The Globe's stars and dogs for the week
A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
How to upset a child: Take away his favourite toy. How to upset an adult: Take away his money. Stung by falling sales for Barbie and other brands, toy maker Mattel slashed its dividend by 61 per cent, sending its already battered shares to a hefty loss. Mattel says it's aiming to free up cash to spur product innovation and growth in emerging markets, but judging by the stock's 25-per-cent drop this year, plenty of investors are taking their ball and going home.
MAT (Nasdaq), $20.72 (U.S.); down $1.55 or 7% over week
Sears Canada (Dog)
Multiple choice quiz! Over the past three years, Sears Canada's shares have dropped about: a) 21 per cent; b) 38 per cent; c) 69 per cent; d) 95 per cent. Answer: d). Underlining the grim outlook for department stores, the shares took another beating this week when the retailer announced a first-quarter loss of $144.4-million and warned of "significant doubt as to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." So you're saying things aren't good?
SCC (TSX), 77 cents; down 41¢ or 34.7% over week
Remember the days when Internet companies with no earnings would skyrocket in price? Well, those days never ended, apparently. Shares of Shopify had nearly quadrupled in the past year despite the fact that the e-commerce platform has never turned a profit. But reality finally set in this week when Goldman Sachs downgraded Shopify to "neutral" from "buy," calling it "among the most expensive software stocks ever." Investors are all Shopped out.
SHOP (TSX), $114.92; down $7.88 or 6.4% over week
Dividend stocks are great – until the dividends suddenly stop, that is. Shares of loyalty plan operator Aimia – already reeling after Air Canada's decision in May to stop using the Aeroplan program as of 2020 – took another dive after Aimia suspended all dividends on its common and preferred shares. With the company even cancelling dividends that were previously declared and payable at the end of June, the market is showing no loyalty whatsoever to the shares.
AIM (TSX), $1.63; down 38¢ or 18.9% over week
Cheesecake Factory (Dog)
Reasons to avoid Cheesecake Factory: 1) You're lactose intolerant; 2) You hate cheesecake; 3) You would prefer not to lose a lot of money, thanks. Shares of the casual dining chain – which also serves pizza, burgers, pasta and other fare – plunged after the company projected its first quarterly same-store sales decline in more than seven years, citing lousy weather that affected patio usage. Judging by the stock's steep decline, people are really cheesed off.
CAKE (Nasdaq), $52.97 (U.S.); down $5.15 or 8.9% over week