A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Benefits of playing video games non-stop for most of your waking hours:
1) Improves hand-eye co-ordination!
2) Teaches perseverance!
3) Improves bladder control!
Here’s another benefit: It enriches shareholders of GameStop. The video game retailer posted a 49-per-cent jump in fourth-quarter profit, beating expectations, and said it expects a bump in sales when new game consoles from Sony and Microsoft make their debuts later this year. The stock’s moving up a level.
Mega Brands used to be in mega trouble, what with lawsuits from Lego and recalls of dangerous magnetic toys weighing on the stock. But the construction toy maker has made a remarkable recovery: Buoyed by tie-ins with brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels and – for more bloodthirsty youngsters – Halo and World of Warcraft, the shares have more than doubled in the past year. With the company’s debt poised to fall sharply thanks to a deal with warrant holders this week, playing with this stock has never been so much fun.
Research in Motion
A typical day in the life of a Research In Motion shareholder:
9:35 a.m. Brokerage upgrades shares to “buy,” stock soars.
10:57 a.m. Lineups for BlackBerry Z10 shorter than expected, stock plunges.
12:10 p.m. Rumour BlackBerry being bought by Microsoft/Nokia/Lenovo etc., stock surges.
2:50 p.m. BlackBerry service outage, stock plunges.
3:50 p.m. Service restored, stock rebounds.
5 p.m. Different brokerage issues “sell,” stock tumbles after hours.
4:37 a.m. Shareholder wakes up screaming and covered in sweat.
It’s often said that a large dividend yield will “support” a stock. Apparently, someone forgot to mention this to Reitmans. Despite its generous dividend, shares of the women’s clothing retailer have shed one-third of their value in the past year, pushing the yield up to 7.8 per cent. Between the uncertain economy, growing competition from Target and the falling Canadian dollar – which pushes up Reitmans’ product costs – it’s no wonder the stock is looking threadbare.
Buried in credit card debt? Barely able to scrape together the minimum payment?
Don’t feel too badly: At least you’re helping the needy shareholders of Visa. The credit card giant’s stock hit a record after Nomura Securities reiterated its “overweight” rating, saying Visa will benefit from a long-term shift away from cash. With global credit and debit card payments expected to top $21.3-trillion in 2016, up 73 per cent from 2011, consider getting a cash advance to buy the stock.