A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week.
Feb. 21, 2014 close: 14,205.72
up 150.96 or 1.1% over week
Great Canadian winning streaks:
1) Canada’s women’s hockey team goes 5-0 to win gold at the Winter Olympics;
2) Canada’s men’s hockey team goes 5-0 and needs one more win to capture gold;
3) The S&P/TSX composite index rises for 12 consecutive sessions – its longest winning streak since 1995.
Unfortunately, the streak came to an end on Friday, but not before putting some extra gold in investors’ pockets.
Feb. 21, 2014 close: $58.25
up 37 cents or 0.6% over week
Dividend boost with your double-double? Shares of Tim Hortons got a caffeine jolt after the coffee and doughnut chain boosted its dividend by 23 per cent, even as fourth-quarter profit came up short of expectations. With Tims getting rid of ice cream (What? It didn’t sell well in Canada?) and opening express coffee lines to speed up ordering, shareholders are betting there are more dividend increases where that came from.
Feb. 21, 2014 close: $13.53
down $1.37 or 9.2% over week
Things you might want to stay away from:
1) The edge of the Grand Canyon;
2) A drunken mob wielding knives and bicycle chains;
3) A stock with a dividend yield of nearly 8 per cent.
That’s what TransAlta was paying before it – surprise! – chopped its dividend by 40 per cent, causing the stock to plunge. With the company posting a fourth-quarter loss and selling off assets, shareholders of the electricity producer got quite the shock.
Feb. 21, 2014 close: $37.18 (U.S.)
down $1.75 or 4.5% over week
First, Coke rots your teeth. Then it creates cavities in your investment portfolio. Nice. At least that’s what happened this week when the soft-drink giant reported that global sales volumes rose just 1 per cent in the fourth quarter, dragged down by a 3-per-cent drop in soda sales in North America. Now that consumers are wising up to the deleterious health effects of pop, Coke’s stock is losing its fizz.
Feb. 21, 2014 close: $91.01
up $8.30 or 10% over week
CCL, which makes consumer product labels, aerosol cans, beverage bottles and tubes, may not be the most exciting company on the planet. But the stock is giving investors quite a thrill: Boosted by acquisitions, fourth-quarter sales and operating income leaped 78 per cent and 87 per cent respectively, prompting CCL to raise its dividend. Judging by the stock’s 65-per-cent return over the past year, boring is certainly beautiful.
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