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Stars and Dogs

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

La-Z-Boy (STAR)

If you're going to fall asleep watching bobsleigh and snowboarding until 3 a.m., you might as well do it in a comfortable chair – preferably a motorized recliner with massage and heat options. Shareholders of La-Z-Boy were feeling very comfy indeed after the furniture maker said fiscal third-quarter sales rose 6.1 per cent and earnings, excluding charges related to tax reform and a legal settlement, jumped 8.5 per cent. La-Z-Boy's stock is catching some big air on those results!

LZB (NYSE), US$32.25, up US$2.50 or 8.40%over week.

High Liner Foods (DOG)

I used to love frozen seafood – until I broke a tooth. (Tip: thaw it out first). Shareholders of frozen-seafood giant High Liner Foods didn't lose any teeth this week, but they did lose a chunk of money. Citing higher costs, unfavourable changes to the product mix and "underperformance across the business," the company posted a 31-per-cent drop in adjusted net income for the fourth quarter, causing the stock to take on water like a leaky fishing boat.

HLF (TSX), $11.20, down $1.59 or 12.43% over week.

Walmart (DOG)

Walmart's slogan is "Save money. Live better." But for investors this week, it was a case of "Lose money. Live worse." The shares plunged more than 10 per cent – their biggest single-day drop in 30 years – after the retailer posted adjusted fourth-quarter earnings and a fiscal 2019 forecast that were both lower than expected. With Walmart's online sales growth of 23 per cent also missing estimates amid merchandise snafus and competition from Amazon, investors are heading for the exits.

WMT (NYSE), US$92.89, down US$10.34 or 10.02% over week.

CCL Industries (STAR)

People are so busy these days, they rarely stop to think about the important role that shampoo and beverage containers play in our everyday lives. And that's a shame, because they may be missing out on a profitable investing opportunity. Shares of CCL Industries – which makes containers and labels for personal care, beverage, pharmaceutical and other products – soared after the company posted a 41-per-cent jump in adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter, lifted by organic growth and acquisitions. Beats collecting aluminum cans.

CCL.B (TSX), $66.10, up $10.64 or 19.18% over week.

LaSalle Hotel Properties (DOG)

Staying at an upscale hotel is fun – especially the free monogrammed towels, bathrobes and pillow cases. What's not fun: Investing in upscale hotel owner LaSalle Hotel Properties. Hurt by lower revenue per room and by the temporary hurricane-related closing of two resorts in Key West, Fla., the real estate investment trust reported a 20-per-cent drop in funds from operations for the fourth quarter. With LaSalle also offering a tepid 2018 forecast, investors are checking out early.

LHO (NYSE), US$25.01, down US$3.44 or 12.09% over week.