First Republic Bank (DOG)
FRC - NYSE
The English language is full of bank idioms: “You can take that to the bank,” for example. Or, “You can bank on it.” This week, a new expression entered the lexicon: “You need to get your money the hell out of the bank.” Rattled by the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, shares of First Republic Bank and other mid-sized U.S. lenders cratered as investors and depositors took their money and ran. Aiming to calm markets, a group of 11 large U.S. banks announced a US$30-billion rescue package to keep First Republic afloat. But even after popping higher Thursday, the shares still ended the week with a steep loss. Nobody’s “laughing all the way to the bank” any more.
True North Commercial REIT (DOG)
TNT.UN - TSX
Whoever came up with the symbol TNT.UN for True North Commercial REIT sure was prescient: The units just collapsed like a building demolished by dynamite. Hit by the downsizing of a tenant in the GTA that contributed to a three-percentage-point drop in occupancy year-over-year, the office real estate investment trust slashed its distribution in half and announced the sale of two recently vacated Ontario properties for $24.8-million. True North said the moves are part of its “capital strengthening and unitholder value strategy.” But with its market price plunging almost 40 per cent on the news and analysts cutting their price targets, all that’s happening now is capital destruction.
Meta Platforms (STAR)
META - NASDAQ
Business quiz! Shares of Meta Platforms Inc. rose after the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp a) officially cancelled its plans for a virtual-reality, 3D “metaverse,” admitting, “It was actually something we came up with when we were smoking doobies one night, and it’s time to move on.”; b) launched FaceGramApp, which combines all its popular apps in one place so people who spend hours posting on social media every day won’t have to waste precious time switching between services; c) announced plans to cut an additional 10,000 employees, citing the “difficult economic environment,” just months after the tech giant laid off more than 11,000 workers in November. Answer: c.
Signet Jewelers (STAR)
SIG - NYSE
Banks are going bust. Inflation is soaring. Stock markets are wobbling. What better time to blow thousands of dollars on gold and diamond jewellery? Shrugging off broader economic worries, investors sent shares of Signet Jewelers higher after the owner of retail chains including Kay, Zales and Peoples reported fourth-quarter revenue and earnings above Wall Street’s expectations. Even as sales slipped 5.2 per cent from a year earlier, they were still up 23.8 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, helping Signet post a healthy profit of US$5.02 a share. With Signet hiking its dividend by 15 per cent, the stock may be a diamond in the rough.
Credit Suisse Group (DOG)
CSGKF - U.S. OTC
Switzerland. The name evokes images of snow-capped mountains, exquisite chocolates and that time the Swiss men’s hockey team humiliated Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics. This week, it was investors’ turn for an unpleasant Swiss surprise. Shares of Credit Suisse tanked after the bank’s biggest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, said it would not provide additional funding to the troubled lender, sparking a selloff that spread to other European banks. Even after Switzerland’s central bank threw Credit Suisse a lifeline of as much as 50 billion Swiss francs (about $74-billion) to help stabilize the shares, investors’ portfolios were still looking like Swiss cheese.