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The Globe’s stars and dogs for the week

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

XACTLY (STAR)

The people at Xactly may not know how to spell, but they do know how to make money. Shares of the company – which sells cloud-based incentive compensation software for businesses – soared after it agreed to be acquired for $546-million, or $15.65 a share, by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. With all the money they’re making, Xactly investors are xtremely xcited.

XTLY (NYSE), $15.65 (U.S.), up $2.25 or 16.8% over week

EXPRESS (DOG)

The young models in Express’s clothing ads are all super attractive. Unfortunately, the company’s first-quarter results were downright ugly: The U.S. retailer, which recently announced it will close all of its Canadian stores, reported a first-quarter loss of $4.5-million, compared with a profit of $12.9-million a year earlier as same-store sales fell 10 per cent. The stock’s been relegated to the clearance rack.

EXPR (NYSE), $6.25 (U.S.), down $1.60 or 20.4% over week

MICHAEL KORS (DOG)

Business quiz! Shares of Michael Kors plunged after the upscale fashion retailer: a) swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $26.8-million from a profit of $177-million a year earlier; b) reported a 14.1-per-cent drop in same-store sales – worse than analysts expected; c) gave a weak full-year forecast and announced that it will close about 100 stores over the next two years as it battles a grim retail environment. Answer: all of the above.

KORS (NYSE), $33.05 (U.S.), down $3.71 or 10.1% over week

VERA BRADLEY (STAR)

With the rash of closings and bankruptcies sweeping the U.S. retail industry lately, investors will take any bits of “good” news they can get. Shares of Vera Bradley jumped after the retailer of handbags and fashion accessories reported a net loss of $4-million, down from a year-earlier profit of $2.4-million, and posted a 7.8-per-cent decline in comparable-store sales. Why the rally? As lousy as the results were, they weren’t quite as bad as expected.

VRA (Nasdaq), $8.88 (U.S.), up 63¢ or 7.6% over week

BRISTOW GROUP (DOG)

Scary: Taking a helicopter in bad weather. Scarier: Investing in helicopter services provider Bristow Group. Shares of the company, which provides air transportation to the offshore energy industry, came in for an emergency landing after Bristow posted a quarterly loss of $78.1-million last month – more than triple the loss of a year earlier. With the offshore oil and gas industry in a slump, the stock could be grounded for a while.

BRS (NYSE), $6.87 (U.S.), down 49¢ or 6.7% over week

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