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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. Stocks that analysts praise at the start of the year often turn in lacklustre performances, a researcher has found. (Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Jin Lee/Bloomberg)
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. Stocks that analysts praise at the start of the year often turn in lacklustre performances, a researcher has found. (Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Jin Lee/Bloomberg)

Midnight Trader

Today's small-cap stocks to watch Add to ...

Wescast Industries Inc. , which closed up 2 per cent on Friday, noted that the previously-announced Memorandum of Understanding between Wescast and Sichuan Bohong Industry Co. Ltd. of China regarding a possible acquisition of Wescast provides that it will automatically terminate if Bohong has not obtained by Dec. 30, 2011, a financing commitment letter from its proposed lender, the China Development Bank, that is acceptable to Wescast.

It said since Bohong has not obtained such a financing commitment letter, the MOU has terminated automatically in accordance with its terms. Wescast, a leading supplier of cast exhaust manifolds for passenger cars and light trucks, expects that its discussions with Bohong regarding a mutually-acceptable transaction will continue following this termination of the MOU. It said: "Wescast intends to continue with its previously-announced strategic alternatives review.



Clothes retailer Le Chateau Inc. , which lost nearly 8 per cent last Friday, said it has entered into an agreement with a corporation controlled by Herschel Segal, the founder, director and majority shareholder of the company, for long-term financing of $10-million. The financing is in the form of a four year, unsecured loan which bears interest at a rate of 7.5 per cent, is repayable by way of equal monthly instalments of principal and interest, commencing in February 2013, and may be prepaid without penalty.



Candax Energy Inc. , which is trading near a year high 9 cents, announced that it has entered into an agreement with PA Resources AB to purchase its 23.9 per cent working interest in the El Bibane field and its 13.6 per cent interest in the Ezzaouia field for a cash consideration of $4-million (U.S.). It said the purchase of these additional working interests will increase Candax's ownership of the El Bibane field to approximately 98 per cent and 45 per cent for the Ezzaouia field and will add approximately 100 bopd of production to Candax. The transaction has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2012 and is subject to partner and government approval.

Vero Energy Inc. announced today that it has entered into an asset purchase and sale agreement for the divestiture of certain natural gas assets of the company to a private oil and gas company for gross proceeds of $209-million, subject to closing adjustments. Closing of the transaction is expected on or about Jan. 31, 2012 and is subject to customary conditions for an asset divestiture of this nature. The "disposition assets" are primarily focused in the deep basin region of West Central Alberta and include related facilities but excludes zones from surface to base Cardium, which represent estimated average daily production of 7,296 boe/d (86 per cent Natural Gas) during the fourth quarter of 2011 and 26.5 mmboe of proved plus probable reserves at December 31, 2010.



Raydan Manufacturing Inc. recorded second-quarter revenue of $2.15-million and a net loss of $382,913 (includes net income of $2,488 from discontinued operations) vs. revenue of $2.47-million and a net loss of $45,138 (includes $nil from discontinued operations) in the comparative three month period ended Oct. 31, 2010 or second quarter 2011. Gross profit margins in second quarter 2012 were 8.3 per cent vs. 22.1 per cent in second quarter 2011; thereby contributing to the net loss in second quarter 2012.



Balmoral Resources Ltd. , which closed down 3.5 per cent last Friday, provided a review of 2011 exploration results on its gold projects in Quebec and Ontario, as well as outlining its exploration plans for the first half of 2012. It said 2011 results were highlighted by a series of new gold discoveries in the company's Detour Gold Trend Project in Quebec which provide the company with potential for near term resource growth and demonstrate the "highly prospective" nature of the company's 80-plus kilometre land position along the Detour-Sunday Lake Deformation Zone.



Liberty Mines Inc. today announced that it has executed its right to purchase half of the 2 per cent Hart net smelter royalty (NSR) from Canadian Arrow Mines (CAM) for a lump sum payment of $1-million. In 2006, Liberty Mines entered into an Option and Joint Venture Agreement with CAM. Under the terms of this agreement, Liberty optioned 100 per cent ownership of the Hart Claims from CAM in exchange for various payments as well as a 2 per cent NSR. Also in accordance with the agreement, Liberty Mines was given the right to purchase the first 1 per cent of the NSR for a lump sum payment of $1-million. The remaining NSR will require negotiations between both parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable purchase price.







Aeterna Zentaris Inc. today announced that its Japanese partner, Yakult Honsha has initiated a Phase 1/2 trial in Japan to assess the safety and efficacy of the company's PI3K/Akt inhibitor, perifosine, in combination with chemotherapeutic agent, capecitabine, in patients with refractory advanced colorectal cancer. The initiation of this trial will trigger a milestone payment of an undisclosed amount from Yakult to Aeterna Zentaris under the partnership agreement signed with Yakult in March 2011 for perifosine in Japan.







Mediterranean Resources Ltd. announced the discovery of two new areas of gold-copper mineralization in previously unexplored sections of its extensive Red Mountain project in Artvin province in northeastern Turkey.







Empire Industries Ltd. , which hit a year low $0.025 on the last trading day of year 2011, announced today that it has completed the sale of its Empire Iron Works structural steel fabrication operations in Winnipeg and its Hopkins Steel Works facility in Welland. The company said this sale to the Supreme Group, western Canada's largest steel fabrication company, was a cash transaction valued at approximately $3.8-million plus the value of selected working capital.





CWC Well Services Corp. announced today that the Board of Directors have approved a 2012 capital expenditure budget of $8.7-million comprised of $6-million in growth capital and $2.7-million in maintenance and infrastructure capital. The company said the growth capital expenditure will be directed at building two new Class III 2-inch coil tubing units while the maintenance and infrastructure capital expenditure will be directed at various upgrades or additions to equipment in the service rig, snubbing and information technology divisions.





Fibrek Inc. , producer and marketer of high-quality virgin and recycled kraft pulp, announced today that its Board of Directors filed its Directors' Circular recommending that Fibrek shareholders reject the AbitibiBowater Inc.'s unsolicited insider bid. Pierre Gabriel Cote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fibrek, said: "Abitibi's insider bid conveniently ignores probable and material new streams of operating income. It deprives shareholders of significant intrinsic long-term value associated with our growth prospects."





Route1 Inc. , a security and identity management company, announced today the appointment of recently retired United States Navy Rear Admiral, Mark S. Boensel to its board of directors. Michael D. Harris, Chairman of Route1, said: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Admiral Boensel to the board of directors of Route1. He brings a wealth of knowledge and will make an excellent addition to our board."





Novadaq Technologies Inc. , a developer of real-time imaging systems, announced today that it has signed an agreement naming MAQUET Cardiovascular, provider of innovative products for cardiac surgery, as the exclusive distributor of Novadaq's CO2 Heart Laser Systems and procedure kits in the United States.

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