A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
There’s gold in them thar hills. Unfortunately, there’s nothing but red ink in them thar investors’ portfolios. Even as the price of bullion has been zooming higher, gold miners have been plagued by soaring development costs and production delays. With Barrick announcing yet another cost increase for its Pascua-Lama project in the Andes mountains and suffering a 55-per-cent drop in third-quarter earnings, the stock is anything but golden.
Going into space would be cool, because then you wouldn’t have to read any more stories about Ann Coulter. For MacDonald Dettwiler, however, space has a different purpose: making money. The information technology company received U.S. regulatory approval to acquire Space Systems/Loral, the world’s largest maker of communications satellites, positioning it to win U.S. defence and intelligence contracts. The stock has shot into orbit.
As the world’s largest money-transfer business, Western Union lets customers send funds around the globe. But right now, Western Union shareholders are the ones who need a wire transfer. The stock took its biggest tumble since the company was spun off from First Data Corp. in 2006, after WU cut its profit forecast for 2013 amid plans to reduce prices to fend off competitors. “Dear Mom and Dad, please send money.”
You know when you’re skateboarding down a metal railing, and you suddenly lose your balance and land on your crotch? Now you know how Zumiez investors feel. Shares of the skateboard, snowboard and apparel retailer suffered a serious wipeout after October same-store sales rose just 0.6 per cent – less than the 4.6-per-cent growth analysts expected – prompting Zumiez to chop its third-quarter profit outlook. Gnarly, dude!
Research in Motion
Things that are often predicted but never happen: 1) The end of the world on (insert date here); 2) The death of Fidel Castro; 3) The launch of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Despite repeated delays, however, this time RIM may actually be getting close to unveiling its new devices. The company said the phones are being tested by 50 carriers around the world and will be released in the first quarter of 2013. Judging by RIM’s stock price, investors believe it.