Business quiz! Shares of Tesla Inc. have surged more than 40 per cent since Nov. 16, the day that: a) Tesla announced a US$100-billion all-stock takeover of Ford and General Motors; b) chief executive officer Elon Musk unveiled the “Tesla Tank,” a military-grade electric vehicle that will make quick work of L.A. traffic jams; c) S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that Tesla will be added to the S&P 500 index on Dec. 21, a move that will require index funds that track the S&P 500 to purchase an estimated US$50-billion worth of Tesla shares. Answer: c.
Slack Technologies (STAR)
Slacker: Someone who doesn’t work very hard. Slack: A business collaboration software platform that helps people work even harder. Slack Technologies Inc.’s shares were working very hard indeed this week, soaring to a 52-week high on reports that Salesforce.com Inc. – a cloud-based provider of customer relationship management software – is in talks to buy the company. With all the money they’re making on the stock, Slack investors might not have to work at all when this is over.
Northern Dynasty Minerals (DOG)
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. calls its Pebble Project in Alaska the “most significant undeveloped copper and gold resource in the world.” Now, it looks like Pebble will remain undeveloped – perhaps forever. Shares of the Vancouver-based miner were cut in half after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected Northern Dynasty’s permit applications for the mine, which is located near the salmon-rich waters of Bristol Bay and has faced years of opposition from environmental, fishing and Indigenous groups. Northern Dynasty vowed to appeal the decision, but with little local support for the mine, the company will be swimming upstream.
Can’t go to a movie. Can’t go to a bar or restaurant. Can’t have friends over for a game of Twister. But there’s one thing you can still do during the pandemic: drive around in a noisy, mud-spattered all-terrain vehicle. Shares of BRP – which makes ATVs, side-by-side vehicles, Ski-Doos and Sea-Doos – revved into high gear after the company posted third-quarter results above expectations, including a 49-per-cent increase in earnings per share. With BRP also hiking its full-year guidance, shareholders are enjoying the ride as much as BRP’s customers.
And this week’s award for bad timing goes to … JPMorgan. On Monday, the brokerage upgraded Gap Inc. to “overweight” from “neutral” and hiked its price target to US$30 from US$22, citing the retailer’s Old Navy chain for gaining market share by offering consumers good value during the pandemic. But two days later, Gap shares plunged 19.6 per cent after it posted fiscal third-quarter earnings below expectations, as higher marketing and shipping expenses and sinking sales at Gap and Banana Republic stores overshadowed a 15-per-cent sales increase at Old Navy. Well, at least JPMorgan was partly right.
A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
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