A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Fitness tip: When ordering a Double Big Mac Extra Value Meal, consider walking the two blocks back to your office instead of hailing a cab. Or you could skip Mickey D's altogether – which more people seem to be doing. The burger giant's same-store sales rose just 1 per cent in the second quarter, hurt by weakness in Europe and Asia. With July sales expected to be flat and results “challenged” for the rest of the year, the stock has shed a few pounds.
July 26 close: $98.03 (U.S.), down $2.24 or 2.2% over week
"Hi, I'm Joel Matlin, former president of AlarmForce. Doesn't have the same ring, does it? ‘Former' president. Maybe the board should have thought of that itty-bitty detail before they terminated me. Who will do these commercials now? Fact is, nobody can scare people like I do. Oh my God! Look out behind you! Just kidding. The stock is going to collapse when people get wind of this. What? It rose?"
July 26 close: $10.05, up $0.25 or 2.6% over week
Looking for a great deal on a shiny new 75,000 kg underground loader with a bucket capacity of 11.6 cubic metres? Now's your chance. Hammered by weak demand in the mining industry, heavy equipment maker Caterpillar posted a 43-per-cent drop in second-quarter profit and slashed its full-year outlook. With China's economy slowing and mining customers cancelling or postponing orders for machinery, the shares have fallen down a mine shaft.
July 26 close: $82.06 (U.S.), down $3.59 or 4.2% over week
Investing in Facebook used to be about as much fun as getting a friend request from Anthony Weiner. But after a rocky debut following the social network's IPO last year, the shares are on a roll: The number of active users jumped 21 per cent to 1.15 billion in the second quarter as mobile ad revenue – previously a source of concern – surged. With earnings blowing past estimates, Facebook investors are sharing photos of their bulging wallets.
July 26 close: $34.01 (U.S.), up $8.13 or 31.4% over week
Finally, some truly uplifting news for investors: Two of the world's biggest bra makers are teaming up. HanesBrands – maker of Playtex and Wonderbra – has agreed to buy Maidenform – whose brands include Lilyette and Custom Lift – in a $575-million deal that has met with widespread approval from analysts, investors and teenaged boys. “They make a nice pair,” said one.
July 26 close: $23.48 (U.S.), up $4.56 or 24.1% over week