Second quarter results take toll on shares of many Chattanooga businesses

Second quarter results take toll on shares of many Chattanooga businesses

Spring backwards?

August 2nd, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

Updated at 6:13 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Springtime is often regarded as the season of hope, growth and optimism.

But the second quarter has proved far different for investors in many of Chattanooga's publicly traded companies.

Shares in most of Chattanooga's biggest companies have dropped — some by double-digit amounts — after the businesses reported their second quarter earnings in the past couple of weeks.

The total market value of Chattanooga's stock-traded companies declined by more than $3.5 billion in market value over the past two weeks as the earnings reports were released.

Shares of CBL Properties fell Thursday by more than 10.2 percent after the shopping center developer reported second quarter results. CBL earnings beat expectations, but the company's profits fell by 8 percent from a year ago and the company warned it may cut its dividend.

Dixie Group reported its fourth consecutive quarter of losses Thursday, and again failed to meet analysts earnings projections. But after falling early in the day, Dixie ended Thursday up nearly 2.4 percent.

Also Thursday, Unum Group, which suffered a 17 percent drop in it stock price after its first quarter earnings report, declined nearly 7.8 percent over continued investor concerns about losses from long-term care plans sold in the past by the insurer.

Last week, two other industrial giants based in the Chattanooga area also suffered double-digit declines in their share prices after second quarter results were either below expectations or contained worrisome signs for the future.

* Last Thursday, shares of Mohawk Industries dropped nearly 17.5 percent after the world's biggest floorcovering company reported an unexpected 6 percent drop in profiits, which was 10 percent below below what Wall Street analysts had forecast for the spring period.

* Astec Industries stock plunged 20.7 percent last Tuesday after the mining, paving and energy equipment maker announced it was scaling back investments in its wood pellet business and re-evaluating its approach to capital investments.

Despite the adverse market for many of Chattanooga's companies, however, two local trucking companies fared better in the spring quarter.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises in June successfully raised more than $250 million in an initial public offering and reported record profits Thursday in its first earnings report after the market closed. Chattanooga's other publicly traded trucking business, Covenant Transport, reported last month that second quarter profits jumped more than seven-fold over a year ago, and its shares have since increased nearly 3.2 percent.