Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT (DOG)
True or false? When a company issues a press release late on a Friday, it’s usually to announce some exciting news it wants everyone to hear. Answer: false. Confirming speculation that had been swirling for weeks, debt-laden Northwest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust slashed its distribution by 55 per cent on Sept. 22, sending its already depressed units to a hefty loss when markets opened this week. The owner of medical office buildings, clinics and hospitals said it’s also exploring a potential sale of its U.S. and Brazilian properties, among other assets, to shore up its balance sheet amid the sharp rise in interest rates. With the units down about 45 per cent this year, owning Northwest Healthcare has been anything but healthy for investors.
For the past few years, Cineplex’s stock has been the star in its own horror movie. First, there was the rise of streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+, which threatened to decimate Cineplex’s audience. Then came the pandemic, which shut down movie theatres for months. More recently, strikes by Hollywood writers and actors have loomed over the industry. But now, with the writers’ strike over and hit films such as Barbie and Oppenheimer helping Cineplex generate $68-million of box office revenue in August – 20 per cent higher than the same month in 2019 – things may finally be looking up. A concert movie featuring a little-known artist by the name of Taylor Swift could give Cineplex another boost, judging by the hundreds of thousands of tickets it has already sold for the film, which debuts on Oct. 13.
Blue Apron Holdings (STAR)
Test your business knowledge! Blue Apron Holdings is: a) a company that supplies the blue smocks worn by Walmart workers; b) a producer of novelty cooking aprons, started by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, featuring slogans such as “Beyond useless,” “Absolute disgrace” and the best-selling “Everything I touch turns into rotting garbage”; c) a maker of meal kits whose stock soared on Friday after it agreed to be acquired by Wonder Group for US$13 per share, or US$103-million – a 137-per-cent premium to Blue Apron’s closing price of US$5.49 on Thursday. Answer: c.
Innergex Renewable Energy (DOG)
A few years ago, renewable energy stocks had the wind at their backs. Now, they’re getting the wind knocked out of them. Hit by higher interest rates, cost inflation and construction delays, companies that generate power from wind, solar and hydro sources have seen their stocks collapse. Shares of Innergex Renewable Energy, for instance, have plunged by more than two-thirds since early in 2021, even as the company recently announced asset sales and other financing initiatives to support its growth and reduce leverage. “We find the lack of market reaction confusing and without fundamental merit, likely creating a compelling buying opportunity,” Naji Baydoun, an analyst with iA Capital Markets, said in an August note. Until the bargain hunters emerge, however, the stock could continue to, well, pass wind.
Costco Wholesale (STAR)
What you go to Costco to buy: laundry detergent, a carton of milk and a bag of dog food. What you leave the store with: all of that, plus an air fryer, a laptop and a one-ounce bar of gold (yes, you can buy gold at Costco, which will ship it to your door). Even though consumers have cut back on big-ticket purchases in the face of inflation and high interest rates, the membership-based warehouse club posted a 3.8-per-cent increase in same-store sales (excluding fuel) in its latest quarter, as shoppers spent more on groceries and other basics. With the stock up more than 20 per cent this year, Costco shareholders can afford to put a few more gold bars on their shopping lists.