February 5, 2015 Comments

On Thursday, the S&P 500 was up 1.0% and Toronto was up 0.9%.

Most of the stocks on my list were up roughly 1 to 2 percent.

Costco was down 4.4% a day after after reporting that January’s international sales were down 4% due to currency impacts though up 6% in local currency. Apparently the stock was “down-graded” by Deutsche Bank. I don’t know why analysts would be surprised by this, I am mentioned this would be the case U.S. companies with international operations. Costco has a big operation in Canada and the recent sharp decline in the loonie should have been a known negative factor.

My position on Costco remains that it is a fantastic company but has recently looked quite expensive. I have wanted to Buy it for quite some time but it always looks too expensive — but then it kept rising. If I owned it I might very well have sold at recent prices or lower. But for those holding, it is still likely to be a good investment in the long term even if it falls temporarily. Costco had really leapt in the past few days and so some kind of a pull-back is certainly not a surprise.

Suncor was in the news report sharply lower profits today. And let’s remember oil was still a lot higher in October and November and even (as I recollect) much of December than it is now. Then again the Canadian currency is lower now also which is positive. Still, if oils stays around $50 then Q1 will likely be worst than Q4 for oil companies.

Radio Shack in the U.S. is declaring bankruptcy and selling its stores to a Hedge fund. Recall their former Canadian stores switched over to become the “The Source some years ago. The company had been struggling financially for a decade or more.

I see Target Canada is managing to continue to show its incompetence. Why did they need to bring in a liquidator to sell off their stock? Is selling their merchandise not their core skill? They were only allowed to discount by 30% which is not too exciting. But then customers today found things marked down only 10% in many cases. I think these bozos have poisoned their brand name with Canadians. I will not be interested in visiting their stores when I am in the U.S. Apparently their staff have no idea how much longer they will have a job nor if their will be any severance despite initial talk of 16 weeks severance. I am generally in favor of free markets, but in this case I’d almost like to see the government put the run on these people and go after the parent company for any losses imposed on Canadian creditors as well as for the severance payments if possible. They are an embarrassment to the U.S. really.

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