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stars and dogs

Match Group Inc. (STAR)


One approach to relationships is to lower expectations so drastically, that even the slightest accomplishment looks impressive in contrast. Like doing the dishes after losing the family car in a poker game. Such is the conundrum of the Match Group shareholder. The stock is down more than 60 per cent over the last year, and was the worst performer of the Nasdaq 100 Index in the month of August, despite pent-up demand for online dating services as the pandemic recedes – by some measures – and normal life returns. But just when it seemed like Match Group’s shareholders could do better, the stock bounced modestly, as if asking for just one more chance.

Ballard Power Systems Inc. (STAR)


Much like hydrogen fuel itself, the potential and promise of Ballard seems to be permanently off in the distance. For decades, Ballard has stuck around in pursuit of the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells, riding the ebb and flow of hype surrounding a cleaner, but largely unproven, alternative to fossil fuels. In August, the passage of U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate bill gave new momentum to hydrogen plays, including Ballard, with a series of renewable energy spending initiatives and tax credits. For its part, the company posted a net loss of US$56-million in its most recent quarter, adding to a track record of losing money spanning nearly 30 years. But on the other hand: hydrogen!

Bombardier Inc. (STAR)


Watch out, defence industry! Bombardier’s coming for ya! This week, the plucky Canadian aerospace company announced it would make a push into the military sector, in order to capitalize on the rise of global defence spending in light Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since exiting the commercial plane business and selling off its train division, Bombardier has narrowed its focus to business jets. But it also makes a handful of specialized aircraft for governments each year, and the company is now seeing an opportunity to expand in an era of rising geopolitical tension. While that could very well prove to be a smart and lucrative move, there are probably not a lot of boots shaking in the c-suites of the defence business just yet.

Corus Entertainment Inc. (DOG)


A short list of things that are better when they are “meaningfully soft”: pillows, butter, spa music and lighting for family portraits. Definitely not on the list is the television advertising market, especially if you run the Global Television Network as well as dozens of specialty cable channels. And yet, this week Corus used that very phrase when it said ad spending across the media industry is weakening as result of the risk of an impending recession as well as pervasive inflation. There was little in the news for Corus shareholders to lay their heads on, or spread on their toast.

Enghouse Systems Ltd. (DOG)


Remember when the chief executive officer of Zoom, the teleconferencing company, admitted to having “Zoom fatigue?” For investors in this pocket of the software space, perhaps that was a bit of a warning sign. Could you imagine Jeff Bezos saying he had “Amazon fatigue.” Or Jamie Dimon copping to “JPMorgan Chase fatigue.” Cramming a lifetime of video calls into a year or two made a stronger case against working from home than any boss ever could. Enghouse is learning as much. Its acquisition of a video conferencing company in 2019 seemed like an incredible stroke of luck when the pandemic hit. But this week, the company reported a 13-per-cent year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue as the world reluctantly put on its pants and headed back to the office.

Follow Tim Shufelt on Twitter: @tshufeltOpens in a new window

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