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Gainers and losers of Wednesday, March 9, 2016 stock market

March 10
2:09 AM 2016

Blue Buffalo, a US-based pet food provider, on Tuesday, reported its fourth quarter earnings results that outstripped analysts' expectations. The company also issued earnings outlook for the year 2016. Shares of the company jumped 21% to $22.38 following the earnings results.

The pet products provider posted a net profit of $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, down 54.4% from $21.1 million in the previous year period. Earnings per share dropped to $0.05 from $0.11 in the same period in 2014. On an adjusted basis, quarterly earnings amounted to $31.3 million, or $0.16 per share, an increase of 35.2% from $23.1 million, or $0.12 per share in the corresponding period in 2014.

Blue Buffalo's net sales rose 11.4% to $265.24 million from $238.1 million in the previous year quarter. Quarterly gross profit grew 21.8% to $111.2 million over the previous year period. In addition, the company expects 2016 earnings per share, on an adjusted basis, between $0.72 and $0.74 on revenues in the range of $1.12 billion to $1.14 billion.

Similarly, shares of Air Transport Services climbed 18% to $13.83 after the company approved an agreement with Amazon, as reported by Nasdaq. The company on Wednesday confirmed an agreement to manage Amazon's cargo network in the US. With regard to this deal, Air Transport will lease 20 767 freighter airplanes of Boeing to Amazon for a tenure of 5 to 7 years.

Under the terms of the deal, Amazon securities will also acquire nearly 19.9% common shares in Air Transport Service at $9.73 a share, which is layered on Air Transport common shares' closing price on February 9, 2016. Form 8-K includes additional information regarding this transaction.

Meanwhile, analysts at UBS downgraded Yelp, a California-based multinational company, shares to a "sell" rating from "neutral" rating in a report released on March 9. However, stock researchers headed by Eric Sheridan maintained their target price on the stock at $17 per share. Shares of the company traded at $20.33, down 3.69% during the evening trading session on the New York Stock Exchange, after the downgrade, as reported by FINANCIAL POST.

According to Eric Sheridan, analysts at UBS expect the company to record a slower sales growth in coming months as it struggles to battle revenue competition from peers like Alphabet and Facebook. Yelp also faces challenges like increase in recruitment expenses, declining traffic progression, and growing competition. In addition, the company's operating profit is not sufficient to reinvest in Yelp to boost revenue growth. However, Sheridan expects a positive sign of $22 for Yelp in the following 12 months.

Other stock market losers are Unisys Corp, Ocean Rig UDW and Zagg Inc. The global stock market is facing many hurdles and companies are struggling hard to sustain the gloomy scenario.

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