A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Another week, another Tesla tumble. First, Consumer Reports said a test vehicle with the company’s latest semi-autonomous driving system cut off other cars when changing lanes and generally behaved like “a kid behind the wheel for the very first time.” Then a Morgan Stanley analyst made scathing comments about the company on a call with clients, saying the cash-burning, debt-strapped car maker has become a “distressed credit and restructuring story." With the stock down about 43 per cent this year, investors are not enjoying this ride.
Foot Locker (DOG)
You know when you buy a pair of $200 sneakers and you promptly step in a pile of dog poop? Foot Locker investors got their own nasty surprise when the athletic footwear and apparel retailer reported same-store sales growth of 4.6 per cent for the first quarter – less than the 5.5-per-cent increase analysts were expecting. With Foot Locker’s earnings also falling short of estimates and investors worrying about the impact of potential increased tariffs on goods from China, the stock is emitting a foul odour.
Multiple choice quiz! FirstService is a company that: a) distributes ball machines, nets and other tennis equipment; b) developed a smartphone app that helps people find churches that open really early on Sunday morning; c) provides property management and other real estate services and which this week agreed to acquire 95 per cent of Global Restoration Holdings for US$505-million, complementing FirstService’s Paul Davis Restoration subsidiary. Answer: c.
Remember Target, the U.S. retailer that opened a bunch of stores in Canada a few years ago and then closed them all about five minutes later? Well, thankfully for Target shareholders, things are going a lot better in the United States: Fuelled by a 42-per-cent increase in e-commerce sales, the chain posted first-quarter revenue and earnings above Wall Street estimates and maintained its outlook for the year, even as other retailers are struggling. Investors are filling their shopping carts with stock.
Lowe’s Cos. (DOG)
You might say Lowe’s investors just got screwed. Even as the home-improvements retailer posted same-store sales growth of 3.5 per cent in the first quarter, earnings per share fell short of estimates as cost pressures, changes in the company’s merchandising operations and “ineffective legacy pricing tools” hammered gross margins. With Lowe’s slashing its full-year earnings outlook, the stock chart looks like a renovation project gone wrong.