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stars and dogs

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

Kraft Heinz (DOG)

No amount of ketchup can hide the foul taste of Kraft Heinz’s latest results. Hurt by the growth of private-label brands, changing consumer tastes and relentless cost-cutting under owner 3G Capital, the stumbling packaged-foods giant said sales fell 4.8 per cent and earnings per share dropped by more than half for the six months ended June 30. With the company – which cut its dividend earlier this year – also announcing more than US$1-billion of writedowns and withdrawing its full-year earnings outlook, investors are throwing the stock into the garburator.

KHC - Nasdaq

Canadian Tire (DOG)

Exciting new products the Canadian Tire guy will be testing now that the company has acquired Party City’s 65 stores in Canada: 1) The Yardworks combination leaf blower and helium balloon inflator; 2) The multipurpose Darth Vader Halloween mask and welding helmet; 3) The Mastercraft orbital jigsaw and DIY birthday party puzzle maker. As, er, obvious as the synergies are between the two companies, investors weren’t in the mood to celebrate – especially after Canadian Tire’s second-quarter results came up shy of expectations.

CTC.A - TSX

Medical Facilities Corp. (DOG)

Call a doctor. Shares of Medical Facilities Corp. suffered a sudden drop in price after the owner of surgical hospitals in the United States reported a 5.2-per-cent decline in revenue and a 58.4-per-cent plunge in cash available for distribution. With the company’s dividend payout ratio soaring to 179 per cent in the second quarter and the yield at a feverish 13 per cent, there may have to be some surgery on the dividend if the business doesn’t turn around soon.

DR - TSX

Cineplex (STAR)

The movie business is dying! No, wait, the movie business is doing just fine. Even as Cineplex reported a 1.7-per-cent decline in attendance for the second quarter – a dip it attributed in part to the Toronto Raptors’ playoff run – the company still posted a 7.4-per-cent increase in revenue to a record $439.2-million thanks to higher box-office and concession sales per patron and contributions from its digital advertising and Rec Room businesses. Now that the stock is rising again, investors are celebrating with a popcorn, candy and drink combo for just $18.

CGX - TSX

Sleep Country Canada Holdings (STAR)

For the past couple of years, mattress retailer Sleep Country Canada has been keeping investors up at night with disappointing results and a sinking stock price. But the company’s latest report was like a warm glass of milk: For the second quarter, revenue jumped 15.9 per cent to $166.6-million as same-store sales growth, new store openings and the acquisition of online mattress retailer Endy all contributed to better-than-expected earnings. Now, shareholders are counting dollar bills as they drift off to sleep.

ZZZ - TSX