A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Will Elon Musk be so distracted by Twitter that he completely neglects Tesla? Will he continue to sell Tesla Inc. stock – after unloading about US$4.5-billion of shares on Thursday – to fund the roughly US$21-billion equity portion of his US$44-billion Twitter deal? Most worrisome of all, will he spend even more of his time tweeting? Is that even possible? Judging by the slide in Tesla’s stock price after Twitter accepted Mr. Musk’s US$54.20-a-share offer, investors in the electric car maker aren’t thrilled that their billionaire CEO has an expensive new toy to play with.
Suncor Energy (STAR)
Given Suncor Energy Inc.’s total return of about 104 per cent over the past eight months, you’d think investors would be sending the company a thank-you card. Nope. Hate mail. In a letter to Suncor’s board, Elliott Investment Management – which owns a 3.4-per-cent economic interest in the company – complained that the shares have badly lagged other oil sands producers because of operational challenges, safety issues, missed production targets and other factors that New York-based Elliott attributed to “a slow-moving, overly bureaucratic corporate culture.” With Elliott pushing to add five independent directors, review Suncor’s management and explore options for its retail operations, investors are hoping the sun will shine brighter on Suncor’s stock.
Barbie: Hear the rumours?
Ken: Yup. Mattel’s talking to private equity firms.
B: This can’t be good for us.
K: I know. First, a buyout …
B: … then cost-cutting.
K: Goodbye expense account.
B: So long clothing budget.
NFI Group (DOG)
“Stop the bus! I want off!” Just weeks after a dividend cut, shares of Winnipeg-based bus maker NFI Group were hurtling downhill again after the company reduced its fiscal 2022 financial guidance and warned of lower-than-expected deliveries, citing shortages of “critical microprocessor control modules.” Even as bus orders grew 45 per cent in the first quarter, “this disruption will require that we build and hold some vehicles in inventory that will not have these control modules installed,” NFI said. With the stock down by more than 50 per cent in the past year and NFI not expecting the modules to be shipped until August, investors are looking for a new ride.
Watching paint dry may be boring. But watching shares of paint maker Sherwin-Williams has been rather exciting. Even as it faced rising input costs and “choppy” raw material availability, the company posted a 7.4-per-cent increase in first-quarter sales as demand for its paints, stains and coatings remained strong. With earnings beating expectations and Sherwin-Williams investing US$300-million to expand production and distribution at a facility in North Carolina, investors are painting the town red.
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