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US Stocks Rally on Wednesday

- By Omar Venerio

U.S. stocks were in positive territory Wednesday, offsetting the past week declines of about 2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.58% at 25,703, the S&P 500 index rose 0.69% at 2,810, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed by 0.69% at 7,643.

Shares of Vera Bradley Inc. (VRA) jumped almost 22% Wednesday after the company announced fourth-quarter results. Revenue declined 10.5% from the prior-year quarter to $118.19 million, beating estimates by $1.85 million. Earnings were 25 cents per share and beat analysts' expectations by 2 cents.


"We are pleased that our fourth quarter revenues were at the high end of our guidance, our gross margin rate exceeded our expectations, and expenses were well-controlled," said Robert Wallstrom, CEO.

In the trimester, the gross profit reached $67.1 million, or 56.8% of net revenues, compared to $74.2 million, or 56.2% of net revenues, in the comparable period of the prior year. The operating income was $11.7 million, or 9.9% of net revenues, lower than $15.6 million, or 11.8% of net revenues, in the prior year fourth quarter.

For fiscal 2019, gross profit was $238.6 million, or 57.3% of net revenues, compared to $254.0 million, or 55.9% of net revenues, in fiscal 2018. Operating income was $27.1 million, or 6.5% of net revenues, compared to $15.0 million, or 3.3% of net revenues, in the prior year.

Looking ahead the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the company expects net revenues between $86 million and $91 million. It also projects a diluted loss per share of 6 cents to 8 cents.

Gainers

o Davita Inc. (DVA)

o NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA)

o CVS Health Corp. (CVS)

o Humana Inc. (HUM)

o L Brands Inc. (LB)

Losers

o Viacom Inc. (VIAB)

o Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN)

o Progressive Corp. (PGR)

o Kohls Corp. (KSS)

o Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC)

Global markets

The main European stock markets traded higher. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.11%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.69%, Germany's Dax gained 0.42% and Spain's Ibex 35 jumped 0.34%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.99%, India's BSE Sensex advanced 0.58%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.39% and China's Shanghai Composite closed down 1.09%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.