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Why Conagra Brands, DBV Technologies, and Carnival Slumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Thursday saw another tough session on Wall Street, with major stock indexes losing between 1.5% and 2%. Market participants are watching closely to see if the S&P 500 and other benchmarks fall enough to turn the current correction into a full-blown bear market, and it would take only another couple of days of losses of this size for the index to get there. Yet bad news from individual companies also added to the gloomy mood, and Conagra Brands (NYSE: CAG), DBV Technologies (NASDAQ: DBVT), and Carnival (NYSE: CCL) were among the worst performers on the day. Here's why they did so poorly.

Conagra Brands wilts after earnings

Shares of Conagra Brands dropped 16.5% in the wake of the food company's release of its fiscal second-quarter financial report. Sales were higher by 10% during the quarter compared to the year-earlier period, but Conagra's acquisition of Pinnacle Foods was entirely responsible for that growth, as organic sales were down 1.6%. The food giant said that hurricanes adversely affected its sales performance, and even though earnings were better than most had expected, shareholders didn't like the relatively weak guidance for just 1% to 2% organic growth for the full fiscal year. Despite its defensive characteristics, Conagra needs to show growth potential in order to satisfy investors looking for value.

Lobby with Conagra logo, along with strips showing Conagra's brands.

Image source: Conagra Brands.

DBV deals with a setback

DBV Technologies stock plunged 58% after the clinical-stage biotechnology company decided to withdraw its FDA application for its Viaskin Peanut candidate treatment for children suffering from peanut allergies. Regulators had expressed concerns about missing information concerning quality control and manufacturing practices for the treatment, and even though the FDA didn't criticize Viaskin's efficacy data, investors weren't happy with the indefinite delay in moving forward. With potential competition on the horizon, DBV can't afford to wait any longer than it has to before getting its hopefully successful treatment to market.

Carnival sinks

Finally, shares of Carnival finished lower by 9.5%. The cruise ship operator saw record earnings for its 2018 fiscal year, which jumped almost 12% on a per-share basis from 2017 levels. Yet even with the solid results, investors weren't entirely pleased with Carnival's forecast for fiscal 2019, which included projected bottom-line gains of 6% to 13%. Given how strong the cruise ship operator's fundamental business has been lately, shareholders wanted a rosier outlook -- and with potential headwinds for the travel industry coming from a down stock market, Carnival will need all the positive momentum it can muster in order to keep growing.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.