A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Laurentian Bank (DOG)
Myth: You can’t go wrong buying Canadian banks. Fact: Yes you can. Shares of Laurentian Bank of Canada plummeted after the Montreal-based lender posted a 38-per-cent drop in first-quarter earnings a share, hit by lower capital markets revenue. With Laurentian’s earnings missing estimates for the third consecutive quarter, short-sellers circling and the bank announcing it will cut about 10 per cent of its work force over the next 12 months, investors aren’t banking on this stock rebounding any time soon.
Business quiz! Share of clothing retailer Gap Inc. soared after the company: a) Received a US$3-billion contract from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons to develop "more stylish inmate uniforms in an exciting array of fashion-forward colours instead of just orange”; b) Declared a special dividend consisting of a pair of khakis and a polo shirt for each share held; c) Announced plans to spin off its faster-growing Old Navy chain as a separate publicly traded company and close about 230 of its struggling Gap stores. Answer: c.
J.M. Smucker (STAR)
Whether you enjoy spreading jam on your toast, mixing it with peanut butter in a sandwich or eating it by the spoonful because you haven’t gone shopping in weeks and there’s nothing else in your fridge, you’ve got to love jam. J.M. Smucker Co. investors can’t get enough of the stuff: Shares of the company – which also makes Folgers Coffee, Robin Hood flour and dozens of other food products – surged after it reported quarterly revenue and earnings that topped expectations. Investors are celebrating with a big glob of jam.
SunOpta Inc. shareholders just got a severe sunburn. With its stock already cut in half since last summer, the company – which sells organic ingredients and packaged foods such as soy beverages and protein bars – reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted loss of US$9.3-million or 11 US cents a share. It also announced the termination of president and chief executive David Colo, who was replaced by director Katrina Houde on an interim basis. “Don’t let the SunOpta go down on me …”
Weight Watchers (DOG)
WW International Inc. investors are suddenly feeling a lot lighter – in their wallets. The stock cratered after the company said it expects to earn just US$1.25 to US$1.50 a share this year – less than half of the US$3.38 that analysts had expected – citing a “soft start to 2019” and a winter marketing campaign that “did not recruit as expected.” With Weight Watchers spokeswoman and major shareholder Oprah Winfrey losing more than US$50-million on paper this week, it’s a good thing she still has another US$3-billion or so to pay her bills.