A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Cogeco Inc. (STAR)
“Members of the Audet family unanimously reiterated that they are not interested in selling their shares.” Well, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, does it? Even as the controlling shareholders of Cogeco and Cogeco Communications rejected Altice USA’s $10.3-billion offer for the Quebec-based broadband and media companies, investors held out hope that a transaction of some sort will eventually materialize. If Altice throws in a free home phone and six months of HBO maybe it can close this deal.
With subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Microsoft 365 already taking a bite out of consumers’ wallets every month, is there room for yet another charge on people’s credit cards? Walmart is betting there is. This week, the world’s biggest retailer unveiled Walmart+ (wow, so original!), a membership service that will cost US$12.95 a month and give customers same-day delivery on thousands of items, discounts on fuel purchases and express checkout at Walmart stores. Let’s see … if I cancel my membership with Dollar Shave Club maybe I can scrape together the cash for this.
Here’s one way to cope with the pandemic: Drink heavily. Shares of Brown-Forman – maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, Finlandia vodka and other fine beverages that make people throw up when consumed in large quantities – were feeling no pain after results for the quarter ended July 31 exceeded expectations. With people embracing new Jack Daniel’s flavours and indulging in more of the company’s tequilas and premium-priced bourbons, Brown-Forman investors are – hic – celebrating their good fortune.
Zoom Video Communications (STAR)
The work-from-home crowd may be suffering from Zoom meeting fatigue. But investors still have a lot of love for Zoom’s stock. Shares of the videoconferencing software company soared 41 per cent on Tuesday after Zoom posted second-quarter revenue that quadrupled from a year earlier and reported earnings that were double what analysts had expected. Even after giving back a chunk of Tuesday’s gains, the stock is still up nearly fourfold from a year ago. Zoomity zoom zoom.
Lululemon Athletica (DOG)
Business quiz! Shares of Lululemon sank after the athletic apparel maker: a) was sued by a group of California lemon growers alleging trademark infringement; b) recalled millions of yoga pants that, due to a production error, had a third leg protruding from their backside; c) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Citi, which cited the stock’s lofty multiple of nine times estimated fiscal 2021 sales and enterprise value of about US$50-billion, “making LULU the most highly valued specialty retail brand ever.” Answer: c.
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