Wednesday was the day that the Dow Jones Industrials finally rose above the 20,000 level, ending weeks of speculation about whether and when the average would climb above the much-watched milestone. Strong earnings reports from many companies helped boost enthusiasm about the market, and new measures from the Trump administration received a generally favorable audience from the business community. Major market benchmarks were up in the neighborhood of 1%, but many stocks did even better. Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ: BOBE) , Logitech International (NASDAQ: LOGI) , and Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) were among the best performers of the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Image source: Bob Evans Farms.
Bob Evans makes a sale
Bob Evans Farms jumped more than 20% after the company agreed to sell its restaurant unit to a private equity buyer. Under the terms of the deal, Golden Gate Capital will pay $565 million for Bob Evans Restaurants, and Bob Evans expects to end up with net proceeds of between $475 million and $485 million. The continuing company will focus on its BEF Foods unit, which also announced it would buy Pineland Farms Potato Company for $115 million. Shareholders can expect a special dividend within a couple months after the restaurant deal closes, with the amount estimated at $7.50 per share. Activist investor Sandell Asset Management, which had urged the company to take decisive action along these lines, was pleased by the deal and by the prospects of Bob Evans continuing as a packaged-foods company.
Logitech has a good holiday season
Logitech International climbed 13% after issuing preliminary results for its holiday quarter that included the highest retail revenue in its history. The maker of accessories and peripherals saw sales climb 7% to $666.7 million, and earnings of $0.59 per share were up by roughly half from year-ago levels. CEO Bracken Darrell said that "our results exceeded expectations and were outstanding, with broad-based growth across all our regions and almost all product categories." The company also boosted its full-year fiscal 2017 outlook, expecting 12% to 13% retail sales growth and adjusted operating income of between $225 million and $230 million. Those figures are up three to four percentage points and $25 million to $30 million respectively, suggesting that Logitech expects continued success for the foreseeable future.
Western Digital rides its rival's coattails
Finally, Western Digital gained 5%. The company gained ground after rival Seagate Technology issued a favorable earnings report, including an 80% jump in net income and better guidance for the current quarter. Yet after the bell, Western Digital gave back some of its gains despite reporting solid adjusted earnings of $2.30 per share. "We saw healthy demand for capacity enterprise hard drives, all NAND-based products, and hard drives in client applications," said CEO Steve Milligan, and "we continue to execute well on key strategic priorities." As the ongoing move toward cloud computing drives demand for storage, it will be interesting to see how much of a growing pie Western Digital is able to carve out for itself.
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