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Stars and Dogs

Stars and Dogs for the week of Aug. 20 Add to ...

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

China Green Agriculture

If the ultimate tabloid-newspaper headline is "Win Free Sex," the stock equivalent is "China Green Agriculture ," which combines three of the zeitgeitiest concepts in investing. But "Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan" explains why it jumped nearly 9 per cent Tuesday - after BHP Billiton's hostile bid, shareholders in all the fertilizer producers saw the, um, green.

Can a wind company run out of gas? Shareholders in Vestas (VWDRY-OTC ADR) didn't have much wind beneath their wings when the turbine company said Wednesday it missed on second-quarter earnings and reduced expectations for the remainder of 2010. It was the second guidance cut of the year for Vestas, suggesting management at least has plenty of hot air.

American Apparel Inc.

American Apparel Inc. ran out of class long ago, but the market is concerned that it's run out of cash as well. The clothing company, which uses advertisements politely called "controversial," warned Wednesday that it might violate credit agreements and it's facing queries from criminal and civil U.S. authorities over the resignation of its auditors.

In a week of disappointing results, at least one retailer had good news. Unfortunately, it was Dollar Tree , seller of some of the cheapest merchandise in the United States. The deep discounter jacked up its 2010 earnings expectations while nearly everyone else sounded caution, suggesting the American consumer continues to be tapped out.

Analysts covering the online floral business, 1-800-FLOWERS.com Inc. , seem to have become disconnected in the last quarter: While they expected a 1-cent per-share profit and $173-million (U.S.) in revenue, the company reported an 8-cent loss and $130-million in sales. You don't send me flowers, indeed.

Related content1-800-FLOWERS.com Inc. 5-day inline

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