Consumer Staple Stocks Higher But Lagging Broader Markets

Consumer stocks were mostly higher Wednesday, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 adding about 0.5% in value while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were climbing 1.2%.

In company news, XO Group Inc. (XOXO) was in a deep hole Wednesday despite the targeted content and marketing company late yesterday swinging to a Q4 profit, beating Wall Street expectations, as revenue grew compared with year-ago levels during the October-to-December fiscal period.

The company reported Q4 net income during the final three months of 2016 of $0.13 per share, reversing a $0.09 per share net loss last year and topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.03 per share. Total revenue rose 8% over the same quarter in 2015 to $41.0 million, roughly matching the $41.23 million consensus.

XOXO shares were down almost 12% at $16.23 apiece, recovering somewhat from a session low of $14.99 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) BGFV, (+11.2%) Q4 EPS of $0.35 tops Street by $0.01 per share. Net sales fall 3.2% to $266.3 mln, missing the $269.99 mln consensus. Projected Q1 EPS of $0.12 to $0.18 easily surpasses the $0.03 per share consensus. Sees Q1 same-store sales rising in mid-single digits vs. 1.9% decline in year-ago period.

(-) CFI, (-0.6%) Fiscal Q3 net sales decline 2.9% to $76.2 mln, missing the $77.85 mln consensus. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.47 matches analyst estimates. Sees Q4 net sales falling slightly from year-ago levels, with projected FY17 sales flat to slightly lower than prior-year levels.