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Why At Home Group, The Michaels Companies, and La-Z-Boy Slumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Thursday didn't see a whole lot of volatility on Wall Street, as market participants largely were in wait-and-see mode pending new developments on key issues. Many investors are watching closely to see if threatened tariffs actually go into effect next Monday, while others want to see whether tomorrow's employment report prompts the Federal Reserve to take more aggressive action to support the economy by reversing course on monetary policy and lowering interest rates. Yet at the individual-company level, several stocks posted significant declines on discouraging news. At Home Group (NYSE: HOME), The Michaels Companies (NASDAQ: MIK), and La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.

At Home gets blown down

Shares of At Home Group plummeted 57% after its fiscal first-quarter financial report proved disappointing. The home furnishings company said that revenue climbed almost 20% from year-ago levels, but comparable-store sales were down 0.8%, and the company just barely managed to eke out a profit on an adjusted basis. CEO Lee Bird cited "unusually adverse weather across a majority of our markets" as the primary cause for the poor performance, and industry trends, markdowns on merchandise, and the impact of tariffs all combined to lead At Home to cut its outlook for the remainder of the year. For those who'd hoped that an outside buyer might appear to buy out the company, At Home's latest numbers weren't what anyone wanted to see.

At Home retail location as seen from parking lot on a clear day.

Image source: At Home Group.

Michaels makes a mess

The Michaels Companies saw its stock drop 12% following the release of the arts and crafts retailer's first-quarter results. Michaels suffered a 2.9% decline in comparable-store sales, contributing to a more than 5% drop in total revenue, and adjusted earnings per share fell roughly 20% from year-ago levels. The company has gone through a lot lately, including the departure of its previous CEO and its decision to close its Pat Catan's craft center stores. Notably, Michaels also cut its guidance due in part to tariffs, joining the growing chorus of companies that are citing trade issues in defending poor business performance.

La-Z-Boy takes a rest

Finally, shares of La-Z-Boy finished 12.5% lower. The furniture specialist gave preliminary guidance on its full-year fiscal 2019 results, anticipating revenue growth of 10% and adjusted earnings of between $2.13 and $2.15 per share. Yet CEO Kurt Darrow described some headwinds that started to show up in the fiscal fourth quarter, including year-over-year declines in its wholesale upholstery and case-goods segments. Following a better performance in its fiscal third-quarter report back in February, La-Z-Boy shareholders seemed let down by the warning. Investors can expect more from the furniture retailer when it releases its full report later this month.

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