.05 billion. Analysts were essentially calling for a breakeven on sales of $1.04 billion for 2017.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.