A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Upsides of social distancing: 1) Don’t have to spend time with people you never liked, anyway; 2) No need to bathe or groom regularly; 3) Can binge-watch Netflix all day, every day. Shares of the video-streaming giant surged after Baird analyst William Power upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral” and hiked his price target to US$415 from US$350, saying Netflix is likely to be a “key beneficiary” of the coronavirus as people spend more time indoors. Don’t forget to exercise by walking briskly to the fridge at least once an hour.
S&P/TSX Composite Index (STAR)
Good news: The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 7 per cent this week. Bad news: Canada’s benchmark index is still down 29 per cent from its February high. But don’t worry. It will bounce back. I mean, it always does, right? Why would this time be any different? Of course it will bounce back. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. God, please let the market bounce back. Make it stop, God. I’m begging you.
Slack Technologies (STAR)
In the old days, people who worked from home had to use smoke signals or carrier pigeons to stay in touch with the office. Later, Morse code and telephones ushered in a new era of communication, but collaborating with colleagues was still clumsy and time-consuming. Now, online platforms such as Slack make it easy to work on group projects – even during a global pandemic. Shares of Slack surged after chief executive Stewart Butterfield announced that the number of “simultaneously connected users” jumped to 12.5 million on March 25 from 10.5 million a week earlier. No sign of anyone slacking off here.
Peloton Interactive (STAR)
Creative ways to stay in shape now that gyms are closed and people are being told to stay at home: 1) Toss a large bag of potatoes back and forth with your spouse; 2) Run up and down your stairs 500 times; 3) Sign up for an online spinning or yoga class with Peloton. Shares of the exercise-equipment maker rose after Evercore ISI analyst Lee Horowitz said the company, which is offering a free 90-day trial to its fitness app, is “clearly benefiting from global quarantines.” Whether Peloton can convert those trial subscribers to paying customers after the pandemic ends is an open question, however.
Roadrunner Transportation Systems (DOG)
In cartoons, Wile E. Coyote was always getting run over by a train or crushed by an anvil. Now, it’s Roadrunner’s turn. Shares of the Roadrunner Transportation Systems plunged off a cliff after the freight transportation and logistics company said revenue for its fourth quarter tumbled 27 per cent, hurt by lower volumes, a strike at General Motors and other factors. With Roadrunner also voluntarily delisting its stock from the NYSE to reduce corporate costs – it will continue trading on over-the-counter markets – investors don’t find this cartoon very funny.