SPCE Stock – 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
In the old days, people greeted each other with “Nice day” or “How are you?” Now, it’s “Hey, which vaccine did you get?” With AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot linked to very rare instances of blood clotting and the U.S. government temporarily suspending the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for similar reasons, shares of Moderna surged after the company said its jab showed “continued strong efficacy” six months after the second dose and has not been associated with clotting. Hey, Moderna, how about speeding up deliveries to your friends in Canada, eh?
Virgin Galactic Holdings (DOG)
SPCE – NYSE
Virgin Galactic’s goal is to take private individuals into space. Unfortunately, its stock is quickly heading back to Earth. In December, a test flight was cut short after a computer malfunction prevented the rocket engine from firing, causing the shares to plunge. This week, the stock tumbled again after a securities filing revealed that Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic’s founder, sold more than US$150-million of the company’s shares between April 12 and 14. Investors’ wallets are suddenly feeling weightless.
Wilhelmina International (STAR)
WHLM – Nasdaq
Business quiz! Shares of modelling and talent agency Wilhelmina International soared after a) the company won a contract to model face shields, masks and rubber gloves at the world’s first PPE fashion show next year in Milan; b) a Reddit group calling itself “ModelsMakingMoolah” orchestrated a massive short squeeze in the stock; or c) Retail Ecommerce Ventures – which specializes in buying up troubled brands – disclosed that it holds about 950,000 shares, or 18.4 per cent, of Wilhelmina, giving a vote of confidence to a company whose business has been hammered by the pandemic. Answer: c.
GSY – TSX
No credit? No problem. Let the nice people at goeasy Ltd. float you a loan at the very reasonable interest rate of 19.99 per cent. Or consider leasing a big-screen TV and some furniture at just 29.99 per cent. On second thought, you’d be better off investing in goeasy instead. Shares of the non-prime lending and leasing company have more than tripled in the past year and jumped again this week after goeasy announced the $320-million purchase of LendCare Holdings Inc., which provides point-of-sale financing for automotive, home-improvement, powersports and other retailers. Making money with goeasy has been, well, easy peasy.
Bed Bath & Beyond (DOG)
BBBY – Nasdaq
It’s a good thing Bed Bath & Beyond sells aromatherapy products, because investors are going to need help calming down after watching the stock tumble this week. Even as earnings per share topped estimates, sales for the three months ended Feb. 27 fell about 16 per cent from a year earlier and were slightly below expectations, hit by store closings and the sale of non-core divisions. The retailer’s CEO, former Target executive Mark Tritton, said 2020 was a year of “fast-paced transformation,” but judging by the stock’s decline, investors want Bed Bath & Beyond’s turnaround to go even faster.
Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.