A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
CannTrust Holdings Inc. (DOG)
CannTrust? More like Can’t Trust. Shares of the cannabis producer plunged after Health Canada discovered that the company was growing cannabis in unlicensed rooms hidden behind temporary walls at a greenhouse in Pelham, Ont., where employees allegedly provided “false and misleading information” to inspectors. With Health Canada putting a freeze on 5,200 kilograms of CannTrust marijuana, the Ontario Cannabis Store pulling the company’s products and analysts slashing their ratings and price targets on the shares, investors are suddenly feeling very paranoid.
Levi Strauss & Co. (DOG)
I love the feel of broken-in jeans. That’s why I haven’t changed mine since the early nineties. Apparently, I’m not alone: Citing weakness in the retail industry that has led to store closings and bankruptcies, denim giant Levi Strauss said its U.S. wholesale business posted a 2-per-cent drop in sales in the second quarter. That, combined with a stronger U.S. dollar, investments in e-commerce and higher marketing costs, contributed to a 17-per-cent drop in adjusted earnings. Maybe it’s time for a new pair. Nah.
Etsy Inc. (STAR)
Things you can actually buy on Etsy: 1) a lifelike, 3-D printed statuette of yourself – perfect for narcissists and people who just want to know what they would look like if they were five inches tall; 2) a David Lee Roth tour T-shirt from 1991; 3) a toiletry bag that says: “I like my eyelashes as black as my heart and as long as the list of people I want to punch in the face.” Now that Etsy plans to offer free shipping on orders of US$35 or more – a move that gave its shares a lift – there’s no reason not to order these and other must-have items.
Cigna Corp. (STAR)
What? Donald Trump changed his mind about something? In the latest sign that the White House is making it up as it goes along, the Trump administration dropped its proposal to eliminate rebates from government drug plans – a key component of the U.S. President’s blueprint to reduce prescription drug prices – after administration and congressional analysts questioned whether the move would actually lower costs. With the government backing off, shares of health insurers who receive the rebates, including Cigna – a major pharmacy benefits manager – were looking very healthy indeed.
Iron Mountain Inc. (DOG)
Business quiz! Shares of document storage and shredding service Iron Mountain plunged after the company: a) accidentally left several boxes of top-secret Pentagon briefings at the curb, where a North Korean spy driving a garbage truck picked them up; b) said it “totally forgot” to lock the doors at one of its secure storage facilities, leading to a massive theft of corporate data; c) was downgraded to “underperform” by Merrill Lynch, which said falling prices for the shredded paper that Iron Mountain sells to recyclers could hurt the company’s earnings. Answer: c.