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Bombardier’s C-Series100 takes off on its maiden test flight at the company's facility Monday, September 16, 2013 in Mirabel, Que.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Inside the Market's roundup of some of today's key analyst actions. This file will be updated during the trading day.

An incident last week that derailed Bombardier Inc.'s testing session of its C Series FTV1 engine is an unwelcome development, but not one that is likely to delay the program, according to Desjardins Securities analyst Benoit Poirier.

Bombardier said Friday that an engine-related failure occurred late Thursday during stationary ground maintenance testing on the C Series FTV1 at its facility in Mirabel, Quebec. While the company has not determined the nature of the issue, it indicated it would work intensively to find the problem as soon as possible. Bombardier also stated that it is investigating the incident with the support of Pratt & Whitney and Transport Canada, and that none of the FTVs will perform flight tests until the investigation is completed.

According to aviation consultant Ernie Arvai, such engine investigations could last one to two weeks. But as Bombardier has yet to determine the problem, Mr. Poirier believes the investigation could last longer than that.

"Nevertheless, it is unlikely in our view that the investigation period would create another delay for the C Series program," he said in a research note. "We believe the investigation would have to last at least about eight months before it results in further delays to the program.

Mr. Poirier maintained his "buy-above average risk" rating and $6.25 (Canadian) price target. The analyst consensus price target over the next year is $4.15, according to Thomson Reuters.

Not all analysts, however, appear as confident as Mr. Poirier on the impact on the C Series aircraft. RBC Dominion Securities analyst Walter Spracklin said today that it raises serious concerns over the riskiness of the C Series program, and he downgraded Bombardier to "sector perform" from "outperform" while cutting his price target to $4 from $5.

"The latest program setback aggravates the concerns we had with the slow flight test program to date and calls into question development progress," Mr. Spracklin said in a research note.

"Clearly, the engine failure will add to anticipated program timing and costs, while likely halting recent new order campaigns," he said.

The engine incident is just the latest in a series of delays and cost overruns for Montreal-based Bombardier's $4.4-billion (U.S.) C Series program.

Bombardier officials said after the incident on Friday that the engine failure and ongoing investigation will not have an impact on plans for the C Series to enter service in the second half of 2015.

Bombardier shares opened down 1.7 per cent on the TSX this morning.


Revenue growth is foreseeable at Thomson Reuters Corp., which amid a restructuring is better positioned to benefit from improving global economic conditions, TD Securities analyst Vince Valentini said in a note.

TD upgraded the stock, applying a "buy" rating for the first time in 18 months.

"We believe that the new senior management team has delivered an impressive array of cost-reduction initiatives and product enhancements, while at the same time global macroeconomic headwinds have gradually eased," Mr. Valentini said, maintaining a $44 (Canadian) price target on Thomson Reuters shares.

He cautioned that "positive organic revenue growth" for the company's financial and risk segment is still likely 12 to 15 months away.

"But with enough passage of time, and with the underperformance of Thomson Reuters shares year-to-date, we are now willing to recommend that long-term investors get back into the stock," Mr. Valentini said.

The analyst consensus price target over the next year is $37.39, according to Thomson Reuters.


RBC Dominion Securities upgraded Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. to "outperform" from "sector perform," citing improved operational metrics, a stock price trading at a discounted valuation relative to other producers in the Montney foundation, and a continued positive outlook for the Alberta gas sector this year.

"In our opinion,  available data points to a continued strong growth trajectory," said RBC analyst Michael Harvey. "While the stock has outperformed year to date (+41 per cent, peers +37 per cent), we think there could be more room for outsized returns as investors continue to better appreciate the company's improved growth metrics."

He adds that Advantage is now the lowest-cost operator among its gas peers, allowing the company to enjoy significant volumes.

Mr. Harvey raised his price target to $8.50 (Canadian) from $7. The analyst consensus price target is $7.63.


Rising wages and a narrowing price gap against other fast-food options should help McDonald's Corp. in the short term, but concerns remain over sinking popularity of the chain among younger consumers, Credit Suisse analyst Karen Holthouse said.

