A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Activision Blizzard (STAR)
With schools closed, kids are making the most of online learning. They’re learning how to get really good at video games like Call of Duty, for example. Shares of Activision Blizzard, which makes the first-person shooter game and other popular titles including World of Warcraft, jumped after its first-quarter results blew past Wall Street estimates, boosted by a surge in players who are stuck at home and have nothing better to do. “Mom, I can’t do my math homework right now! I’m under sniper fire!”
Peloton Interactive (STAR)
Frugal fitness tip: Spend a few bucks on a skipping rope so you can work out at home during the pandemic. Not-so-frugal fitness tip: Spend $2,950 on a Peloton stationary bike – and pay another $49 a month to stream live and on-demand classes. Even as many consumers are losing their jobs, plenty of others seem to have lots of extra cash lying around, judging by the 66-per-cent spike in Peloton’s revenue for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31. Wild guess: A lot of used Peloton bikes will be hitting the market after the pandemic is over.
You’ve been burned by high-flying tech stocks before. But this Shopify thing seems … different. Everyone is shopping online nowadays, right? And Shopify provides the e-commerce software to make it happen. Just look at that stock price! With its first-quarter revenue surging 47 per cent to $470-million, Shopify this week briefly overtook Royal Bank as the most valuable company in Canada. Okay, sure, Royal Bank made a profit of $3.5-billion in the first quarter, which is more than 100 times as much as Shopify’s adjusted profit of US$22.3-million. But let’s not get all nitpicky.
Uber Technologies (STAR)
The pandemic has been a boon for Uber’s food delivery business, which had an 89-per-cent increase in orders during April. But Uber’s ride-hailing service? Not so much. Rides plunged 80 per cent in April as more people worked from home and practised physical distancing. But with many U.S. states easing stay-at-home orders, Uber said bookings have been recovering in recent weeks, giving hope to investors that the worst may be over. Judging by the recovery in Uber’s share price, plenty of investors are going along for the ride.
Beyond Meat (STAR)
Meat-packing plants may be closing because of the coronavirus, but there’s plenty of fake meat to go around. Shares of Beyond Meat surged after the producer of plant-based protein posted quarterly revenue and earnings that topped estimates, as the company cranked up sales to supermarkets to make up for falling sales to restaurants that have closed because of the pandemic. Nothing fake about the money investors are making.
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