A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Sleep Country Canada (DOG)
Remember when you were a kid and you thought there was a monster under your bed? For Sleep Country Canada investors, the monster just became real. In a sharp slowdown from previous quarters, the mattress retailer posted same-store sales growth of just 0.2 per cent for the three months to Sept. 30 – “the worst result in over five years,” CIBC’s Matt Bank said. With analysts including Mr. Bank cutting their ratings and price targets on the shares, investors are too afraid to look at their portfolios – never mind under their beds.
Business quiz! Shares of Bombardier fell after the company: a) lost a contract to build a choo-choo train for a small amusement park on Toronto’s Centre Island because Bombardier couldn’t deliver the cars on time; b) accidentally produced a new jet with the left and right wings reversed and the engines facing the wrong way; c) said it will slash 5,000 jobs and sell assets including its Q400 turboprop aircraft business after burning through US$370-million of cash in the third quarter. Answer: c.
Natural Gas (Star)
Brrrr. Cold enough for ya? Natural gas investors aren’t complaining. Even as the price of oil has been tumbling, natural gas has surged about 14 per cent since the end of October, lifted by low inventories of the heating and power-generating fuel and forecasts for colder-than-normal temperatures across most of the United States in November. Natural gas traders might want to use their profits to book a flight to somewhere warm and sunny.
Great Canadian Gaming (STAR)
As the famous gambling addict Fred Flintstone said: “Bet, bet, bet, bet, bet.” Thanks to casino acquisitions and new gambling establishments that are hooking a growing number of customers on slot machines and table games, Great Canadian Gaming posted a 115-per-cent jump in revenue and a 96-per-cent increase in earnings for the third quarter. Unlike playing the slots, investing in Great Canadian’s shares turned out to be a good bet, bet, bet, bet, bet.
Freshii’s restaurants serve up wraps, salads and other healthy fare. But after a disappointing third-quarter report, the stock looks like something you’d find in the organic recycling bin. In addition to posting a loss and an 0.8-per-cent drop in same-stores, the company withdrew its 2019 financial guidance including its projection for new store openings, saying it is taking longer than expected to get new franchises up and running in markets around the world. With analysts slashing their price targets, the stock is giving off a putrid odour.