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New Flyer Industries Inc.'s Xcelsior CHARGE zero-emission, battery-electric bus.Supplied

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. said it was "pleased" to report its consensus-beating fourth-quarter results, and investors may likely agree. Their reaction to 2018 guidance, though, will be seen in Thursday's trading.

Wheaton reported earnings per share of 19 cents U.S. on US$243 million in revenue. Analysts expected EPS of 16 cents U.S. and revenue of just under $217 million, on average, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The company, which gets its revenue and earnings by purchasing "streams" of production from other miners, exceeded its 2017 production guidance of 28 million silver ounces and 340,000 gold ounces.

Wheaton forecast its attributable silver and gold production in 2018, though, at 22.5 million silver ounces and 355,000 gold ounces. The estimate for the next five years (including 2018) is anticipated to be approximately 25 million silver ounces and 370,000 gold ounces per year, the company said.

Wheaton, which changed its name from Silver Wheaton last year to reflect the increasing importance of gold in its results, had a four-quarter streak of beating expectations coming in to Wednesday's earnings release.

New Flyer Industries, the Winnipeg busmaker, was scheduled to report earnings Wednesday night. Analysts expected EPS of 66 cents, on average.

The company has a track record of beats, exceeding Bay Street estimates in seven of the eight quarters prior to Wednesday's announcement. The most recent quarter was the mildest of surprises, though, with the company's EPS topping the average estimate by less than a penny.

New Flyer announced Monday it had a contract to sell up to 82 natural-gas-powered buses to the Dallas, Texas public-transit agency.

Eldorado Gold Corp. was also scheduled to release results after the market closed Wednesday, with an investor call to follow Thursday. Thursday morning's Canadian earnings announcements include Medical Facilities Corp.

While it's a light day for major Canadian companies, several big U.S. and U.K. names report.

Conagra Brands Inc is scheduled to release its third-quarter results Thursday morning. The maker of Reddi-Wip whipped cream and Chef Boyardee pasta is estimated to post its second consecutive rise in quarterly revenue, driven by increased sales of its refrigerated and frozen foods business.

Analysts expect, on average, 56 cents EPS on revenue of $2 billion. A meet-or-beat will be a bit harder for Conagra, as analysts have been boosting their EPS estimates in the last 30 days.

The company has been revamping its business that has struggled with customers moving away from packaged foods and toward fresh foods that are seen as healthier. Investors and analysts will be looking out for any comments from Conagra about potential acquisitions, as the industry is undergoing rapid consolidation.

In other morning announcements, Accenture Plc is forecast to report an increase in revenue and profit for the second quarter, as the consulting and outsourcing services provider gains from its continued investments in digital and cloud services, giving it an edge over its peers such as Cognizant. Analysts and investors will be on the lookout for the company's third-quarter forecast.

And Carnival Corp, which owns the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth cruisers, is expected to post a rise in its first-quarter profit, aided by a rise in its ticket prices and on-board spending.

After the close of markets Thursday, expect announcements from Footwear maker Nike Inc. and chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.

Investors should keep an eye Thursday on tractor maker Deere & Co. whose CEO told Reuters late Wednesday that his company is bracing for a negative financial impact from U.S. tariffs on steel imports. He worries that retaliatory tariffs on American agricultural exports could follow.

Samuel Allen told Reuters in an interview at an event marking Deere's 60th year of production in Argentina that the 25 per cent tariffs, which U.S. President Donald Trump announced last month along with a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum, could raise steel prices by 30 per cent and may prompt the company to switch materials. "That would have an even longer negative impact on the steel industry," Allen said. "There are a lot of unintended consequences we hope people think about as they go down the path of tariffs."

Deere shares have been flat since March 1, the day the Trump plan became known.

With files from Reuters

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