Thursday's Top 10 After-Hours Stocks on the Move

Thursday may have been a mixed day in the markets with a gain in the S&P 500 and a drop in the Dow, but there are many stocks with big moves or big trading volume in Thursday’s after-hours session. Some are tied to earnings and other moves are on different news. 24/7 Wall St. has highlighted ten news stories which were the key after-hours stocks on the move. We have included a snippet of the news and how shares have reacted in the after-hours trading session.

As a reminder, after-hours session moves are often very different from the moves seen during regular trading. Some of the moves may look muted or exaggerated by the time Friday’s opening bell rings.

Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) is acquiring Conversant, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNVR) for its digital marketing and ad efforts. Alliance Data will acquire Conversant for $35 per share, via a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $2.3 billion — with 48 percent cash and 52 percent ADS shares, and it has been approved by both boards of directors. In the after-hours, Conversant was up to $35.50, a gain of 32.91%, from the close of $26.71 and Alliance was up to $261.68, a gain of 3.48%, from the close of $252.87.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) reached an agreement-in-principle with activist investor, Carl Icahn to add three new directors to its board. According to Hertz, the deal was that Icahn would not run a proxy contest at the annual shareholder meeting and in exchange for the directors. Out of these directors, two would be on the search committee for the new CEO of Hertz. To make room for these directors, three of the current directors will be stepping down. In the after-hours shares have jumped to $28.85, a gain of 3.96%, from the close of $27.75.

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HD Supply Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HDS) rose on the heels of earnings this week, and now we have news that HD Supply will sell 20,000,000 shares of common stock on behalf of stockholders including The Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, and THD Holdings. Its stock closed down almost 0.25 at $27.78 on Thursday, and shares were down over 1.5% more on last look in the after-hours trading session.

Health Care REIT, Inc. (NYSE: HCN) announced its intent to sell 15,500,000 shares of its common stock in a secondary offering with an overallotment options for up to an additional 2,325,000 shares. The proceeds are to pay down its credit facility and for general corporate purposes. HCN shares were up 0.4% at $66.49 at the close on Thursday, but the shares were down 3.6% at $64.10 in the after-hours trading session.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: LXRX)  traded higher after the close, although it is small cap and thin volume. This gain was tied to a publication in the online edition of the American Diabetes Association’s journal, Diabetes Care, highlighting detailed results from the Phase 2b clinical study of LX4211 that Lexicon conducted in patients with type 2 diabetes. Shares were up over 9% at $1.69 on about 31,000 shares. It is possible that this will abate, but it is a small cap biotech.

Rocket Fuel Inc. (NASDAQ: FUEL) surged at the end  of the trading day for a close up almost 125 at $16.29, and the stock was surging higher by almost 3% more to $16.76 in the after-hours session. Spreads were wide, but this is a secondary play on the Conversant-Alliance merger as it is into artificial-intelligence enhanced digital advertising solutions.

Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPWH) rose after the close when it said that net sales increased by 2.3% to $159.5 million and that income from operations decreased to $12.3 million in the quarter. Weakness was in sales of firearms and ammo.  Still, this beat what had been lower expectations, and guidance for the year looks in line with estimates. After closing up almost 4% at $6.04, the after-hours move had shares up 6% more to $6.40 or so. This is already down from a high of $11.00, so a lot of gun and ammo caution was already expected.

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Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance (NASDAQ: ULTA) beat earnings with sales up 22% and same-store sales up 9.6%, it raised guidance, increased store openings, and set a $300 million stock buyback. While it offered no free haircuts, the shares were up 12% at $109.55 in the after-hours trading session with active trading volume.

XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE: XPO) traded up on news that was yet to be officially confirmed as of 4:50 p.m. Eastern Time. The reports from the WSJ were that XPO was receiving a $700 million investment from Ontario Teachers pension and two other firms. After falling 1.1% to $34.05 on Thursday, this was up over 3% at $35.20 in the after-hours session right about an hour after the close.

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