Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today.
Montreal-based professional services firm WSP Global Inc. (WSP-T) reported revenues of $1.4-billion, up from $511-million a year ago, mainly due to acquisitions. Net earnings were $28-million, up from $16.9-million a year earlier. At the end of the quarter, the company's backlog was at $4.7-billion, representing about 9.6 months of revenues, up $739.3 million or 18.8 per cent compared to fourth quarter of 2014, the company said. Analysts were expecting revenues of $1-billion.
"After a full quarter of combined activities with Parsons Brinckerhoff, we are seeing the strength and promise of our combined business," said Pierre Shoiry, WSP's president and CEO. "Our enlarged firm continues to perform in line with our expectations, and we are pleased with the impact that expected connectivity and revenue synergies will have on our growth. Our diversification across markets and geographies, our professional services business model, as well as the depth and breadth of our technical expertise provide increased opportunities for our clients and employees, which should sustain performance for our shareholders."
Vancouver-based Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. (ASM-X; ASM-A) reported revenues for the first quarter ended March 31 were $4.3-million, down from $5.8-million a year earlier. Earnings were $376,287, or one cent per share, a decrease of $968,029 from the first quarter of 2014. Cash flow from operations was $1.1-million or 3 cents per share.
"Although average realized metal prices were lower than those of the same quarter last year we reported solid operating income from mining operations due to the hard work of our team to maintain a low production cost structure. With the expansion of our mine behind us, we can now focus on advancing the Avino Mine to further increase and improve our mining operation," said chief financial officer Malcolm Davidson.
Coastal Gold Corp. (COD-X) said it has accepted an increased offer for First Mining Finance Corp. (FF-X) to acquire all of its shares for $13.5-million, including the assumption of $2.5-million of costs and debt. Coastal Gold said it has terminated a previous offer from Sulliden Mining Capital Inc. (SMC-T) and will make a termination payment of $250,000 to Sulliden.
Following completion of the transaction, Coastal Gold shareholders will own about 26 per cent of First Mining "providing continued exposure to the upside potential of developing the Hope Brook Gold project," the company said.
Ottawa-based InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust (IIP.UN-T) reported funds from operations for the first quarter ended March 31 of $4.4-million, or 7 cents per unit, compared to $3.8-million, 7 cents per unit, for the year-earlier quarter. Gross rental revenue for the quarter increased by 15.5 per cent, while operating revenue increased by 15.3 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014. Operating revenue was $18.3-million, up from $15.8-million. Net operating income was $9.8-million, up from $8.4-million.
Montreal and Sarasota, Fla.-based packaging maker Intertape Polymer Group Inc. (ITP-T) reported revenues of $11.8-million (U.S.), or 19 cents per share, up from $11.6-million, or 19 cents per share a year ago. Revenue decreased 5.5 per cent to $189-million. Analysts were expected revenues of $188.8-million and earnings per share of 14 cents.
"Despite some significant headwinds, results for the first quarter were in-line with our expectations," indicated Greg Yull, president and CEO. "As previously indicated, we believe that the drop in oil prices caused customers to reduce inventory levels at the end of 2014 and into the first quarter of 2015 in anticipation of lower prices. In addition, the stronger US dollar negatively impacted demand on international sales. Towards the end of the first quarter of 2015, we started to observe a return to more normal levels of demand in all products and we believe that this, combined with lower petroleum-based raw material costs, will benefit gross margin in the second quarter of 2015."
London-based base and precious metals exploration and development company Orsu Metals Corp. (OSU-T) reported a net loss of $800,000 (U.S.) for the first quarter of 2015, compared to a loss of $1-million a year ago. During the quarter, the company spent $22,000 to develop its Karchiga Project. At the end of the first quarter, the company had net assets of $20.3-million ($21.1-million as at Dec. 31, 2014) of which $6.7-million was cash and cash equivalents.
Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (TRX-X), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a primary focus on the acquisition, licensing, development and promotion of healthcare products in Canada and the U.S., reported revenue of $5.6-million, up from $3.5-million a year ago. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $239,100 compared to a year-earlier loss of $1.7-million. The loss from operations for the quarter was $382,600, compared to $1.8-million a year ago.
"These solid results culminate the successful integration of the four Novartis products into our growing product portfolio with strong organic growth from our existing products with Cambia leading the way," said Rob Harris, CEO of Tribute Pharma. "This integration has driven the financial growth of Tribute's top and bottom lines and represents our strategy of completing transactions which we believe will have a significant financial impact. We remain focused on continuing to grow our business in 2015 through organic sales growth with our Canadian sales force, future acquisitions in both Canada and the U.S. and longer-term through our rights to bilastine, a product widely approved globally for allergic rhinitis and hives."
High Liner Foods Inc. (HLF-T) increased its dividend, announced a new chief executive officer and posted a 5.3-per-cent increase in net income year over year. For the 13 weeks ended April 4, the company reported revenues of $310.2-million (U.S.), which represents a 2.5-per-cent increase over the same quarter last year. Net income over that time increased by $0.6-million to $12.5-million, or $0.40 per diluted share. High Liner's board of directors also approved a 14.3-per-cent increase to its quarterly dividend to $0.12 (Canadian) per share, payable on June 15. "We are satisfied with the Company's performance in the first quarter of 2015, and in particular with the increases in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income compared to the first quarter of last year," stated Henry Demone, the company's outgoing CEO. He is to be replaced by Keith Decker, currently the company's president and chief operating officer. Mr. Demone, will assume the role of chairman of the company's board of directors. "Succession planning has been a top priority for High Liner Foods over the last several years," said David Hennigar, lead director and vice-chairman of the board. "Keith's appointment to president and CEO follows a number of recent changes at the executive level of the company as part of our succession plans to ensure continued strong leadership into the future."
Kelso Technologies Inc. (KLS-T) reported a 73-per-cent decrease in net income for the first quarter, as the company's results were affected by the delay in new regulations for rail tank cars used in the transportation of flammable liquids by rail, the company said. On May 1, Transport Canada and the U.S. Department of Transportation put for their new requirements for rail tank cars. "Originally scheduled for January 2015, the delay in releasing [the] regulations was problematic to the owners of rail tank cars," the company said. "We have already invested in the human resources and required inventories to ensure that we can service the overall demand from the industry created by the new regulations." With the new rules in place, Kelso can commit to final design specifications and customers can place orders for tank cars that are compliant with the guidelines. "Rail tank car manufacturers have announced record backlog orders for new tank cars that will require two to three years to complete," the company said. "Kelso is expected to benefit from these new orders as well as the anticipated mandatory retrofit of existing tank cars dictated by the … regulations." Kelso reported net income for the three months ended March 31, of about $329,000 (U.S.), compared to $1.2-million in the same quarter last year. Revenues over that time rose by 25 per cent to $6.9-million.
First Mining Finance Corp. (FF-X) said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Coastal Gold Corp. (COD-X) for about $11-million in stock. The deal value represents a 62.5-per-cent premium to the current market price of the Coastal Gold's common shares. "We strongly believe that the combination of our company with COD will supplement our existing diverse asset portfolio and provide COD shareholders with exposure to a broad portfolio which is diversified across a number of minerals and geographic areas," said Keith Neumeyer, chairman of First Mining. "We are confident that we can deliver on our growth plans to all First Mining and COD shareholders following completion of this acquisition."
CT Real Estate Investment Trust (CRT.UN-T) reported a first-quarter increase in adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) of 11.1-per-cent over the same quarter last year, largely as a result of contractual rent escalations built into the property leases, intensifications completed in 2015 and 2014 and capital expenditure recoveries, the company said. "Our solid year over year growth in AFFO per unit is evidence that we are executing well on our growth strategy," said Ken Silver, CEO of CT REIT. The company also announced that it intends to make a further 11 investments in acquisitions and property intensifications over the year, all of which are properties with Canadian Tire stores and will require an estimated investment of $73.5 million.