Wednesday proved to be a relatively quiet day on Wall Street, despite the fact that the Federal Reserve made a key decision that could foreshadow a shift in interest rate policy in the near future. As expected, no change to interest rates occurred this month, but many investors now believe that it's only a matter of time before the central bank has to become more accommodative in order to spur economic growth. Though the market made gains following the announcement, some stocks missed out on the upward move. Energizer Holdings (NYSE: ENR), Gran Tierra Energy (NYSEMKT: GTE), and Green Plains (NASDAQ: GPRE) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.
Energizer runs out of juice
Shares of Energizer Holdings fell 6% after the battery maker got negative comments from Wall Street analysts. JPMorgan downgraded Energizer stock from neutral to underweight, reducing its price target by $9 per share to $36. Energizing isn't selling as many units in some of its battery lines as it has in the past, according to industry data that the analyst company observed, and the fact that a major shareholder will have the ability to sell off its stake in Energizer at the beginning of next year is also weighing down sentiment. Longer-term, JPMorgan sees some reasons for optimism, but recent results suggest that it'll be tough for Energizer to overcome short-term headwinds along the way.
Image source: Energizer Holdings.
Gran Tierra deals with new challenges
Gran Tierra Energy saw its stock drop 11.5% after the Calgary-based company gave its latest operations update. Gran Tierra said that it achieved record drilling results at a key facility in Colombia, but a combination of equipment failures and local unrest led it to shut in some of its oil wells in the country's Acordionero region. The company tried to put the difficulties in context, referring to them as "temporary operational issues" and telling shareholders that it's taking "necessary steps to get production back on track." Nevertheless, investors seem concerned that the situation in Colombia remains volatile and could cause further problems down the road.
Green Plains stops its dividend
Finally, shares of Green Plains lost 9%. The ethanol producer said that it would suspend its cash dividend immediately, eliminating its $0.12-per-share payout that had given the stock a yield approaching 4%. Green Plains noted that it intends to use the savings from not having to pay a dividend toward investing in its Project 24 initiative, which involves buying back stock and deploying new technology in the high-protein feed area. The company also hopes to cut costs by building greater efficiency, and a refinancing effort should buy Green Plains more time to improve the quality of its balance sheet and make it easier to go forward with business-enhancing moves that it hopes will pay off in the long run.
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