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Stars and Dogs

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

Magna International (STAR)

What happens when two driverless cars get into a fender bender? Do the passengers yell "Your software drives like a joke!" at each other? And when the police car shows up, does it have a driver or is he still at the doughnut shop? There are so many unanswered questions, yet Magna is convinced that driverless cars are coming: The auto-parts giant is investing US$200-million in ride-hailing service Lyft, with which it plans to jointly develop self-driving technology. Magna's stock got a nice Lyft on the news.

MG (TSX), $73.06, up $4.78 or 7% on week.

Liquor Stores N.A. (DOG)

Liquor Stores N.A. investors could use a stiff drink. A bong hit wouldn't hurt, either. The Alberta-based alcohol retailer – which plans to open a chain of cannabis stores in Western Canada – reported a 2.4-per-cent drop in same-store sales at its Canadian operations for the fourth quarter and a 1-per-cent decline in its smaller U.S. division. With earnings down and the stock falling sharply, investors need something quick to soothe their frazzled nerves.

LIQ (TSX), $10.11, down $1.42 or 12.32% on week.

Stella-Jones (DOG)

Imagine a world without utility poles or railway ties. High-voltage power lines would be dangling everywhere, trains would be constantly derailing – it would be mass chaos! Thank goodness for Stella-Jones, which makes utility poles, railways ties and other pressure-treated wood products. Unfortunately, the company's fourth-quarter results came in below expectations, causing a bit of chaos for investors.

SJ (TSX), $45.35, down $2.31 or 4.85% on week.

Signet Jewelers (DOG)

Diamonds are forever? Not if you work at one of the 200 stores that U.S.-based Signet Jewelers plans to close as part of a restructuring. Even as the company – whose banners include Kay, Zales, Jared and Peoples – announced better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter, it warned that same-store sales will fall by low- to mid-single digits in the current year and forecast earnings below Wall Street estimates. Investors are breaking off the engagement.

SIG (NYSE), US$38.70, down US$10.20 or 20.86% on week.


ADT's home-security systems may protect your valuables from criminals. But ADT's stock just made off with a chunk of shareholders' wealth. Already down sharply following Amazon's decision to get into home security with the purchase of video doorbell maker Ring, ADT's shares lost even more ground this week after the company posted a surprise loss – excluding one-time items – for the fourth quarter. You might say investors were alarmed.

ADT (NYSE), US$8.70, down US$1.83 or 17.38% on week.