A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Potash fertilizer is prized for its ability to help crops grow. Unfortunately, all it did this week was make portfolios wilt. With Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s biggest producer, predicting that prices of the nutrient will tumble 25 per cent now that it has pulled out of a cartel with a Belarusian company, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan suffered its biggest one-day loss since 2008. Shareholders are going hungry.
Aug. 2 close: $30.04, down $8.10 or 21.2% over week
Ever thought to yourself: My life isn’t complete without a pair of $1,289.68 Giuseppe Zanotti gold foiled leather high-top sneakers?
Well, your prayers have been answered: Saks – the upscale U.S. department store that sells these and other essentials – will soon be opening shop in Canada after it was acquired by Hudson’s Bay in a $2.9-billion (U.S.) deal. Saks shareholders can afford two pairs
Aug. 2 close: $16.14 (U.S.), up $0.83 or 5.4% over week
Fun with tires:
1) Tie a tire to a tree for a homemade swing!;
2) Climb inside a tire and roll down a steep hill!
3) Light some tires on fire and call for your country’s leader to step down!
For safer thrills, you could always invest in tire maker Goodyear. Helped by cost cuts and improving auto sales, second-quarter profit at the largest U.S. tire maker more than doubled, causing the stock to burn rubber.
Aug. 2 close: $19.02 (U.S.), up $2.24 or 13.3% over week
The global economy may be struggling, but the folks at MasterCard apparently never got the memo. With more consumers ditching cash for the convenience of plastic, worldwide purchases on its credit and debt cards soared 12 per cent to $734-billion (U.S.) in the second quarter, pushing earnings up 19 per cent and sending the stock to a record. All those cards are being used responsibly, of course.
Aug. 2 close: $645.57 (U.S.), up $47.42 or 7.9% over week
Fun: spending the long weekend sailing a catamaran.
More fun: investing in Catamaran Corp.
The pharmacy benefits manager and health care IT provider – no it doesn’t sell sailboats – posted second-quarter revenue and profit that more than doubled from a year ago, lifted by the 2012 merger with Catalyst Health Solutions. With Illinois-based Catamaran also announcing a $409.5-million (U.S.) deal to buy Restat this week, the stock’s got the wind at its back.
Aug. 2 close: $60.51, up $7.30 or 13.7% over week