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stars and dogs

Manulife Financial Corp. (STAR)

MFC - TSX

For years, Manulife Financial Corp. was caught in a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. Every time the stock rose above $25 or so, Mr. Market would swing the hammer down and laugh demonically as the shares crumpled again. But this week, Manulife finally said, “Enough!” Shares of Canada’s largest insurer surged after it topped analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter earnings and hiked its dividend by 9.6 per cent, driven by strong performance in its Canadian and Asian businesses. With the stock trading above $30 for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Market has put away the mallet for now.

Lyft Inc. (STAR)

LYFT - Nasdaq

Well, here’s one way to boost your company’s results: Add an extra zero to a number on your earnings statement. Shares of Lyft soared as much as 67 per cent after hours Tuesday after the ride-hailing platform said it expected a key profit margin metric to rise by 500 basis points – or five percentage points – this year. The shares promptly reversed course after Lyft said the figure was a typo and the actual expected increase was 50 basis points, but the stock still finished sharply higher thanks to the company’s forecast for strong first-quarter bookings and positive cash flow for the full year. Hey, it was only off by a factor of 10. What’s the big deal?

Avis Budget Group Inc. (DOG)

CAR - Nasdaq

Business quiz! Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. plunged after the car rental agency a) disclosed that more than 20,000 of its vehicles were stolen in 2023, prompting the company to spend US$100-million to outfit each of its cars with an alarm that mimics the sound of a barking Rottweiler; b) wrote off the value of its entire fleet of electric bicycles and scooters after demand failed to live up to expectations; c) sold a record number of vehicles in the fourth quarter in a soft market for used cars, citing higher interest costs and an oversupply in its fleet, and warned of hefty depreciation costs in 2024 because of falling used-car prices. Answer: c.

Shake Shack Inc. (STAR)

SHAK - NYSE

With McDonald’s, Harvey’s, A&W, Wendy’s, Burger King, Five Guys and Fatburger already fighting it out for market share in Canada, you’d think the last thing the country needs is another burger chain. Well, U.S.-based Shake Shack Inc. is coming here anyway, and if its latest results are any indication, it might just win over some Canadian hearts, minds and stomachs. Shares of the company were sizzling after it reported a 20-per-cent increase in revenue to US$286.2-million in the fourth quarter, driven by new restaurant openings and same-store sales growth of 2.8 per cent. Never mind the Love Shack. For investors, Shake Shack is where it’s at, baby.

Fastly Inc. (DOG)

FSLY - NYSE

There once was a tech stock named Fastly

Whose Q4 results were just ghastly

When sales came up short

You could hear people snort

“This is worse than that song by Rick Astley!”

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 12/04/24 4:00pm EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
MFC-T
Manulife Fin
-1.54%31.95
LYFT-Q
Lyft Inc Cl A
-3.89%18.76
CAR-Q
Avis Budget Group
-5.21%114.73
SHAK-N
Shake Shack Inc
-2.24%97.21
FSLY-N
Fastly Inc
-0.8%13.63

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