Between terror attacks in Spain, continued political frustration here in the United States surrounding the events that took place in Charlottesville this past weekend and surprisingly tepid industrial production for July (announced today), the market never even had a chance of making gains on Thursday. By the time the closing bell rang, the S&P 500 Index was off 1.54%, ending the session at 2,430.01.
That was nothing compared to the setbacks L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB), NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) suffered today. These names did much worse, mostly in response to earnings reports.
Here’s the deal.
L Brands Inc (LB)
L Brands, the company that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, managed to top earnings as well as revenue estimates. Earnings of 48 cents per share and sales of $2.76 billion were better than the bottom line of 44 cents of LB stock and top line of $2.75 billion analysts were expecting.
That victory was deflated (and then some), though, by L Brands’ revised guidance. The company had been calling for a full-year profit of between $3.10 and $3.40 per share of LB, but dialed that outlook back to a range of between $3.00 and $3.20 per share. That was enough to send a fragile LB stock down 5% today, and deeper into multi-year low territory.
NetApp Inc. (NTAP)
LB stock wasn’t the only equity to slide lower on Thursday despite topping last quarter’s estimates. Shares of NTAP stock slumped 6.7% after posting fiscal first-quarter numbers that were better than expected, but still drawing concern from analysts anyway.
For the accounting period ending last month, IT middleman NetApp turned revenue of $1.33 billion into a profit of 62 cents per share, handily topping expectations for a bottom line of 55 cents per share of NTAP and sales of $1.31 billion. Not all analysts are expecting smooth sailing ahead, however. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich opined:
“The company has clearly turned the corner, but we see increased competition in the next year from a currently underperforming Dell EMC and a preoccupied Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.”
Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)
Last but not least, although almost everyone knows networking giant Cisco Systems is going through a paradigm shift that puts more focus on software and less on hardware, CSCO shareholders aren’t thrilled with how slowly that transition is taking shape.
The good news is, earnings of 61 cents per share of CSCO stock was in line with fiscal Q4 estimates, and sales of $12.13 billion was a bit better than the forecasted $12.07 billion. The bad news is, security revenue — which had been the company’s fastest growing segment — only grew 3% last quarter. That’s the second slow quarter for that arm.
Some analysts are still encouraged by the new Cisco, and its opportunity specifically in the security opportunity. Morgan Stanley, for instance, reiterated its bullish opinion on CSCO shares largely on the heels of interest in a security offering called Catalyst 9000. The 4% drop CSCO suffered on Thursday, however, says the market wasn’t seeing things the same way.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.