Still unsure about what the foreseeable future holds, traders remained mostly on the sidelines today. While the S&P 500’s 0.05% loss on Thursday was anything but dramatic, the index is annoyingly still right where it was in early June, dropping no real hints as to the true direction its undertow is moving.
That wasn’t the case for Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS) and Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) on Thursday, however. All three of these names were clearly moving in a downward direction on Thursday, though for understandable reasons.
Here’s what investors need to know.
Accenture Plc (ACN)
The good news is, IT consulting outfit Accenture managed to top its fiscal third-quarter numbers, which were released this morning. The bad news is, the company curbed its full-year profit outlook.
For the quarter ending in May, Accenture earned $1.52 per share on sales of $8.87 billion. The company earned $1.41 per share of ACN in the comparable quarter a year earlier, and analysts were only expecting a profit of $1.52 this time around. Accenture generated $8.43 billion in sales in the third quarter of the prior year, and the pros had modeled a top line of $8.82 billion for the recently ended period.
Still, the future doesn’t appear to be as rock-solid as presumed. Accenture lowered its 2017 GAAP operating margin from a range of 13.5%-13.7% to a more specific (and lower) 13.3%. Investors saw the glass as half-empty rather than half-full, sending ACN to a loss of 4% for the day.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS)
It remains to be seen just how much it matters, but Dr Pepper Snapple Group investors were at least slightly more concerned than enthused about the exit of Bai Brands CEO Ben Weiss, and his replacement, Lain Hancock.
This isn’t the CEO of the entire Dr Pepper Snapple company. That’s still Lawrence Young, who barring any unforeseen events isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Bai Brands is a division of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, known for several health-minded drinks that use the same brand name.
While Hancock is a capable leader, Weiss was the founder of Bai Brands, and in some regards was the brand. His absence runs the risk of Bai losing touch with what made it such a favorite niche product.
Shareholders were concerned enough to send DPS lower to the tune of 3.6% on Wednesday.
Rite Aid Corporation (RAD)
Finally, Rite Aid shareholders are certainly no stranger to losses. As the intended merger with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) has come unraveled in recent weeks, RAD shares have fallen nearly 70% from their January peak. So, today’s 3.4% tumble wasn’t anything new.
What was new was the fact that Thursday’s stumble didn’t actually have anything to do with the Walgreens debacle. Rather, the latest version of the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was unveiled today, and (to the extent it can be determined thus far) it’s not as compelling as hoped for the drug industry.
That being said, RAD would have been fighting a headwind with or without the looming proposal of the nation’s healthcare system. The battle with the FTC to allow Rite Aid and Walgreens to merge is almost over, and it increasingly looks like the much-needed deal isn’t going to be allowed to happen.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.