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stars and dogs

Grab Holdings (DOG)

GRAB - Nasdaq

Now we know why it’s called Grab Holdings. Because it grabs investors’ money and doesn’t give it back. Shares of the Southeast Asian “superapp” have been a dud since the much-hyped stock began trading on the Nasdaq on Dec. 2, following the world’s largest-ever SPAC merger that valued Grab at a very modest US$40-billion. Problem is, Singapore-based Grab – whose app offers ride hailing, food delivery and digital financial services – continues to gush red ink, including a US$988-million loss in its most recent quarter. Probably not the way the company intended to Grab attention.

Laurentian Bank (STAR)

LB - TSX

Poor Laurentian Bank. Even as shares of the Big Six banks have posted double-digit returns in recent years, Montreal-based Laurentian has grappled with weak deposits and falling personal loans. The stock’s annual total return, including dividends, over the past five years? Negative 2.8 per cent. But there may be hope yet: The shares rallied on Friday after Laurentian posted fourth-quarter earnings, excluding restructuring charges, that topped analysts’ estimates. The bank also announced a 10-per-cent increase to its dividend – which it had slashed by 40 per cent in 2020 – and unveiled a “five-point strategy for future growth.” You have to admit, that’s a lot better than a four-point strategy.

Del Taco Restaurants (STAR)

TACO - Nasdaq

Eating burgers every day is bad for your health. That’s why it’s important to supplement your diet with tacos and burritos. Shareholders of Jack in the Box will be enjoying a greater variety of healthy and nutritious food options now that the burger chain has gobbled up Del Taco Restaurants – one of the largest Mexican fast-food chains in the U.S. – in a cash deal valued at US$575-million or US$12.51 a share. With Del Taco’s stock soaring about 66 per cent on the news, investors are especially fond of the new mucho dinero burrito.

Nuvei (DOG)

NVEI - TSX

Spruce Point Capital is such a genial-sounding name, evoking images of pine trees and crystal-clear waters. But the company is about as friendly as a shark at the beach. In its latest attack to bloody a Canadian stock, the U.S. short-selling firm accused Montreal-based payments processor Nuvei of covering up “a pattern of business failures” and having relationships with people connected to alleged fraudulent activities. Nuvei hit back by reiterating its full-year financial outlook, calling the report “intentionally misleading” and full of “inaccurate conclusions.” But judging by the steep decline in Nuvei’s share price, investors aren’t ready to dip their toes back in the water just yet.

Stitch Fix (DOG)

SFIX - Nasdaq

It’ll take more than a few stitches to fix Stitch Fix’s tattered stock. Now say that three times fast. Already unravelling badly this year, shares of the online apparel retailer were torn to shreds after the company – which uses a “style quiz” and computer algorithm to choose clothes for customers – cut its full-year revenue forecast. Stitch Fix cited supply chain issues and a slow uptake for its Freestyle direct-buy option, prompting analysts to cut their price targets on the shares. With consumers heading back to the malls for in-person shopping, Stitch Fix is in a fix all right.

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

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