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STARS & DOGS

A selection of this week's winners and losers

STARS
Versacold
$9,40, up 65¢
(ICE - TSE)
Shareholders are happier than a polar bear in a rest home for seals. The frozen-warehouse chain is turning itself into an income trust, so investors finally see some cash. Sounds better than owning the stock and freezing on a rack in the dark.

Royal Precious Metals
$6.91, up 16.1% this year
Bullion's popping like one of your cheap grubby collars. The fund is up again this year on top of a glittering 34 per cent in '01. And there's not much Barrick, with its flabby stock and dreary hedge book of bets against gold. After all, why samba with a chap in cement clogs?

Co-Steel
$2.96, up 62¢
(CEI - TSE)
Steel investors are bulgy-eyed with greed at this stage in their rally so they're squealing for wackier stuff like Co-Steel. With its big rusty $400-million debt load and scary talks with lenders. Nothing ironic about those.

Winnebago Industries
$41.21 U.S., up $4.96
(WGO - NYSE)
Even slack-jawed thirty-somethings are buying RVs to take to the road with their whining snotty brood. Filling up empty lives. Sort of bleak fun as long as oil prices don't go insane and stay there. Cause these big boys get worse gas mileage than a Taliban tank.

DOGS
Rio Alto Exploration
$17.05, down 60¢
(RAX - TSE)
Never fancied a career in gas. Risk of huge roasting explosions was just too hard to get past. Like the one Rio Alto sprung last year when it wrote down reserves. And that's returning to scorched investors' minds now that takeover mumbling has gone dead.

Scotia Total Return
$13.67, down 0.4% per cent this year
This one's supposed to be all macho, like a Schwarzenegger sci-fi horror flick. Big muscular bets on stocks and bonds. Unitholders are finding it hard to enjoy the show, though, after a 9.5-per-cent blackout last year.

© The Globe and Mail

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