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stars and dogs

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

HCA Healthcare (STAR)

HCA - NYSE

Now that life is returning to normal, people can finally get back to the things they enjoy in life. Surgery, for example. Shares of HCA Healthcare – which operates 187 hospitals and about 2,000 medical clinics in the United States and United Kingdom – rose after the company said revenue jumped 30 per cent to US$14.4-billion in the second quarter. With hospital admissions, emergency room visits and inpatient and outpatient surgeries rising by double-digits as pandemic-related restrictions ease, HCA Healthcare’s stock is looking healthy indeed.

Domino’s Pizza (STAR)

DPZ - NYSE

As soon as pandemic shutdowns end, people will stop ordering so much pizza. Well, that was the theory. But even as COVID-19 cases fall and the economy opens up, folks are stuffing themselves with more pies than ever. Shares of Domino’s Pizza soared after the world’s largest pizza chain posted same-store sales growth of 3.5 per cent at its U.S. locations and 13.9 per cent internationally for the second quarter, helped by higher prices, bigger orders and increased delivery fees. With the shares hitting a record high, making money on this stock is a pizza cake.

Netflix (DOG)

NFLX - Nasdaq

Business quiz! Shares of Netflix fell after the video streaming giant: a) added just 1.5 million subscribers globally in the second quarter – slightly better than its own forecast but still the slowest growth in eight years; b) reported a rare decline of 430,000 subscribers in Canada and the United States as pandemic restrictions were lifted and people spent less time at home; c) announced that it plans to add video games to its service in a bid to revive its sluggish growth; d) all of the above. Answer: d.

Sleep Number (DOG)

SNBR - Nasdaq

Sleep Number investors just had a terrible dream: It was the middle of earnings season, and the maker of adjustable “smart beds” reported a sharp increase in quarterly sales and profits as demand rebounded from a pandemic-related slump. However, the results still fell short of analysts’ expectations, as Sleep Number faced “near-term supply constraints” and “temporary component shortages” that hindered results in June and July. The stock started plunging as a result, causing investors to wake up in a cold sweat and check their brokerage accounts. That’s when they realized it wasn’t a dream at all!

Harley-Davidson (DOG)

HOG - NYSE

Riding a motorcycle may be exciting for some. But investing in motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson has been nothing short of depressing. Over the past 10 years, when the S&P 500 more than tripled, Harley’s shares have skidded about 10 per cent as its core baby-boomer customers got older and the market was flooded with cheaper, imported bikes aimed at younger riders. This week, investors suffered another case of road rash when the company topped second-quarter earnings estimates but warned that rising raw materials costs and supply-chain bottlenecks would crimp profits in the second half of the year. Kids, that’s why you should stay away from motorcycles.

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