The stock market had another solid session on Wednesday, with major indexes generally climbing around 0.5%. In the absence of bad news from Washington or on the geopolitical front, investors seemed content to focus on company-specific issues, and as earnings season plowed forward, several high-profile names gave encouraging financial reports. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX), Diebold Nixdorf (NYSE: DBD), and Unisys (NYSE: UIS) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Copper optimism boosts Freeport
Shares of Freeport-McMoRan picked up 7% after the copper, gold, and energy producer got favorable comments from stock analysts at Morgan Stanley. The analysts noted that copper prices appear likely to rise further after having bounced off their lows toward the end of 2018, and that should bode well for Freeport, which counts an interest in the world-renowned Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia among its key assets. Freeport's rating went from equal weight to overweight, but in an unusual move, Morgan Stanley cut its target price from $16 to $14 per share. Nevertheless, favorable supply-and-demand dynamics in the copper market should help Freeport's long-term prospects.
Image source: Freeport-McMoRan.
Diebold starts to rebound
Diebold Nixdorf saw its stock soar 39% following the company's release of fourth-quarter financial results. The financial integrated solutions specialist said that revenue rose 3% from the year-earlier quarter, and despite Diebold's posting a net loss, investors were pleased at some favorable trends within the company's financials that suggest a possible turnaround in the near future. The key driver of optimism for Diebold has been its efforts to cut costs, and even though revenue could continue to stagnate throughout 2019 if the company's outlook is correct, expense controls could still yield progress toward sustained profitability.
Unisys returns to revenue growth
Finally, shares of Unisys finished higher by nearly 15%. In its full-year 2018 results, the technology solutions company posted its first year-over-year gains in revenue since 2003, and Unisys reversed a 2017 loss with substantial improvement in margin performance. Both the services and technology divisions at Unisys showed good signs of growth, and the company boasted some key contract signings during the fourth quarter that included the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a major global airline, and a high-profile Brazilian bank. Shareholders seem optimistic that Unisys can keep profiting from the rise in demand for technology solutions.
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