Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today.
Exco Technologies Ltd. (XTC-T) reported sales of $125.5-million, or 26 cents per share, for the second quarter ended March 31, up from $82.4-million, or 18 cents per share a year ago. Net income totalled $10.9-million, up from $7.5-million in the year-ago quarter. The company also announced a 6-cent per share dividend to be paid on June 26.
"The prospects for the rest of the year continue to remain good. The economic recovery in North America – both in the automotive sector and the greater economy – appears to be intact and is expected to continue at its current level," the company said.
Exco also said it has appointed Drew Knight as chief financial officer and vice-president of finance.
Mullen Group Ltd. (MTL-T), a diversified oilfield services and transportation company, reported revenue of $337.2-million for the quarter ended March 31, down from $412-million a year ago, due to a 42 per cent drop in oilfield services revenue. Net income was $2.8-million, or 3 cents per share, down from $36.3-million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.
"It is during times like this that a diversified business model and strong balance sheet become a real advantage," said CEO and chairman Murray Mullen. "Our previously announced acquisitions, the most significant being Gardewine - one of Canada's largest trucking and logistics carriers - cushioned an otherwise very challenging quarter."
"The real and negative impact of low crude oil and natural gas prices hit oilfield service providers, including Mullen Group, in the first quarter. Drilling programs were slashed, capital investment decisions were either delayed or cancelled and pricing pressures were intense, all factors which contributed to the significant declines in our Oilfield Services segment. But one of the real tragedies of this cyclical downturn is the impact on people, including here at Mullen Group where we have reduced our employee head count by over 1,000. We have been forced to adapt to the realities of the current state of the oil and gas industry. The only bright spot last quarter was the relatively strong performance of our Trucking/Logistics segment, in spite of the modest economic performance in Canada," he said.
Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (VII-T) said it has priced $425-million (U.S.) of senior notes due 2023 at 6.75 per cent, offered in a private placement to eligible purchasers. "Due to strong market demand and attractive market conditions, 7G increased the size of the offering by $25-million to $425-million," the company said. It expects to close the offering by April 30.
MATRRIX Energy Technologies Inc. (MXX-X) reported revenue of $35-million, adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $4.5-million, and net income of $1.4-million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014.
"However, 2015 will be a challenging year for the industry and our organization. We are seeing significant reductions in customer activity and spending in both Canada and the USA. Given this environment, our team is focused on service quality, cost control, and efficiency improvements, while maintaining a strong cash position and zero debt," said president Richard Ryan.
NovaCopper Inc. (NCQ-T) and Sunward Resources Ltd. (SWD-T) have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement under which NovaCopper will acquire all of the shares of Sunward fro about $27.6-million (U.S.) by way of a court approved plan of arrangement. Under the terms of the Arrangement, Sunward shareholders will receive 0.3 of a NovaCopper common share for each Sunward common share held.
"The combination of NovaCopper and Sunward will create a leading exploration and development company with a strong balance sheet of approximately $23-million (U.S.) in cash for the advancement of the Arctic and Bornite deposits located in the Ambler mining district of Alaska," the companies said.
Sernova Corp. (SVA-X) said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Sernova a patent that helps protect the company's entire Cell Pouch System.
"This patent entitled 'Methods and Devices for Cellular Transplantation' includes claims covering implantable polymer devices such as the Cell Pouch itself, as well as methods using the same combined with therapeutic cells such as self-cells, donor cells, stem cells and genetically modified cells as well as surgical tools for cell transplantation," the company said. "This new patent provides Sernova with patent protection through 2030. Sernova currently has over 55 issued patents and patent pending applications worldwide covering its therapeutic cell transplantation and local immune protection technologies."