A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Canadian National Railway (STAR)
Canadian National Railway lost the battle for Kansas City Southern, but it’s apparently winning back the confidence of some investors. Shares of Canada’s largest railway extended their recent gains after CN posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter and announced the retirement in January of president and chief executive Jean-Jacques Ruest, who had faced criticism for his ill-fated pursuit of KCS. At least one investor still isn’t satisfied, however: TCI Fund Management called Mr. Ruest’s departure a “good start” but urged CN to meet with TCI’s hand-picked candidates for CEO and the board. Get the popcorn: This should be fun.
Digital World Acquisition (STAR)
So Donald Trump – the man who told more than 30,000 lies during his presidency, according to The Washington Post – plans to start a social-media company called … Truth Social? Well, if millions of people believed Mr. Trump’s blatant falsehoods, it’s perhaps no surprise plenty of investors are convinced his latest business venture will be a huge success (unlike Trump Steaks, Trump Shuttle airline, Trump University and assorted Trump casinos, for example). Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. soared about 800 per cent in the two days after the special purpose acquisition company said it will merge with Trump Media & Technology Group to create the new social network. What could possibly go wrong?
WD-40 Co. calls itself “a global marketing organization dedicated to creating positive lasting memories....” Yup, even as graduations, weddings and other milestones fade with time, the memory of spraying WD-40 on a squeaky hinge lasts forever. Unfortunately, investors would rather forget WD-40′s latest results: In a marked slowdown from previous quarters, the maker of lubricants and degreasers said net sales rose just 3 per cent and net income fell 57 per cent for the period ended Aug. 31, as the pandemic continued to create “abnormal swings” in sales. So many happy memories indeed.
Match Group (STAR)
Business quiz! Shares of Match Group, which operates dating apps including Tinder, OkCupid and PlentyofFish, rose after: a) Match unveiled an express marriage service that lets members skip the online dating and go straight to an online wedding; b) the company launched DatesForDogs, an app that matches pets for breeding purposes; c) Alphabet announced that, effective Jan. 1, it is slashing commissions it charges third-party apps in its Google Play store, which could lead to higher profits for Match Group and other subscription services. Answer: c.
A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (STAR)
That guy handing out free burgers in A&W’s TV commercials? No wonder he always looks so happy: A&W’s units have been posting some juicy gains. With COVID-19 public-health restrictions easing in many parts of Canada, the burger chain reported same-store sales growth of 16.8 per cent for the third quarter ended Sept. 12. The solid results – combined with the company’s third distribution increase of the year – sent units of A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund to their highest since before the pandemic. Everyone’s happy – except the cows.
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