A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
When Steve Ballmer announced his retirement plan Friday, freeing the company from his flaccid leadership, shareholders were so happy, they immediately sent the shares up nearly 8 per cent.
The big winner: Steve Ballmer, who owns 333 million shares now worth an extra $700-million or so. Wait, what?
Aug. 23 close: $34.75 (U.S.), up $2.95 or 9.3% over week
We were told Best Buy was a victim of “showrooming,” where customers checked out electronics in person then went home and bought them on Amazon. After another earnings surprise, you know what Best Buy has to show you doubters? How about the best return in the entire S&P 500 this year.
Aug. 23 close: $35.08 (U.S.), up $4.71 or 15.5% over week
Abercrombie & Fitch
It was 2006 when CEO Mike Jeffries said “we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” It was May of this year when the interview became an outrage-inducing Internet phenomenon. It was also the second quarter when sales and earnings got ugly. Cool, really cool.
Aug. 23 close: $38.68 (U.S.), down $9.71 or 20.1% over week
Miss sales expectations by $160-million.
Miss earnings expectations by $15-million.
Report a 13-per-cent drop in international sales.
Produce smaller profit margins.
Reduce sales and earnings expectations for the year.
Wipe out $1.6-billion in market cap.
To borrow the company’s long-time slogan: That was easy.
Aug. 23 close: $14.20 (U.S.), down $2.64 or 15.7% over week
Barnes & Noble
At least Michael Dell still wants to buy his floundering company. Barnes & Noble founder Len Riggio said he’s suspending attempts to buy the bookseller he built into a national giant.
Hey, guys: I hear Jeff Bezos is still willing to ante up for dying businesses that sell words on paper.
Aug. 23 close: $13.99 (U.S.), down $3.55 or 20.2% over week