A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Nov. 15 close: $21.54 (U.S.),
down $1.97 or 8.4% over week
To offset slowing growth in developed countries, it’s important for companies to have exposure to emerging markets. Well, nice theory, anyway. Shares of networking giant Cisco plunged after it projected that revenue will slide 8 to 10 per cent in the current quarter, hammered by a massive drop in orders from China, India, Brazil, Russia and Mexico. “I’ve never seen this before,” said CEO John Chambers. Shareholders hope they never see it again.
Tile Shop Holdings
Nov. 15 close: $14.50 (U.S.),
down $6.60 or 31.3% over week
Bad idea: Trying to tile a kitchen floor by yourself using a hammer and Krazy Glue.
Worse idea: Investing in Tile Shop. Shares of the U.S. retailer of stone and ceramic tiles got smashed to pieces after short-selling firm Gotham City Research accused the company of using a China-based “undisclosed related party and improper accounting to overstate profits.” Tile Shop said it “adamantly denies” the allegations, but good luck trying to put the stock back together.
Nov. 15 close: $30.07 (U.S.),
up $4.30 or 16.7% over week
Call me crazy, but if I were starting a fast-food chain the last thing I would want to conjure up in people’s minds is an image of a bloated stomach. Doesn’t seem to have hurt Potbelly, though. In its first quarterly report since going public in October, the sandwich and soup chain’s revenue and earnings rose by double digits, topping expectations. With the shares up more than 100 per cent from their $14 IPO price, investors are fattening up their portfolios.
Nov. 15 close: $36.16,
up $7.93 or 28.1% over week
a) a brand of yogurt available in most major supermarkets;
b) a media company recently acquired by BCE;
c) a provider of telephones, video conferencing products, call centres and other telecommunications services for business.
Answer: c. With Mitel Networks making a friendly offer of about $400-million in stock and cash to acquire rival Aastra, shareholders are trading in their dial phones for shiny new push button models.
Nov. 15 close: $79.79,
up $7.64 or 10.6% over week
You, too, can get rich investing in a label business – even if your last name isn’t Ford. Just buy shares of CCL Industries. The company – which supplies labels, containers and tubes to some of the world’s biggest consumer products makers including Procter & Gamble and Unilever – posted a 91.6-per-cent jump in sales and 10.8-per-cent growth in third-quarter profit, lifted by recent acquisitions. The stock’s approval rating has never been higher – unlike a certain mayor’s.