Thursday Morning Market Highlights

Market indexes mixed, shares of Herman Miller up on earnings

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Omar Venerio
Mar 18, 2021
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U.S. Markets

U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, with the S&P 500 reversing the upward trend and pulling back from record highs.

The Dow fell 0.04% to 33,018, the S&P 500 index fell 0.93% to 3,898 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.31% at 13,209.

Gainers

Losers

Global markets

The main European stock markets traded in the green.The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advancd 0.25%, Germany's Dax rose 1.23%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.13% and Spain's Ibex 35 was up 0.29%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.01%, India's BSE Sensex fell 1.17%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.28% and China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.51%.

Herman Miller releases earnings report

Shares of Herman Miller Inc. (

MLHR, Financial) gained more than 6% on Thursday morning, to change hands at $44.01, after the company posted its fiscal third-quarter results.

Revenue declined 11.3% year over year to $590.5 million, beating analysts' estimates by $3.23 million. The company posted a gain of 65 cents per share, beating expectations by 7 cents.

The retail segment achieved 63% growth in sales over last year, fueled by the growth in Design Within Reach, HAY and Herman Miller retail brands. The pandemic benefited the demand for home offices as order growth exceeded 326%. But excluding the home office, retail orders rose by 59% over last year. However, the North America Contract business was negatively impacted by the pandemic,with sales and orders down 35% and 38%. Further, in the international business, several key geographies areas achieved a growth. Net sales were up 6% on a reported basis and up 1% on an organic basis.

Moreover, the operating margin reached 9.3% compared to 7.6% last year. On an adjusted basis, the consolidated operating margin was 9.4%, 40 basis points higher than last year. The gross margin was 39.1%, 260 basis points higher than last year, due to the strong channel and product mix. Additionally, the retail segment registered an operating margin of 20.1%.

Looking at the liquidity position, the company had cash on hand and availability on a revolving credit facility totaling $662.2 million at the end of the quarter. The cash flow from operations was $45.6 million.

Herman Miller shares have advanced 29.5% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500's gain of 7.3%.

During the fourth quarter, Hotchkis & Wiley reduced to its holding by 13% to 132,735 shares.

Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) boosted his position by 11% to 35,297 shares.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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