This holiday season, spare a thought for Elon Musk. As advertisers flee, his US$44-billion purchase of Twitter is looking like a bust. His Tesla stock is in free fall as investors worry he’s devoting too much time to the social-media company. And this week, when he made a surprise appearance on stage with comedian Dave Chappelle in San Francisco, Mr. Musk was booed relentlessly. If that wasn’t humiliating enough, with his Tesla wealth shrinking by the day, his reign as the world’s richest man ended this week, according to Forbes’ real-time list of billionaires. We feel your pain, Elon.
How many times have you spent all day searching online for recipes, beauty tips or home-decorating ideas, only to come up empty-handed? Well, now you can find all of those things, and more, thanks to Pinterest. It’s where folks come to “pin” items of “interest,” such as “40 Christmas Eve snack ideas” or “6 striking plants that are safe for households with cats.” Advertisers like Pinterest because it targets people who love to shop. Investors like it, too, after Piper Sandler upgraded the shares to “overweight,” citing Pinterest’s market share gains in the social-media space. I just posted something, if you’re interested: “5 Christmas tree decorations to make out of used dental floss.” You just can’t get these sorts of tips anywhere else.
Business quiz! Shares of Moderna jumped after the company a) won a contract from the Chinese government to vaccinate all 1.4 billion of its citizens, “because, let’s be honest, the evil West is better at this COVID-19 vaccine stuff than we are”; b) received a takeover bid from Elon Musk, who plans to use Moderna’s biotechnology to clone himself so he can devote more time to tweeting; c) announced encouraging results from a Phase 2 study of an mRNA cancer vaccine that, when combined with Merck’s drug Keytruda, reduced the risk of death from or recurrence of melanoma by 44 per cent compared with Keytruda alone. Answer: c.
TransAlta Renewables (DOG)
For TransAlta Renewables, it seems the wind is either blowing too hard or not hard enough. Last year, a turbine collapsed at its wind farm in New Brunswick, prompting the company to shut down the site while it replaces the foundations of all 50 towers. Mother Nature was at it again in TransAlta’s latest quarter, when results were negatively affected by “lower than expected wind resource.” Then came more bad news this week: Citing rising interest rates and increasing competition for acquisitions, the company plans to allocate most of its available cash in 2023 to maintaining its dividend, “which inherently limits the amount of capital it can allocate to growth opportunities.” With some analysts predicting an eventual dividend cut, investors are twisting in the wind.
Waterloo Brewing (STAR)
Waterloo Brewing shareholders aren’t sure whether to say “cheers” or cry in their beers. Shares of the Ontario-based craft brewer – formerly known as Brick Brewing Co. – had traded as high as $8 in June, 2021. But the stock subsequently went flat, and this week the company agreed to sell itself to Danish brewer Carlsberg Group for $144-million, or $4 a share. Well, at least that’s a 19.4-per-cent premium to Waterloo Brewing’s closing price before the deal was announced. I guess you could say Waterloo’s beer glass is half full.