After the stress of the past year, you deserve to treat yourself to something special. Why not enjoy your next takeout meal on a marble and stainless steel dining table from RH for $6,821? After dinner, relax in your 19th-century-style pedestal soaking tub for $10,196. Demand for luxury home furnishings has never been so strong: With the U.S. economy reopening, the retailer formerly known as Restoration Hardware posted a 78-per-cent jump in first-quarter revenue as earnings topped expectations, prompting RH to raise its outlook. Oh, you want water in your bathtub? That’ll be another $1,950 for the polished brass fixtures.
Lordstown Motors (DOG)
You knew things weren’t going well for Lordstown Motors when, in January, one of its Endurance electric pickup trucks burst into flames just 10 minutes into its first road test. The EV startup has been putting out fires ever since. In March, short seller Hindenburg Research accused the company of using “largely fictitious” non-binding orders to exaggerate demand for the proposed truck. And this week, Lordstown disclosed in an SEC filing that its “current level of cash and cash equivalents are not sufficient to fund commercial scale production” of its vehicles, raising “substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern.” With the stock down more than 40 per cent this year, shareholders have gotten badly burned.
Duckhorn Portfolio (STAR)
Business quiz! Duckhorn Portfolio is: a) A mutual fund managed by Foghorn Leghorn, the cartoon rooster of Looney Tunes fame; b) A shady wealth management company named after a hunting device, the Duckhorn, that attracts unsuspecting waterfowl that are then slaughtered; c) A winery in California’s Napa Valley that posted a 32-per-cent increase in net sales and 15-per-cent gain in adjusted earnings – both beating expectations – in its first quarterly report as a public company. Answer: c.
“Where’s the beef?” It’s right under that pile of money. Shareholders of Wendy’s were raking in the cash after WallStreetBets – the Reddit group behind the frenzy in “meme stocks” such as AMC Entertainment and GameStop – added the burger chain to its list of buys, sending the shares to a record high before they gave back a chunk of their gains. “I just wanted to raise some awareness that this is gambling. Have your limits both high and low,” one WallStreetBets commenter said. Gambling? You don’t say.
The good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. The bad news? It’s not clear if the drug even works. Biogen’s shares soared to a six-year high following the FDA’s “accelerated approval” decision, which requires the company to conduct a follow-up trial to confirm the drug’s efficacy. But three members of the FDA’s scientific advisory panel resigned in protest, saying the initial trial data were unconvincing. One panelist called it “probably the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history.” Judging by the stock price, investors are okay with it.
A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
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