A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week.
CANADIAN TIRE - STAR
Now we know why you can never find a salesperson at Canadian Tire: They’re on the phone with their brokers. Even as the retailer faced unseasonably warm weather, a low Canadian dollar and a deteriorating economy in Western Canada, the owner of chains including Canadian Tire, Mark’s and Sport Chek posted a 23-per-cent jump in earnings per share for the fourth quarter, topping expectations. The Tire’s on a roll.
CTC.A (TSX), $129.83, up $17.65 or 15.7% over week
BOMBARDIER - STAR
It’s still moving! Left for dead by many investors after it tumbled below $1, Bombardier’s sickly stock showed signs of life after the plane and train maker won a badly needed order for at least 45 C Series jets from Air Canada. Lest investors get too excited, Bomber also posted worse-than-expected results, announced 7,000 job cuts and is said to be seeking a $1-billion “investment” from Ottawa. What could possibly go wrong?
BBD.B (TSX), $1.14, up 33¢ or 40.7% over week
WAL-MART STORES - DOG
Test your business knowledge! Shares of Wal-Mart fell because:
a) The company closed its Wal-Mart Wacky Adventure theme park in Florida and took a $1-billion writedown due to lack of visitor interest;
b) Wal-Mart announced a 1,000-store expansion into North Korea;
c) The retailer said it expects flat sales in the current fiscal year, citing the impact of store closings and the strong U.S. dollar.
WMT (NYSE), $64.66 (U.S.), down $1.52 or 2.3% over week
STUDENT TRANSPORTATION - STAR
There might not be any jobs for them when they graduate, but kids still have to go to school. Which explains why shares of Student Transportation have been motoring along even as the rest of the market struggles. Boosted by lower fuel costs and new contracts, the operator of school buses in Canada and the United States posted a 21.3-per-cent increase in quarterly operating earnings, sending the stock into the passing lane.
STB (TSX), $5.90, up 81¢ or 15.9% over week
BARRICK GOLD - STAR
You want steady returns? Buy a utility. You want epic booms and catastrophic busts? Invest in a gold miner such as Barrick. With gold enjoying its strongest start since 1980 and Barrick posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, shares of the world’s biggest gold miner have more than doubled from their September lows. That’s the good news. The bad news? They would have to triple to get back to their 2011 high.
ABX (TSX), $17.26, up 31¢ or 1.8% over week
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