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stars and dogs

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

Spin Master (DOG)

A few years ago, Spin Master’s Hatchimals were so popular that retailers couldn’t keep them in stock. Now, the toys – which feature a battery-operated creature that pecks its way out of an egg – are giving off a rotten egg smell. Citing a US$230-million drop in Hatchimals revenue, Spin Master said its total gross product sales will slip about 1 per cent in 2019. Excluding Hatchimals, sales would have risen about 16 per cent. With a shortened U.S. holiday season and supply chain issues related to a new distribution centre also weighing on results, investors aren’t egg-zactly thrilled.


Rogers Communications (STAR)

Business quiz! Shares of Rogers Communications rose after: a) The company sold the Toronto Blue Jays to, which plans to shut down the team and turn the Rogers Centre into an Amazon warehouse; b) Rogers, Bell and Telus agreed to a three-way merger, to be called RoBellTel; c) Rogers posted solid fourth-quarter results, including the addition of 131,000 postpaid wireless customers, prompting several analysts to raise their price targets on the shares. Answer: c.


CSS Industries (STAR)

CSS Industries sells a wide range of exciting products, from buttons and gift bags to stationery and sewing patterns. Want something even more exciting? Check out its stock price: Shares of the U.S.-based craft and gift maker soared after it agreed to be acquired by IG Design Group PLC – which bills itself as “the largest consumer gift packaging business in the world” – for US$88-million or US$9.40 a share. Shareholders had better remember to send a thank you card.


Express (STAR)

Nothing like some cost-slashing to make investors smile. Shares of men’s and women’s clothing retailer Express jumped after the company announced plans to close 100 stores over the next few years and cut US$80-million in annual expenses – US$55-million from “work force restructuring” and US$25-million from other initiatives including “process improvements” and “inventory optimization.” Investors may be happy, but with the company expecting same-store sales to be down 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, employees might want to dust off their résumés.


VF Corp. (DOG)

Gnarly wipeout, dude! Shares of VF Corp. – whose brands include Vans skateboard shoes, North Face outerwear and Kodiak boots – scraped their face on the pavement after the company posted third-quarter sales below estimates and trimmed its full-year revenue and earnings outlook. With VF’s Timberland footwear business suffering a 4-per-cent sales decline even as several of its other brands posted solid gains, investors are putting the boots to the stock.


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