A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Pfizer Inc.'s coronavirus vaccine is 90-per-cent effective in preventing COVID-19. But it was 100-per-cent effective in igniting a stock market rally this week. At the open on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared nearly 6 per cent and Pfizer’s stock leaped 15 per cent as investors cheered encouraging results from the drug giant and its German partner BioNTech. But with new cases surging to record levels and wide distribution of a vaccine still months away, the rally fizzled later in the week. In an uncanny stroke of luck for Pfizer chief executive Dr. Albert Bourla, he sold nearly US$5.56-million worth of the company’s shares on Monday.
Energizer Holdings (DOG)
I guess the Energizer Bunny doesn’t keep going and going after all. Shares of Energizer Holdings Inc. – which makes batteries under the Energizer, Eveready and Rayovac brand names – ran out of juice after the company reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 59 US cents a share, missing the average analyst estimate of 81 US cents. Even as Energizer’s sales grew 6.1 per cent and topped expectations, investors were so disappointed with the company’s earnings miss and underwhelming 2021 guidance that they kicked the bunny, sending his drum and sunglasses flying – clearly a case of assault and battery.
Boeing Co. investors haven’t had much to celebrate, with its crash-prone 737 MAX planes grounded since March, 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic dealing a massive blow to the airline industry. But the shares gained altitude this week on reports that the Federal Aviation Administration could clear the 737 MAX to fly again as early as Nov. 18 after reviewing changes to the plane. Now, if people actually wanted to fly again – in any airplane let alone a 737 MAX – Boeing’s stock could really take off.
Intertape Polymer (STAR)
Water-activated tape, void fill, air pillows, stretch wrap – yup, there are names for all the crap you toss into the garbage when you open a parcel that you ordered online. But for Intertape Polymer Group Inc., that stuff is gold. Citing increased demand for its tapes and protective shipping materials amid the boom in e-commerce, the company posted a 10-per-cent jump in revenue for the third quarter and hiked its dividend by 6.8 per cent, sending its stock sharply higher. Owning this thing is more fun than popping bubble wrap.
Great Canadian Gaming (STAR)
Bad idea: Visiting a casino with a few thousand dollars in your pocket. Better idea: Investing a few thousand dollars in casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp. Shareholders of the company – which operates 25 gambling properties in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – hit the jackpot after U.S. private equity firm Apollo Global Management agreed to acquire Great Canadian for $39 a share, or $3.3-billion including debt. With several minority shareholders complaining that the price is too low and vowing to vote against the deal, investors might end up cashing in an even bigger pile of chips when this is all over.
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