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Why Texas Instruments, Puma Biotechnology, and Delta Air Lines Slumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

The stock market went through some ups and downs on Wednesday, with the Dow climbing to yet another record high while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 gave up ground. Earnings season continued to move forward, but some high-profile companies didn't do as well as hoped, putting a dent in what has until now been almost completely positive sentiment among market participants. Geopolitical issues also came to the forefront as the U.S. delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos made comments that made some investors ill at ease. In particular, Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN), Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ: PBYI), and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) were among the worst performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so poorly.

TI can't live up to high expectations

Shares of Texas Instruments fell 8.5% despite the company reporting solid results for the fourth quarter. Revenue jumped 10% from year-earlier levels, with strength in the industrial and automotive markets leading the way higher for the company, and analog and embedded processing helped push TI's core businesses upward as well. Earnings plunged by 67%, but that was due to a one-time charge related to the tax reform bill, and TI sees its future tax rate falling from 31% in 2017 to 23% this year and 18% in 2019. Investors seemed unimpressed by the company's numbers, but Texas Instruments looks like it's in a good position to keep building on the strength of the semiconductor market.

Semiconductor chip with the Texas Instruments logo and model number label on it.

Image source: Texas Instruments.

Puma plunges on approval agency's doubts

Puma Biotechnology stock crashed 29% after the biotechnology company got bad news about one of its candidate cancer treatments. Puma reported that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, told the company that the regulatory agency had taken a negative trend vote regarding its neratinib breast cancer fighter, suggesting that it's unlikely to give a positive opinion later in the formal approval process. In particular, the CHMP said that reliance on a single trial and survival benefits that "may lack sufficient clinical relevance" made its assessment of the risk-reward from the treatment negative. That doesn't guarantee failure, but investors don't have high hopes about the future of neratinib in Europe.

Delta loses altitude

Finally, shares Delta Air Lines dropped 5% on a bad day for the airline industry generally. Delta fell on news that rival United Continental expects a tough 2018 and is taking steps to compete more aggressively. For years, airlines have been relatively calm in their competitive efforts, with consolidation leading to more industry-friendly capacity levels that have bolstered profits. Now, Delta could face renewed fare wars that could bring back the dark days for airline stocks. Delta has some advantages over its rival, but investors worry that the repercussions could ripple throughout the entire industry.

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