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Stars and Dogs for the week of Nov. 21 Add to ...

Manulife Financial

In what will absolutely, positively, without question be the last time Manulife Financial blindsides shareholders with a massive equity offering, the troubled insurer is raising at least $2.5-billion to bolster its capital to "fortress levels." Funny, investors thought last December's $2.275-billion share offering, followed by a dividend cut in August, already accomplished that. Guess not.

How to suffer a sports injury: 1) Carry the puck up the ice with your head down; 2) Enter a mixed martial arts competition on a drunken dare from your buddies; 3) Invest in Dick's Sporting Goods . Shares of the retailer were put in a choke hold after it projected fourth-quarter earnings below estimates and said it expects same-store sales to fall by as much as 6 per cent. Uncle!

You know you've made it in life when you can afford to put a La-Z-Boy recliner on your front porch. And you've made it as an investor if you bought La-Z-Boy stock during the financial panic, when it sank as low as 53 cents. Since then, it's soared about 1,600 per cent, including a gain this week after the company swung to a second-quarter profit on aggressive cost-cutting.

First, Playboy models took off their clothes. Now, investors are losing their shirts. Already reeling from a huge drop in advertising and competition from the Internet, shares of Hugh Hefner's skin empire sank after CFO Linda Havard resigned this week. Adding to the pain, Golden Gate Capital said it's not interested in buying the company, which has been up for sale for months with no takers.

Good news: Loblaw's profit rose 20 per cent in the third quarter, sending the stock up. Bad news: The next few months will be about as much fun as dropping a can of diced tomatoes on your big toe. Even as its quarterly results beat expectations, Canada's largest grocer warned of fierce competition and lower prices during the Christmas season.

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