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stars and dogs

A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week

Premium Brands Holdings (STAR)

PBH - TSX

I don’t know about you, but if I was stranded on a desert island the thing I would miss most is deli meats. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem at home thanks to food producer and distributor Premium Brands Holdings Corp., which sells a wide assortment of cold cuts – the macaroni-and-cheese loaf is to die for – in addition to prepared sandwiches, pasta and baked goods. But what really got investors’ mouths watering this week was the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report: With revenue and earnings both hitting records, the company served up a delicious 10-per-cent dividend increase.

Tupperware Brands (DOG)

TUP - NYSE

Business quiz! Shares of Tupperware Brands Corp. plunged after: a) Meghan and Harry trashed the products in their bombshell interview with Oprah, complaining that leftovers at Kensington Palace were often stale after just a few days in the fridge; b) a fire at a Tupperware warehouse reduced US$300-million of food containers into a giant lump of molten plastic; c) Tupperware reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 14 US cents a share, which was better than the loss of 63 US cents a year earlier but well behind Wall Street estimates for a profit of 71 US cents a share. (Answer: c.)

Pollard Banknote (STAR)

PBL - TSX

How to lose money: Spend your entire paycheque on scratch-and-win tickets. How to make money: Invest in the company that makes scratch-and-win tickets. Shares of Pollard Banknote Ltd. – which bills itself as the second-largest supplier of instant lottery tickets in the world – climbed after the Winnipeg-based company reported a 4-per-cent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, driven by a 162-per-cent jump in its online lottery businesses. Apparently, lottery addicts stuck at home during the pandemic have found an even more convenient way to throw money away.

Peloton Interactive (STAR)

PTON - Nasdaq

Peloton enthusiasts are usually exhausted after a vigorous workout, but the company’s stock just got a second wind. The maker of US$2,500 internet-connected exercise bikes had seen its shares tumble 40 per cent from their January peak as investors worried that sales would slow now that pandemic restrictions are easing. But the shares started pedalling higher again after Peloton Interactive Inc.’s announced plans to expand into Australia – a move that could signal a broader push into the Asian market. Why ride a bike outdoors, with the sun on your face and the wind at your back, when you can have some sweaty guy on a screen barking orders at you?

Bumble (STAR)

BMBL - Nasdaq

Like a couple that keeps breaking up and getting back together, investors have had an on-again, off-again relationship with dating service Bumble since it went public on Feb. 11. This week, the romance was back on: Shares of Bumble Inc. jumped after it posted a 31-per-cent increase in revenue for the fourth quarter and gave an upbeat outlook, citing pent-up demand from people who have been reluctant to date during the pandemic. The way this relationship has been going, don’t be surprised if the stock’s gains don’t last.

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