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stars and dogs

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

BlackBerry (STAR)


“BB to the MOON … let’s get this money!!” Scrolling through posts like this on WallStreetBets – the Reddit forum where retail investors conspire to drive up prices of heavily shorted stocks – one gets the sense that the word hubris has never entered these people’s minds. But for now, at least, the Reddit “apes” are winning: Shares of “meme” stocks including BlackBerry, GameStop and AMC Entertainment took off again as short-sellers were forced to cover their positions. AMC is even offering perks including free popcorn to retail investors. It’s the least the company could do after raising more than US$800-million selling shares at ridiculously inflated prices this week.

General Motors (STAR)


You know, I was trying to watch some pickup truck ads the other day, but they kept getting interrupted by a hockey game. Anyway, if you’re in the market for a new truck, good news: After cutting vehicle output because of a global semiconductor shortage, General Motors has reallocated some of its chips to boost production of its highly profitable Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and other pickups. Thanks to this and other moves, the automaker said its first-half earnings will be “significantly better” than it previously forecast. Investors will need a new pickup truck just to carry all the money they’re making on the stock, which has more than doubled in the past year.

Inter Pipeline (STAR)


A year ago, Inter Pipeline was about as popular with investors as ants at a picnic. Slashing your dividend by 72 per cent will do that. But now, as the world is emerging from the pandemic and the energy sector is rebounding, everyone is showering love on the pipeline operator. On Tuesday, Pembina Pipeline announced an all-stock deal to acquire Inter Pipeline for about $8.3-billion or $19.45 a share, only to be topped the next day by Brookfield Infrastructure, which hiked its hostile cash-and-shares offer to about $8.47-billion or $19.75 a share, up from $16.50 previously. Do I hear $20?

Abbott Laboratories (DOG)


The good news for humanity is that COVID-19 cases are falling. The bad news for Abbott Laboratories is that COVID-19 cases are falling. As vaccinations slow the virus’s spread and sales of Abbott’s COVID-19 diagnostic tests decline, the drug maker cut its full-year earnings forecast, sending the stock to a seven-month low. “While it’s positive that these external events and trends signal an accelerated return to normalcy for many countries, they have suddenly and fundamentally impacted market demand for COVID-19 testing,” the company said. Let’s hope demand keeps falling. No offence, Abbott.

Saputo (DOG)


There once was a stock called Saputo

From the same town as one P.E. Trudeau

After cheese sales tumbled

The stock price did crumble

And investors were in a bad mood-o.

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