Remember when bitcoin plummeted 75 per cent in 2018, and we all laughed because we thought it was a scam? Well, bitcoin is back. The cryptocurrency got a lift recently when two public companies – Square Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc. – disclosed that they had invested in the virtual money and Fidelity Investments announced a bitcoin fund. Then came this week’s news that PayPal Holdings Inc. will allow customers to buy and sell virtual money and use it to shop at its 26 million merchants, although the stores will still be paid in traditional currency. With bitcoin rallying again, now’s the time to mortgage your house and get in on this can’t-miss opportunity.
Maybe people have been stuck at home so long they’ve watched everything on Netflix Inc.? Shares of the streaming giant tumbled after it added just 2.2 million paying subscribers in the third quarter, less than the 2.5 million it had projected and well below the more than 10 million it added in the second quarter and nearly 16 million in the first. Adding to investors' anxiety, Netflix projected that subscriber growth in the first half of 2021 will likely be below 2020 levels. Well, at least there was some good news for fans of Dawson’s Creek: All six seasons of the 20-year-old teen drama are coming to Netflix in November. That ought to bring in a few hundred subscribers.
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and WhatsApp, you’d think people would be sick of looking at each other’s stupid comments and photos by now. Nope. With the coronavirus pandemic prompting more people to stay in touch online, Snap Inc. said daily active users on its Snapchat app jumped 18 per cent to 249 million in the third quarter, as revenue soared 52 per cent thanks to a surge in advertising. Among the many exciting developments: “Snapchatters can now dress their Bitmoji avatars in a new collection of 19 different digital apparel and sneakers from Nike’s Jordan brand." Do we have to?
Rogers Communications (STAR)
Maybe the NHL should hold its playoffs in August and September more often. With pro sports including hockey, baseball, basketball and football resuming play this past summer, Rogers Communications Inc. said third-quarter revenue in its media division – which includes Sportsnet TV and radio stations – rose 1 per cent, bringing relief to the company whose advertising had been squeezed by the pandemic. Giving investors another reason to cheer, Rogers added 168,000 net new wireless customers, topping expectations. Let’s go Ro-gers, da da da-da-da!
Canadian National Railway (DOG)
Well, that was a bit of a train wreck. With the coronavirus pandemic hurting volumes for most commodities Canadian National Railway handles, third-quarter revenue at Canada’s largest railway plunged 11 per cent to $3.41-billion. But what really sent the stock off the rails was the 17-per-cent skid in adjusted earnings to $1.38 a share, which was well below the $1.46 that analysts had expected. With CN still trading at a rich valuation and several analysts cutting their price targets, the stock is facing an uphill climb.
A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
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