A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
What Elon Musk said: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 per cent of users.” What investors heard: “I’m looking for a way to back out of this US$44-billion deal and hopefully avoid the US$1-billion break fee and a big lawsuit, or at the very least get Twitter to accept a lower purchase price than the US$54.20-a-share I offered, which was probably too high in the first place and, judging by the big drop in Twitter’s share price since I came onto the scene, nobody believes I’ll actually pay, anyway.”
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (STAR)
Need a skid steer loader for those spring landscaping projects you’ve been putting off? Or how about getting your very own asphalt paver to make quick work of the crater-sized potholes on your street? Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has all the preowned heavy equipment you could dream of – at a fraction of the price of buying new. Even as supplies of used equipment remained tight, Ritchie’s total revenue jumped 19 per cent to US$393.9-million in the first quarter, driven by higher auction sales and rising service revenues. So come on down and pick up the keys to your dream machine – and get ready for some envious looks from your neighbours.
Hut 8 Mining (DOG)
Business quiz! Hut 8 Mining is: a) a gold and copper miner founded by a group of former Canadian Football League quarterbacks; b) a nickel producer whose chief executive officer stays in Hut No. 8 when he’s visiting the mine site in Indonesia; c) a Canadian company that uses high-performance computers to “mine” bitcoin and whose shares have dropped about 80 per cent from their November high as the price of the cryptocurrency cratered. Answer: c
Coinbase Global (DOG)
Coinbase claims to be “building the cryptoeconomy – a more fair, accessible, efficient, and transparent financial system enabled by crypto.” After its stock got crushed this week, however, investors would probably use some different words to describe the company. Hammered by falling cryptocurrency prices and sharply lower trading volumes, the largest U.S. crypto exchange posted a 53-per-cent sequential drop in quarterly revenue and reported a net loss of US$430-million. With the stock down about 78 per cent since it began trading in April, 2021, investors have been losing money very efficiently and transparently indeed.
Beyond Meat (DOG)
Beyond Meat doesn’t kill any animals to make its plant-based products. But it sure is sacrificing a lot of investors’ money. The shares went through the sausage grinder after net revenues rose just 1.2 per cent in the first quarter, as higher trade discounts, list price reductions and costs to launch Beyond Meat Jerky contributed to a wider-than-expected net loss of US$100.5-million, or US$1.58 a share. With the stock losing more than two-thirds of its value in the past year, Beyond Meat’s performance has been beyond bad.
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