Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

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

Empire Co. (STAR)

What grocery stores desperately need right now: bigger shopping carts. Empire Co. – parent of chains including Sobeys, FreshCo and Safeway – said same-store sales excluding fuel soared 37 per cent year-over-year for the four weeks starting March 8, as customers loaded up on toilet paper, canned goods, baking products and other supplies to ride out the pandemic. “Hi sweetheart, I forgot to mention we also need six bags of milk and eight family-sized boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. I hope you’re not in line yet.”

EMP.A - TSX

Story continues below advertisement

Pizza Pizza Royalty (DOG)

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – just ask a Pizza Pizza Royalty investor. Shares of the company had been offering up a delicious-looking yield of more than 10 per cent. But with the coronavirus hammering walk-in sales at Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 restaurants even as delivery orders remained “stable," the company this week slashed its payout by nearly 30 per cent – to five cents a month from 7.14 cents. Well, it’s better than nothing, which is what some restaurant royalty funds are paying.

PZA - TSX

Johnson & Johnson (STAR)

Pandemic, schmandemic. Bucking the trend of most businesses, health care giant Johnson & Johnson posted a 3.3-per-cent increase in sales for the first quarter as adjusted earnings of US$6.2-billion, or US$2.30 a share, topped Wall Street estimates. Even as sales of medical devices fell, the company sold more pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter products such as Tylenol to consumers who stocked up their medicine chests amid the coronavirus outbreak. With the company also announcing a 6.3-per-cent dividend increase, Johnson & Johnson’s stock keeps rising & rising.

JNJ - NYSE

Corus Entertainment (DOG)

Corus investors can’t catch a break. Even as Canadians are watching more TV as they self-isolate at home, the coronavirus is prompting advertisers such as airlines, restaurants and retailers to cancel commercial time. Given the uncertainty created by the pandemic, TV and radio broadcaster Corus put share buybacks on hold and has delayed a decision on whether to pay a quarterly dividend in June until it has more clarity on how long the crisis will last. Judging by the sinking share price, some investors are already changing the channel.

CJR.B - TSX

Gilead Sciences (STAR)

Take that, coronavirus. Shares of Gilead Sciences surged after statnews.com reported that the company’s experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir, was associated with “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms” in a trial of 115 people – most with severe cases of COVID-19. The statnews.com story, based on a leaked video of comments by the professor overseeing the trial at the University of Chicago, raised hopes that the drug will prove to be an effective treatment. But with official data from this and other trials still to come, it may be too early to declare victory.

Story continues below advertisement

GILD - Nasdaq

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies