The Stock Market’s Five Biggest Movers on Wednesday

No. 5: Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY)

The Houston-based oil producer and recent bidding-war winner for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) saw its stock drop 4.55% during Wednesday’s session, going from $49.69 at the previous close to $47.43. That’s the lowest level in more than 10 years and continues an abysmal 44.5% selloff over the last 12 months. Shares are currently down more than 23% in 2019 since they closed at $61.38 on Dec. 31, though this year’s plunge is largely due to the firm’s months-long fight for and successful purchase of Anadarko.

Wednesday’s decline came after the company announced the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) formally approved the $38 billion buyout of Anadarko, with the deal expected to close later this year. A stock typically falls when investors see the company’s bottom line is about to take a financial hit in the interim due to shelling out large amounts of cash on an acquisition. That news – combined with oil prices just entering bear-market territory on Wednesday – ensured OXY shares were in for a rough trading day.

No. 4: Brown-Forman Corp. (BF.B)

Class B shares of the spirits and wine giant – mainly known for being the parent company of several whiskey brands like Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve – climbed 4.8% on Wednesday from $50.32 to $54.10. That marked the best close in exactly a year when those shares settled at $55.87 on June 5, 2018. They’ve now logged a year-to-date gain of 13.7%.

Both the company’s A and B shares rallied on the release of fiscal Q4 earnings, which reported income of $159 million – or $0.33 per share – on sales of $744 million during the January-March period. While those earnings per share (EPS) surpassed the $0.30 estimate by 10%, sales missed the $762 million expectation by 2.4%. Still, investors were galvanized by the strong sales numbers across the company’s biggest brands: Jack Daniel’s increased 1% from the year-ago quarter, while premium bourbon like Woodford and Old Forester grew a sizable 19%.

No. 3: Inc. (CRM)

Shares of the marketing and customer service software company jumped 5.1% on Wednesday from $150.81 to $158.44, the best close since May 10 when they ended the session at $159.94. While CRM has been mostly range-bound between $155 and $165 since February, it’s experienced a solid 15.7% gain in 2019 from the Dec. 31 close at $136.97.

After the close of trading Tuesday, Salesforce released Q1 earnings that saw EPS of $0.93 on revenue of $3.74 billion. Both metrics surpassed estimates, with analysts expecting $0.61 per share on revenue of $3.69 billion. The firm also impressively forecasted full-year EPS between $2.88 and $2.90, the low end of which exceeded analysts’ expected $2.67 by 7.9%. 

No. 2: Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC)

While not necessarily a household name, Cimarex is another energy producer that mainly operates in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, the latter two being the Permian Basin where more than half of Cimarex’s production comes from. Shares of XEC fell 5.4% on Wednesday from $58.90 to $55.73. That marked the lowest settlement in nearly seven years. The bulk of the stock’s rally arrived in January, but shares are currently down 9.6% on the year.

No company-specific news seemed to drag down XEC Wednesday, so the decline in oil prices must be viewed as the only culprit, especially considering that four of the S&P 500’s top five losers during the session are oil producers. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) – the U.S. benchmark for crude prices – fell 3.4% to a five-month low of $51.68 and officially entered a bear market, as prices are down more than 20% from their recent April high.

No. 1: Campbell Soup Co. (CPB)

The iconic soup maker scored a double-digit gain of 10% during Wednesday’s session, rallying from $38.11 to $41.93 for the highest close since Aug. 20 when shares ended at $42.18. Despite a 9% rout toward the end of February after Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) wrote down the Campbell brand’s value, shares of CPB have overall trended upward in 2019. They’re currently up a round 27% year-to-date.

Campbell Soup soared to more than nine-month highs after the firm released fiscal third-quarter financials. It earned $0.56 per share on $2.4 billion in revenue, beating the estimated $0.47 per share and $2.35 billion by 19.1% and 2.1%, respectively. Investors were particularly impressed by the stronger snack sales following Campbell’s $6.1 billion acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance last year, which produces pretzels and kettle chips.