A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
True or false? People have finally gotten tired of staring at their smartphones all day and are cancelling their cellphone service in droves. Answer: false. Quite the opposite. Shares of Telus surged after the company said it added 111,000 mobile-phone customers in the third quarter, along with 32,000 internet and 19,000 television subscribers. With millions of Canadians hopelessly addicted to their cellphones and paying through the nose for data plans, Telus also raised its dividend by 3.6 per cent. Keep staring, please.
Uber Technologies (DOG)
Stop the car. Uber investors want off. Shares of the ride-hailing service skidded after its third-quarter loss widened to US$1.16-billion from US$986-million a year earlier, as Uber Eats and Uber Freight gushed more red ink and the company faced hefty stock-based compensation expenses. Compounding Uber’s woes, the expiration of a six-month lock-up period following the company’s May IPO gave early investors the green light to sell their shares – which, judging by the stock’s descent to a record low this week, is exactly what they did.
Ralph Lauren (STAR)
Business quiz! Shares of Ralph Lauren jumped after the luxury fashion company: a) announced that it is changing its Polo Pony logo to a marijuana leaf “in a bold statement that better reflects the values and priorities of today’s youth”; b) declared a special dividend of a cashmere sweater and a pair of high-quality wool trousers; c) posted a 13-per-cent increase in earnings per share for its fiscal second quarter as revenue grew 2 per cent on a constant-currency basis, driven by strength in Europe and Asia. Answer: c
Shake Shack (DOG)
Shake Shack investors are all shook up after its disappointing third-quarter results. Hurt by a decision to go with a single delivery service, the burger chain posted tepid same-store sales growth of 2 per cent, triggering the biggest one-day tumble for the stock since its 2015 IPO. With Shake Shack also trimming its full-year same-store sales forecast to 1.5 per cent from 2 per cent as it partners with Grubhub exclusively and drops other delivery services such as DoorDash and Postmates, shareholders could be waiting a long time for Shake Shack’s stock to shape up.
Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (DOG)
You know when you bite into a hot and gooey slice of pizza … and promptly burn the roof of your mouth? Shareholders of Boston Pizza were reaching for a glass of ice water after same-store sales sank 4.2 per cent in the third quarter, hit by a combination of factors including increased competition, higher menu prices tied to rising minimum wages, weak consumer confidence and a slumping economy in parts of Canada. With the stock suffering a double-digit percentage loss on the news, investors are feeling burned alright.