The stock market remained under pressure Friday, with investors going into the weekend feeling increasingly uncertain about the prospects for the global economy. This week's interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve and President Trump's announcement of additional tariffs introduced new dynamics for investors to consider, and many market participants chose to become more defensive. Yet some stocks posted sharp gains as companies kept seeking to make the most of the current environment. Aphria (NYSE: APHA), Pinterest (NYSE: PINS), and Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Aphria makes some money
Shares of Aphria soared 41% after the Canadian cannabis company reported a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter of 2019. The marijuana specialist said that adult-use cannabis sales jumped by 158% from just three months ago, helping to lift overall revenue by 75%. Volume doubled from last quarter to 5,574 kilos, and cash costs of production fell slightly, boosting efficiency. A big part of Aphria's success came from its acquisition of Germany's CC Pharma, and the company also thinks that growth in its core Canadian market will pick up speed even as it pursues international opportunities in Germany and elsewhere. Profits have been rare in the marijuana space, so Aphria's achievement is noteworthy.
Pinterest paints a pretty picture
Pinterest's stock climbed 18% after the social media company said it reached 300 million users in the second quarter. Revenue during the period jumped 62% from year-earlier levels, and losses narrowed once you take out the huge negative impact of equity-based compensation triggered by Pinterest's IPO. The company also boosted its forecast for the full year, including a $40 million increase in its sales projections to a range of $1.095 billion to $1.115 billion and a $20 million narrowing of loss projections to $25 million to $50 million on an adjusted pre-tax operating basis. Pinterest stands out from other social media companies because of its visual appeal, and users appear to like what they see on the platform.
Cloudera gets some Icahn interest
Finally, shares of Cloudera picked up 4%. The cloud software company got a boost after billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he had taken a sizable stake amounting to 12.6% of its shares. The disclosure with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said that Icahn believes that the stock is undervalued and that he wants to talk to Cloudera representatives to seek ways to boost shareholder value. Icahn also left open the possibility of asking for board representation. With the stock having lost two-thirds of its value since early 2018, investors hope that Icahn can find ways to fix some of the problems at Cloudera.
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