A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Rogers Sugar (DOG)
How sweet it isn’t. Shares of Rogers Sugar got caned after the company posted a 2-per-cent drop in revenue and swung to a $40-million loss for the fourth quarter, as it took a $50-million goodwill impairment charge in its maple syrup business to reflect “recent changes in the competitive environment and lower growth expectations.” With Rogers restructuring its maple-syrup production operations and the stock down about 20 per cent over the past six months, investors have a sour taste in their mouths.
Business quiz! Shares of Pinduoduo, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies, plunged after: a) the U.S. government, in an escalation of its trade war, took out the company’s servers with a drone strike; b) customers filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that the “premium” two-ply toilet paper they ordered "was constantly coming apart and, in at least one case, contained dangerous wood chips”; c) Pinduoduo reported a third-quarter loss that was more than twice as big as expected as sharply higher sales and marketing expenses more than offset an increase in revenue. Answer: c.
You might say investors just got raked over the Kohl’s. Shares of the U.S. department store chain tanked after third-quarter sales at stores open for at least a year rose an anemic 0.4 per cent, signalling that efforts to introduce new brands and bring in more customers aren’t working. Adding to the company’s woes, Kohl’s had to slash prices to move merchandise during the quarter, causing earnings to miss estimates and prompting the retailer to cut its profit outlook for a second time this year. Looks like shareholders are getting a lump of Kohl for Christmas.
Target may have bungled its foray into Canada a few years ago, but the retailer is crushing it south of the border. Heading into the crucial holiday period, the discount chain said third-quarter sales at stores open for at least a year rose 2.8 per cent and online orders soared 31 per cent, as customers purchased merchandise for same-day delivery or to pick up at the store. Even as other retailers are cutting their earnings outlooks, Target’s profit topped estimates and the company hiked its full-year forecast. Take that, Amazon.
For Macy’s, the week couldn’t end fast enough. First, the retailer disclosed that hackers had stolen names, credit-card numbers and other data from customers while they shopped on its website. Then the department store chain reported that same-store sales fell 3.5 per cent in the third quarter – worse than the 0.5-per-cent decline analysts had expected – as bad weather and weak tourism hurt customer traffic. With Macy’s shares down by more than half this year and consumers fleeing department stores, investors are selling just to make the pain end.