A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Methanol is used in solvents, antifreeze, gasoline, paint and countless other products you should never drink – no matter how much money your buddy offers you. Here’s a better way to make a few bucks: Invest in Methanex. Shares of the world’s biggest methanol supplier surged after it posted higher first-quarter profit, raised its dividend and announced plans to relocate a second plant from Chile to Louisiana – close to cheap natural gas used to make the chemical.
Let’s see, do I keep paying the cable company 80 bucks a month, or cut the cord and watch Netflix for eight bucks a month? It’s an easy decision for a lot of people, judging by the more than three million streaming subscribers who joined Netflix in the first quarter, bringing the total to more than 36 million. What’s not so easy is trying to justify Netflix’s heady multiple of about 170 times estimated 2013 earnings. House of Cards, anyone?
Everyone hates Windows 8. Sales of Surface tablets have been underwhelming. And all the cool kids have Apple and Samsung phones. So, naturally, Microsoft’s stock is … soaring?
Yup. Despite its many public stumbles, Mister Softee posted a 19-per-cent jump in quarterly profit, led by strength in business software, servers and Xbox. Word that activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital bought a $2-billion stake didn’t hurt, either.
Procter & Gamble
Quick, get the Pepto-Bismol. Shares of Procter & Gamble – which makes the pink stomach remedy and dozens of other products including Tide, Crest and Pampers – went for a nauseating ride after the company posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter revenue and issued a fourth-quarter forecast that trailed analyst estimates. Will technical analysts spot a Head & Shoulders pattern? Stay tuned.
“Dude, did you know there’s, like, a stock with the symbol POT?”
“Awesome. We should, like, buy some shares or something.”
“No, they sell potash. Their first-quarter profit rose 13 per cent because more farmers are buying fertilizer.”
“What were we talking about?”