Wall Street recorded a mixed performance on Wednesday, as the major U.S. equity averages bounced back from an early slide to finish near the unchanged mark. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended with slight losses, while the Dow eked out a thin gain.
Despite the overall rebound, solar stocks remained lower. The sector was weighed down by a cautious comment from Barclays. Sunrun (RUN), Sunnova (NOVA), First Solar (FSLR) and SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) all ended lower.
Extreme Networks (NASDAQ:EXTR) was another notable decliner, posting a double-digit percentage slide following the resignation of its top financial executive.
On other side of the spectrum, Millicom International (TIGO) expanded its value by nearly a quarter after reports of takeover interest. Elsewhere, Hess (HES) rode better-than-expected earnings to a fresh 52-week high.
Sector In Focus
Solar stocks lost ground following a cautious comment from Barclays, which warned that big names in the sector would be hit by slowing residential solar demand. The firm cut its rating on Sunrun (RUN) to Equal Weight from Overweight and reduced its opinion on SunPower (SPWR) to Underweight from Equal Weight.
The downgrade sent RUN lower by about 7%. SPWR slumped about 7% early in the session but bounced back in the middle of the day, ending with a loss of under 1%.
Elsewhere, Sunnova (NOVA) dropped more than 7%, even as Barclays called the stock “best positioned with [its] dealer-only model and lowest exposure” to California. Meanwhile, First Solar (FSLR) slumped about 2%, while SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) dropped about 3%.
Millicom International (TIGO) jumped around 23% amid reports that the company has received takeover interest.
According to the Financial Times, a group including private equity firm Apollo (APO) and former Softbank executive Marcelo Claure are weighing a potential offer for the Latin American telecom firm. The news outlet said the bid would value the company in the “high teens” per share, or almost $10B, including debt.
TIGO finished Wednesday’s trading at $18.25, an advance of $3.42 on the day. This accelerated upward momentum that has marked much of trading since late October, when the stock set a 52-week low of $10.22.
Shares have climbed 79% since hitting its low. Still, the stock remains 3% lower compared to the same time last year.
A major leadership change spurred selling in Extreme Networks (EXTR), which dropped more than 14% after the company announced the resignation of its CFO. This came despite better-than-expected quarterly results and a raised forecast.
The provider of networking solutions said CFO Rémi Thomas will leave the company on Feb. 16 to take a position at a privately held software company. The firm named Cristina Tate, SVP and head of Financial Planning & Analysis, as interim CFO.
EXTR also issued its Q2 results, saying non-GAAP EPS jumped nearly 29% from last year and beat analysts’ expectations. Revenue also came in above estimates, climbing 13% from last year to around $318M.
With investors focusing on the leadership shuffle, EXTR dropped $2.81 to close at $16.50. The retreat took the stock below a recent trading range and to its lowest level since late October.
Notable New High
The release of earnings news sent Hess (HES) to a new 52-week high. Shares climbed almost 3% after topping expectations with its latest quarterly profit.
The company said its Q4 GAAP earnings more than doubled from last year, with its bottom-line total easily exceeding analysts’ consensus. Revenue climbed 35% to reach $3.05B.
Following the earnings news, HES rose $4.01 to close at its high for the day at $157.89. This also represented a new intraday 52-week peak.
Wednesday’s advance added to a long-term uptrend. Shares have climbed 17% so far in 2023. The stock is up almost 80% over the past year.
For more of the day’s biggest winners and losers, head over to Seeking Alpha’s On The Move section.