Inside the Market's roundup of some of today's key analyst actions. This post will be updated with more analyst commentary during the trading day.
Shares in Lululemon Athletica Inc. have remained in the doldrums after plunging in early June as the company announced the departure of chief executive Christine Day. Canaccord Genuity analyst Camilo Lyon thinks that's about to change.
"After what has been a series of negative news events for LULU over the past few months punctuated by the Luon recall and CEO Christine Day's announced resignation, we see a number of positive catalysts that we believe should turn the momentum in the stock," Mr. Lyon said in a research note today.
"These include continued replenishment of Luon yoga pants that is yet to reach 100 per cent pre-recall levels, explicit advertisements to customers indicating its 'back in black' status, and the announcement of key management hires. We continue to fundamentally believe the demand for the brand has not ebbed and the growth opportunity both domestically and internationally is robust," he added.
Ms. Day's decision to step down came as Lululemon took a $17.5-million (U.S.) inventory provision following the retailer's decision in mid-March to pull almost 20 per cent of its women's yoga pants because they were too sheer. The board of directors is searching for a new leader.
The stock dramatically underperformed the S&P 500 index by 2,800 basis points in the first half of this year, Mr. Lyon pointed out. He expects a recovery over the rest of this year and into 2014, aided by upcoming fresh hires in its supply chain and a likely announcement of new head of design by the end of the summer.
Target: Mr. Lyon reiterated a "buy" rating and $87 (U.S.) price target. The average price target among analysts is $77.35, according to Bloomberg data.
Canaccord Genuity analyst David Tyerman has cut his forecast for Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s traffic volumes, citing weakness in shipments in the second quarter for many products. Potentially slower demand for commodities in emerging markets has also made him more cautious.
While that resulted in Mr. Tyerman reducing his share price estimates on Canadian Pacific, he emphasized that he still sees strong earnings growth ahead, as well as major improvements in the railway's operating ratio -- a key metric that looks at a company's operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.
"We project roughly 30 per cent normalized EPS growth (i.e., excluding the $0.25-0.30 EPS strike hit in Q2/12), driven by a 71.8 per cent operating ratio (much better than the 77.8 per cent in Q2/10, the last normal Q2). Operating ratio gains should continue to come from head count reductions, yard closures and other cost improvement efforts," he said.
Target: Mr. Tyerman cut his price target to $134 from $137 and maintained a "hold" rating. The average target is $132.42.
Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. is the North American waste management company with the greatest upside, believes CIBC World Markets analyst Kevin Chiang.
Since 2011, its share price has been effectively flat, while its three main comparable peers have risen between 22 per cent to 56 per cent over the same period.
But Progressive Waste Solutions appears to be turning the corner, Mr. Chiang said, with operating difficulties in its Northeast division stabilizing and its capital efficiency getting better at a time when industry fundamentals are looking up.
Target: Mr. Chiang raised his price target by $1 to $25.50 (U.S.) and reiterated a "sector performer" rating. The average target is $25.04.
With $100-million in cash and investments, an experienced management team, and news expected soon from three projects, Premier Gold Mines Ltd. "is uniquely positioned among junior gold stocks," said RBC Dominion Securities analyst Sam Crittenden.
He notes that initial drilling at its Red Lake joint venture in northwestern Ontario has intersected favourable structures, veining and gold mineralization, and more exploration is planned there over the next several months.
"While high grade mineralization can be difficult to locate underground as it can exist over narrow widths, alteration, mineralization and favourable host structures have been observed in initial drilling and we believe there is potential for a significant discovery during 2013," he said.
Target: Mr. Crittenden reiterated an "outperform" rating but cut his price target to $3.50 from $5 to reflect the lower valuations for the gold sector in general. The average target is $5.07.
The uranium industry is poised to see renewed investor interest now that the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Agency has received applications to restart 10 reactors from four utilities, said Cantor Fitzgerald Canada analyst Rob Chang.
Four companies applied for the restarts under new rules introduced following the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011. Japanese regulators have said they will take at least six months to review each reactor.
"We believe this is a catalytic event for the uranium space as it signals the resumption of notable nuclear power usage in Japan, which has had nearly all of its 50 reactors offline since the Fukushima tragedy," said Mr. Chang. "With low uranium prices not incentivizing additional uranium production and a demand environment that is expected to grow continuously (we forecast 17 per cent growth by 2020) uranium equities are well positioned to move higher."
Among his favourite stock picks in the sector is Uranium Participation Corp. , a seller of uranium oxide that currently trades at about a 9 per cent discount to net asset value.
Target: Mr. Chang has a "buy" rating and $6.35 price target on Uranium Participation. The average target is $6.81.
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