Act I: Run for the money
* The player: Nurun Inc. (TSX:NUR)
* Action: Up 26 per cent in one day (from $3.60 to $4.54) on takeover news
* Recent Price: $4.62
* 52-week high/low: $4.69/2.90 Nothing gets a stock moving like takeover news, and on June 1, shares of Nurun went for a quick sprint when Quebecor Media Inc. announced its intention to buy out the company.
Quebecor Media and its affiliates already own 57.8 per cent of the Montreal-based interactive communications firm, and offered $4.54 for the remaining shares (which were trading at $3.60 at the time).
Nurun hasn't yet completed its review of the offer, but shares hit a high of $4.60 the day of the news and $4.69 the day after.
The impact was completely lost on the stock of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media's parent, since on the same day, Quebecor Inc. gobbled up Osprey Media Income Fund for $517 million. (TSX:QBR.B was down to $41.33 on June 1 from $41.65 on May 31).
Act II: Like a rock
* The player: Roctest Ltd. (TSX:RTT)
* Action: Down 28 per cent year to date (from $1.66 Jan. 4, 2007)
* Recent Price: $1.20
* 52-week high/low: $2.50/1.20 For the last year Roctest's stock has been plummeting, well, like a rock, and even periodic good news hasn't been enough to stop the slide.
Positive quarterly revenue results reported in May for the Quebec-based high-precision measuring instruments company ($4.96 million compared to $4.44 million in the same quarter of 2006) were due largely to the acquisition of Smartec.
But in spite of the increase in revenue, the net loss grew to $692,711 from $297,502 in Q1 2006.
Smartec's sensors (fibre optic, GPS and conventional), data acquisition systems and software have since been chosen for projects such as the Halifax Metro Centre and an oil tanker (the first fibre-optic monitoring system ever designed and integrated in an operating ship of that size), but shareholders don't seem impressed.
The stock has fallen 52 per cent from its 52-week high in October, and 28 per cent year to date.
Act III: Racking up points
* The player: Points International (TSX:PTS)
* Action: Up 41 per cent or $0.46 in a month (from $1.13 May 1, 2007)
* Recent Price: $1.59
* 52-week high/low: $1.65/0.58 A slow and steady climb that started last October has sharpened into a much steeper spike for Points International shares.
The Toronto company, which owns and operates Points.com - a website for swapping, buying or redeeming miles and points from reward programs such as Aeroplan, American Express Membership Rewards or Delta SkyMiles - posted an 85-per-cent increase in revenue to $5.3 million for Q1 2007.
During the quarter, 2.7 billion points and miles were transacted, up 47 per cent year over year.
April's transactions were also up 22 per cent year over year, bringing cumulative points and miles transacted to 26.7 billion.
The stock has risen from the 60-cent range in October to a recent high of $1.65.
Act IV: Still beating
* The player: WorldHeart (TSX:WHT)
* Action: Down 75 per cent or $6.82 from its high in July 2006
* Recent Price: $2.28
* 52-week high/low: $9.10/2.10 If you're looking at the WHT graph and experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, tingling or numbness, you may be a WorldHeart shareholder.
From a high of $9.10 last summer, the TSE-listed stock for the heart failure therapy- device company has been ticking away into oblivion.
On the Nasdaq, WorldHeart shares (WHRT) have fallen from the US$.80-cent range in July 2006 to around 20 cents at the end of May, threatening the company's compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.
But it may not be the end for the American company with a registered office in Ottawa.
A recent 10-to-1 reverse stock split for Nasdaq shares (effective May 30, 2007) might just be the jolt the stock needs to get the ol' ticker working again - at least for one more day.
NOTE: The above is not intended as investment advice to buy or sell any mentioned securities.
Investors should do due diligence before investing. Quotes are based on results through June 4, 2007.
(Nicole Strandlund can be reached email@example.com)