A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Six months’ supply of toilet paper? Check. Eight-gallon jug of hand sanitizer? Check. Five 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles to keep the kids occupied for the next several months? Check. With folks hunkering down in their homes as they ride out the coronavirus pandemic, more consumers are ordering their daily essentials from Amazon.com. Business is a little too good, it seems: The company had to temporarily close its Amazon Prime Pantry service, which sells groceries and household products, after it was overwhelmed by “high order volumes.” Thanks a lot, hoarders.
Keg Royalties Income Fund (DOG)
In the past, getting a reservation at the Keg on a Saturday night could be a challenge. Now, it’s impossible. The popular steakhouse, as with thousands of other sit-down establishments, has temporarily closed its doors as governments try to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. Investors may have lost their appetites for restaurant stocks for now, but when the pandemic recedes and establishments start opening their doors again, what say we all go out for a nice meal and leave a big tip?
Uber Technologies (STAR)
Suddenly, walking 20 blocks doesn’t seem like such a chore after all. With more people walking, cycling or staying at home to avoid the coronavirus, Uber said the number of rides has tumbled by as much as 70 per cent in hard-hit cities such as Seattle, with San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York expected to show similar declines. Even with an uptick in business from Uber Eats as more consumers order in, the stock still got left at the curb.
Air Canada (DOG)
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc everywhere, but few sectors are feeling the pain more than airlines. Air Canada said it will suspend most international and U.S. flights by March 31, and plans to lay off more than 5,100 flight attendants as Canada’s biggest airline grounds planes owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic. With Air Canada’s stock down 71 per cent in the past month, some investors may have developed a permanent fear of flying.
Blue Apron Holdings (STAR)
Not long ago, the future had looked grim for meal-kit delivery company Blue Apron. Hit by growing competition, the company’s revenues and stock price seemed to be in an interminable slide. But the coronavirus has changed all that. Blue Apron’s shares surged this week after chief executive Linda Findley Kozlowski said the company has "seen a sharp increase in consumer demand” and is hiring more workers – including laid-off restaurant employees – to meet the increased demand for meal kits from people stuck in their homes. Thanks, coronavirus.