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Sirius XM Canada has about 2.7 million users in Canada and has been growing steadily, adding 14,000 paying subscribers in its last quarter.Jason Reed/Reuters

Inside the Market's roundup of some of today's key analyst actions

Based on strong quarterly results from Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., (ATD.B-T) TD Securities Inc. is boosting its price target on the company.

"These were strong results, even though wet weather, store conversion disruptions, and seemingly less aggressive promotions combined to restrain in-store traffic. The more moderate SSS [same-store sales] trends, however, were completely offset by higher gross margins in all geographies, leaving the gross profit dollars exactly as forecast," analyst Michael Van Aelst wrote in a note.

"Investor concerns were shot down by management one after the other: SNAP (bipartisan opposition), California tobacco restrictions (did not make it to vote) and, most importantly, lower fuel margins -- not only did the U.S. fuel margin come in above consensus, but also it was higher than each of the past two years' Q4 levels (record annual fuel margin years), and management firmly stated that it expects the fairly stable to growing historical pattern to continue, both in North America and Europe."

The analyst boosted his target price to $80 from $79 and maintained his "buy" rating. The price target consensus is $70.04, according to Thomson Reuters.


On Tuesday, Northland Power Inc. (NPI-T) announced that "its board has retained advisers to review strategic alternatives to facilitate growth, enhance shareholder value, and capitalize on an expanding clean energy infrastructure development opportunity set." TD Securities analyst Sean Steuart views this move as "potentially positive" but has downgraded the company to "hold" from "buy."

"We believe that Northland has started this process as a means of meeting the financing needs for a growing prospective development opportunity set - especially offshore wind. Management expects an expanding opportunity set for clean power development over the next 3 to 5 years. With prospective project scale increasing and development returns under pressure, we suspect that the company is considering options to move ahead with large-scale projects while lowering its effective cost of capital," he wrote in a note.

"We are downgrading our recommendation to 'hold' from 'buy' in light of the recent share price strength and an expanded valuation. Northland has generated a total return of 64 per cent since mid-August 2015 (outpacing the average returns of 37 per cent for its comp group over the same time). We believe that Northland's valuation has climbed to a fair level that gives full credit for the remainder of the company's contracted offshore wind pipeline. In that context, we are comfortable downgrading our recommendation."

His price target remains at $25. The consensus is $24.18.

IA Securities kept its rating for Northland Power at a "strong buy" and boosted its price target to $28 from $26.


With phosphate margins taking longer to recover, RBC Capital Markets analyst Andrew Wong has downgraded The Mosaic Co. (MOS-N)

"We think phosphate margins will take longer than expected to recover from near 5-year lows, while Mosaic's input cost advantages have been eroded by weak market prices for ammonia and sulphur. We believe management has done well to lower costs and optimize operations, but continued challenges in potash and phosphate fundamentals limit upside," he wrote in a note.

As a result, RBC is lowering its rating to "sector perform" from "outperform." He also reduced his target price to $27 (U.S.) from $28. The consensus is $26.33.


Satellite radio company Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc. (XSR-T) does not have "enough upside from the current levels to justify a 'buy' rating," says TD Securities analyst Vince Valentini.

He said, "There is execution risk on future contract negotiations with SIRI," the U.S.-based SiriusXM Radio, and "investors who are not willing to stomach both a proxy battle and potential volatility in the share price over the next few months should consider taking the certainty of the current market price." Mr. Valentini "begrudgingly" downgraded the company from a "buy" to a "hold" rating, with a target price of $5. According to Bloomberg, the target price consensus is $4.70.


"The stars are aligning" for telecommunications company Quebecor Inc., (QBR.B-T) says Desjardins analyst Maher Yaghi, due to an expected sale of spectrum assets to Shaw Communications Inc. in three provinces in 2017. Mr. Yaghi estimates the sale of spectrum could be $450-million to $900-million. He increased his target price on the stock by $3 to $42.50. His "buy" rating for the stock did not change. According to Bloomberg, the target price consensus for Quebecor is $41.47.

In other analyst actions:

BB&T Capital downgraded American Vanguard Corp. (AVD-N) to "hold" from "buy."

Barclays upgraded Resolute Energy (REN-N) from "underweight" to "equalweight."

Baird upgraded Plains All American (PAA-N) from "underperform" to "neutral" with a price target of $30 (U.S.), up from $14.

Jefferies reiterated a "hold" rating on Hasbro (HAS-Q), and raised the price target to $82 (U.S.) from $80, ahead of the company's second-quarter release.

Barclays downgraded Petrobras (PBR-N) from "equalweight" to "underweight."