U.S. markets were trading fairly evenly before the opening bell Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials each roughly unchanged since Tuesday's closing levels. Meanwhile, oil continued to slide, down roughly 2% to $47.17 a barrel, based on U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate.
Shares of Express (EXPR) were off about 18% in premarket trading after the Columbus, Ohio-based apparel retailer cut its earnings expectations for the year to a range of $1.00 to $1.14 per share vs. previous guidance of $1.41 to $1.54.
The company also posted EPS of $0.13 for its second quarter Wednesday, missing consensus estimates by about 24%, while sales of $505 million for the period were shy of forecasts by about 3%. Comparable sales also decreased by about 8%.
"I am disappointed with our second quarter performance as sales and earnings were below our guidance, reflecting challenging store traffic," CEO David Kornberg said in a statement. "This was compounded by a lack of clarity across the assortment."
Shares of Bethlehem, Pa.-based drugmaker OraSure Technologies (OSUR) , a holding in TheStreet's Stocks Under $10 portfolio, were up about 9% in premarket trading on news that the company was awarded a six-year, $16.6 million contract from the U.S. department of Health and Human Services to continue its ongoing development of Zika virus testing.The contract will include an initial commitment of $7 million and options for up to nearly $10 million to fund related product enhancements, the company said in a Tuesday statement. "We believe the availability of an accurate rapid Zika antibody test will be a valuable tool to address current and potential future outbreaks," CEO Douglas Michels added in the statement.
Meanwhile, furniture maker La-Z-Boy (LZB) saw its shares drop about 15% before the opening bell after reporting worse-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter. Earnings per share of $0.28 for the period missed analyst forecasts by about 2% while sales of $341 million also fell short of consensus expectations by about 5%.
Lastly, Houston-based oil exploration company Oasis Petroleum (OAS) was among the oil companies that continued to be hammered by falling crude prices, with its shares down more than 2% before the opening bell, adding to a 4% drop so far this week.