"Although moderately more optimistic on the U.S. in the near-term, there is no change to our longer-term concerns related to millennial relevancy and a marketing strategy for the new media landscape," Ms. Holthouse said, raising her price target to $103 (U.S.) from $96, while maintaining a "neutral" rating on the stock.

Year-over-year wage growth among lower-income consumers has increased year-to-date, lifting consumer sentiment, the analyst said. And price inflation in groceries and other quick-service restaurants has improved McDonald's relative value position.

The analyst consensus price target is $106.28.


BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Edward Sterck upgraded Stornoway Diamond Corp. to "outperform" in the wake of the company securing financing for the construction of the Renard project in Quebec.

The $944-million (Canadian) financing includes $374-million in new equity as well as debt and a diamond streaming agreement.

"With overall financing secured, and assuming shareholders vote in favour of the transaction, Renard is now significantly de-risked, transforming Stornoway from an explorer to a developer," Mr. Sterck said in a research note. "A number of normal mining construction risks remain and news flow could be slow, but BMO Research views the current price to net present value discount as being too great, even for a development company and anticipates a market valuation re-rating of the stock."

Mr. Sterck now has a $1 (Canadian) price target. The analyst consensus price target is $1.45.


Baytex Energy Corp. is about a week away from completing its acquisition of Aurora Oil & Gas, a "transformative" move that will leave the company better positioned to deliver sustained long-term growth while maintaining its income-based business model, said Raymond James analyst Matthew Murphy.

"Baytex will effectively be made up of three core assets -- Eagle Ford, Peace River & Lloydminster -- each generating among the highest rates of return within North America," noted Mr. Murphy. "We expect the company will likely look to divest of most of its non-core assets following the transaction, which will result in Baytex being a highly focused exploration and production company with arguably one of the strongest asset portfolios within the North American E&P sector."

"With development activities focused on its three core plays, a generally low-risk drilling inventory within each play and a proven track record of execution, we believe investors can expect to see similar performance out of Baytex that we have observed over the past few years," he said.

Mr. Murphy resumed coverage of Baytex with an "outperform" rating and $51 (Canadian) price target. The analyst consensus price target is $52.61.


In other analyst actions:

Cantor Fitzgerald raised its price target on Valeant Pharmaceuticals to $209 (U.S.) from $192 and maintained a "buy" rating.

Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Canadian Pacific Railway to $198 (Canadian) from $192 and maintained an "overweight" rating.

TD Securities raised its price target on Crew Energy to $14.50 (Canadian) from $11 and maintained a "buy" rating.

Raymond James initiated coverage on Acadian Timber with an "outperform" rating and $16.50 (Canadian) price target.

Credit Suisse cut its price target on New Millennium Iron to 40 cents (Canadian) from 80 cents and maintained a "neutral" rating.

Jennings Capital raised its price target on Questor Technology to $4.50 (Canadian) from $3.25 and maintained a "speculative buy" rating.

Merrill Lynch upgraded Alcoa to "neutral" from "underperform" with a price target of $14 (U.S.).

RBC Dominion Securities raised its price target on Apple to $675 (U.S.) from $645 and maintained an "outperform" rating.

Barclays downgraded Big Lots to "equal weight" from "overweight" but raised its price target to $45 (U.S.) from $37.

Pacific Crest downgraded Zillow to "sector perform" from "outperform" and removed its $115 (U.S.) price target.

Cowen downgraded Express Scripts to "market perform" from "outperform" and cut its price target to $77 (U.S.) from $79.

Raymond James upgraded Bonanza Creek Energy to "strong buy" from "market perform" with a price target of $70 (U.S.).

Merrill Lynch upgraded Century Aluminum to "neutral" from "underperform" and raised its price target to $14 (U.S.) from $9.

Pacific Crest upgraded TripAdvisor to "outperform" from "sector perform" with a price target of $116 (U.S.).

Evercore Partners upgraded Vail Resorts to "overweight" from "equal weight" with a price target of $85 (U.S.).