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
Home Capital Group (Star)
When you're down on your luck, you can always count on Uncle Warren to lend a helping hand. In a magnanimous gesture, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to extend a $2-billion credit line (initial interest rate: just 9.5 per cent) and purchase about 38 per cent of Home Capital's shares at an average price of about $10 – a very reasonable 33-per-cent discount to the price immediately before the deal was announced. Why does Warren do it? Because he cares.
HCG (TSX), $18.61, up $4.36 or 30.6% over week
Sears Canada (Dog)
If you've been looking for a good deal on a Kenmore washer-dryer set, now might be your chance. Shares of Sears Canada, hammered by years of declining sales and earnings, plunged to new lows this week and were subsequently suspended from trading after the retailer obtained court protection from creditors and said it will close 59 stores. Consumers may be looking forward to liquidation sales, but the 2,900 employees losing their jobs are in no mood for a shopping spree.
SCC (TSX), 62¢, down 15¢ or 19.5% over week
"That's very nice lingerie, dear, but I think I would rather sit in my new La-Z-Boy Reclina-Rocker with remote-controlled heat and massage and watch the game." People sure do love their La-Z-Boys: The stock jumped after the furniture maker posted a 27-per-cent increase in earnings per share for its fiscal fourth quarter as sales topped Wall Street estimates. Well, at least investors are excited.
LZB (NYSE), $32.30 (U.S.), up $5.25 or 19.4% over week
Hudson's Bay (Star)
Business quiz! Shares of Hudson's Bay rallied because: a) Millennials have given up shopping online and at specialty chains and are suddenly flocking to department stores in record numbers; b) After a 200-year hiatus, beaver hats are back in style; c) U.S. activist investor Jonathan Litt called on Hudson's Bay to sell or redevelop its real estate – including the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York – to unlock billions of dollars in value. Answer: c.
HBC (TSX), $11.29, up $2.41 or 27.1% over week
Chipotle Mexican Grill (Dog)
Whether you're eating burritos – or investing in them – you have to be prepared to suffer the consequences. Shares of Chipotle were emitting a foul odour after the Mexican restaurant chain said that 2017 same-store sales will rise rise by "high single digits" – lower than the 10.1-per-cent growth analysts were expecting – and that promotion costs will be higher in the second quarter compared with the first. Somebody open a window.
CMG (NYSE), $415.28 (U.S.), down $35.81 or 7.9% over week