A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week.
Owens & Minor (STAR)
Before the pandemic, if you said “PPE,” people assumed you needed to use the bathroom. Now everyone knows PPE stands for personal protective equipment such as surgical masks, gloves and gowns. For Owens & Minor, which supplies these and other medical products, PPE might as well stand for pumping up profits and earnings. Citing strong demand, the company hiked its full-year earnings forecast to US$1.75 to US$1.90 a share, up from US$1 to US$1.20. With the stock rising sharply on the massive guidance raise, investors are smiling behind their masks.
Nike just did it. After a steep drop in fourth-quarter revenue because many of its stores were closed, the athletic footwear and apparel giant came roaring back in the first quarter, as most of its stores reopened. But what really got investors' hearts pumping was an 82-per-cent jump in digital sales, which helped boost Nike’s earnings to 95 US cents a share – more than double the average analyst estimate of 47 US cents. Apparently, even during a pandemic, people can scrape together $200 for a new pair of running shoes.
Aurora Cannabis (DOG)
Remember a few years ago when people thought owning cannabis stocks was going to make them rich? Welcome to reality. Since Canada legalized recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, 2018, shares of Aurora Cannabis have plunged about 95 per cent as the industry has struggled amid weaker-than-expected sales, the slow rollout of retail stores and a still-thriving black market. Aurora suffered another blow this week when the cannabis producer warned that fiscal first-quarter revenue will miss analysts' estimates. Stay away from drugs, kids.
You can buy a chocolate bar or a bag of potato chips from a vending machine. But a car? Yup. Shares of online used-car seller Carvana – which operates 24 giant automobile vending machines in the U.S. – revved into high gear after the company said it expects record revenue and unit sales in the third quarter, prompting at least two brokerages to upgrade the stock. Just don’t get the chocolate on the seats.