A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
You know when you’re playing a violent shooter video game, and you’re suddenly ambushed by Taliban who hold you down and tickle you until you can’t stand it? No? Well, here’s something really frightening: Owning shares of video game retailer GameStop. With more people turning to inexpensive mobile and social media games, first-quarter profit sank 25 per cent, pumping the stock full of lead.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Why are A&F models always pouting? Must be because they own shares in the company. Citing inventory shortages, the retailer of overpriced jeans and logo-laden sweatshirts posted a 15-per-cent drop in same-store quarterly sales. CEO Mike Jeffries, who got into hot water for saying A&F is only interested in “cool, good looking people,” probably wishes a few ugly, unpopular people would stop by.
Hewlett-Packard is doomed! Sell! No, wait, that was last year.
Hewlett-Packard is doing awesome! Buy!
Evidently, investors are having a bit of trouble making up their minds, but the latest numbers are encouraging: Even as sales and profits fell in the second quarter, results beat estimates thanks to cost controls and growth in printing supplies.
I guess the crisis is over then – at least until next quarter.
Things we love about Sears:
1) Always easy to find a parking space;
2) Never have to wait in line at the cash register;
3) Bedding department is the perfect place for a quiet afternoon nap.
But the lack of customers is a concern for Sears shareholders: With same-store sales sliding 3.6 per cent in the first quarter and the retailer posting a loss of $279-million, investors are shopping elsewhere.
Good news: Manitoba Telecom Services is selling its Allstream business unit and plans to use the $405-million in proceeds to top up its pension plan and invest in its wireless and fibre operations.
Bad news: MTS estimates that the return on its 2004 investment in Allstream will amount to negative 1 per cent. Ouch. Here’s hoping that the new owner, Cairo-based Accelero Capital, has better luck.