A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
CannTrust Holdings (DOG)
Perfectly reasonable explanations that CannTrust executives could have provided to regulators for the cannabis growing in unlicensed rooms: 1) “We thought it was oregano.” 2) “We were not aware we needed a licence to grow cannabis. Thanks for letting us know.” 3) “We would go into the unlicensed rooms to investigate, but then we would forget why we were there.” With CannTrust’s chairman and CEO both pushed out this week after e-mails surfaced indicating that they knew about the illegal plants, it’s too late for excuses.
Good old Elon Musk – always quick with a smile, a joke and an exaggerated claim about his electric-car company. Even after Tesla posted a wider-than-expected loss for the second quarter as margins shrank, Mr. Musk reiterated his full-year forecast of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicle deliveries and predicted the company will break even this quarter and turn a profit in the fourth quarter. One analyst called it an “Everest-like uphill battle," while another said the weak results “will be a gut punch to the bulls." It was a one-day gut punch of 13.6 per cent, to be exact.
Restaurant Brands International (STAR)
Look out, Colonel Sanders. Popeyes wants to eat your three-piece lunch combo. Shares of Restaurant Brands surged after the company said it has partnered with Tab Food Investments to open more than 1,500 Popeyes restaurants in China – where KFC has long been the dominant chicken chain – over the next 10 years. With Restaurant Brands’ stock getting a further boost from Tim Hortons’ recent launch of Beyond Meat burgers, investors are ordering seconds.
Don’t you just love pop-up ads on your computer? You won’t hear any complaints from Alphabet investors: Shares of Google’s corporate parent soared after the company posted second-quarter revenue and earnings that topped expectations, lifted by a 16-per-cent increase in online search advertising that eased concerns about decelerating growth in Alphabet’s core business. Now, if Google can stop serving up online ads for products people have already bought, that would be progress.
Fire & Flower Holdings (STAR)
Just what we need: yet another cannabis stock on the TSX. Shares of Fire & Flower Holdings, an Edmonton-based marijuana retailer listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, surged after convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard agreed to invest about $26-million in debt securities convertible into a 9.9-per-cent stake and also received warrants that could increase its ownership to 50.1 per cent. With Fire & Flower also getting conditional approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the stock is on fire, all right.