A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
S&P/TSX Composite Index (DOG)
Coronavirus: “Hey, T.”
TSX: “Sup, C? What you got this week?”
Coronavirus: “More school closings. NBA, NHL suspended. You?”
TSX: “I’m thinking a 12-per-cent plunge on Thursday might be fun.”
Coronavirus: “Nice. That would be the biggest drop in, like, 80 years, right?”
TSX: “Yup. Go big or go home, eh?”
Coronavirus: “You’re so cruel. We should work together more often.”
It sounds like a horror movie script straight out of Hollywood. With the novel coronavirus spreading around the world, shares of Cineplex plunged after would-be suitor Cineworld vowed to move forward with its $1.65-billion takeover offer, but warned that in a worst-case scenario it might have to close its own cinemas for three months and could fail to meet debt covenants. Cineplex, for its part, plans to keep its theatres open with “enhanced cleaning protocols in all of our locations.” What we need now is a hero scientist to come up with a treatment for COVID-19 so this movie can have a happy ending.
iShares S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index ETF (DOG)
First, the good news: Gasoline prices are plunging. Now, the bad news: Canadian energy stocks are getting pounded. With Saudi Arabia flooding markets with cheap oil after failing to come to an agreement with Russia on production cuts, crude prices tanked this week, dealing a fresh blow to Canada’s energy patch. While lower gas prices are nice, with the federal government warning Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country, it’s not like families are going to be jumping into their cars and heading off on a long U.S. road trip.
Transat AT (DOG)
The people in Transat’s ads are all smiles as they sip cocktails by the pool or stroll along a sandy beach. But with the coronavirus pandemic hammering Transat’s business, shareholders couldn’t be more miserable. Shares of the package tour operator sank after the company said a downturn in holiday bookings that started in late February has become much worse in recent days as virus fears and travel restrictions intensified. The company has suspended routes and cut costs but said that it is unable to provide financial guidance for the second quarter or summer travel season. Investors are getting off this plane as fast as they can.
BMO Equal Weight Banks Index ETF (DOG)
With their strong balance sheets, diversified operations and growing dividends, Canada’s banks have long been viewed as bastions of stability by investors. Well, surprise. Proving that our banks are just as susceptible to market panics as any other sector, the shares suffered massive losses this week as the coronavirus pandemic prompted school closings and travel warnings and raised fears that a recession is now all but inevitable. Even with a big bounce on Friday, the banks still finished the week deeply in the red, serving as a reminder that you can’t always bank on banks.