Our roundup of Canadian small-caps making news and on the move today. This post will be updated through the morning.
AutoCanada Inc. announced it declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per common share on AutoCanada's outstanding Class A common shares, payable on March 16, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 28, 2015.
AutoCanada also announced today that it has received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to commence a normal course issuer bid to purchase to acquire up to 490,193 common shares, representing 2 per cent of its outstanding shares.
"The company believes that in view of the economic uncertainty in Western Canada in general, and Alberta in particular, that long-term shareholder value is best supported by retaining capital and investing within our business," said Patrick Priestner, executive chairman of AutoCanada. "The company believes that the recent volatility of its share price may provide opportunistic purchase opportunities of its shares. Additionally, should the economic uncertainty continue, management believes that additional acquisition opportunities for premium stores will emerge and that the Company, by focusing on investing cash within its business, has put itself in the best position possible to pursue a patient strategy to take maximum advantage of these opportunities as they arise to best ensure long-term shareholder value."
Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. late Tuesday announced it has maintained its 2015 production guidance despite a 30 per cent to 40 per cent reduction in capital spending. It also reported continued growth in reserves.
TD Securities analyst Aaron Bilkoski raised his price target on Advantage to $8 (Canadian) from $7 this morning after reviewing the revised guidance.
Mr. Bilkoski commented, "Being a natural gas weighted producer, Advantage had previously equipped itself to survive and thrive in a weak commodity price environment – a characteristic many of the oil and NGL weighted producers are just now struggling to adopt. With break-even natural gas pricing at less than $2.50/mcf (1/2 cycle), Advantage is well poised to deliver significant growth without materially leveraging its balance sheet in spite of a challenging commodity price environment. Longer-term (post 2017), with low sustaining capital requirements Advantage should be generating significant free cash flow that would allow it to continue to increase production or pay a material dividend."
Monument Mining Ltd. announced a mineral resource estimate for the Alliance/New Alliance areas of the Murchison gold project in Western Australia.
CEO Robert Baldock, said: "An Inferred and Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Alliance/New Alliance deposits has been received (21/1/2015) from Independent Resource Consultants, Cube Consulting Pty Ltd, after incorporating the results from the first 102 holes drilled. Using a 1.0g/t Au grade cut-off, an Indicated Mineral Resource of 1.13 Million Tonnes @ 2.2g/t Au for 80,400 ounces and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 5,000 tonnes @ 2.2g/t Au for 3,200 ounces has been reported. This represents a 90 per cent increase in the indicated gold ounces as compared to the historical estimate inventory, as a result of improved confidence in the grade continuity of the infill and extensional drilling completed by Monument. The total contained gold ounces have increased by 15 per cent as compared to the historical resource for the project. This represents a very positive initial outcome toward the preparation of a preliminary economic assessment in respect of the Alliance/New Alliance deposits. The company is now undertaking a continuing program of ongoing exploration over the remainder of the historical resources that were acquired in February, 2014."
PyroGenesis Canada Inc., which designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products, said that all of its oil and gas projects are on budget and on schedule and have not been affected by the current crisis facing the industry.
Western Forest Products Inc. reported revenue of $232.6-million in the fourth quarter, down from $242.0-million a year ago. EPS was 3 cents, down from 13 cents a year ago. The results look like a miss: The Street was expecting revenue of $267-million and EPS of 4 cents.
Sierra Metals Inc. said its decision to "expand and upgrade the mineral reserves and resources" at its operating mines has resulted in a $9-million drilling budget for 2015. The exploration program applies to the company's three operating mines in Peru and Mexico, as well as exploration targets in Mexico. "Our 2015 drilling program reflects a strategic decision to accelerate the quantification of Sierra's mineral resources on the back of important exploration and mine development advances achieved during 2014," said Audra Walsh, Sierra's CEO. "This plan is in-line with Sierra's strong commitment to continue a 5-year track record of consistently growing the company's reserves, resources and production at our three mines, as well as plans to identify new mineralized zones that will become targets for additional resource drilling."
Tweed Marijuana Inc. released its fourth-quarter revenue figures, showing sales of $641,309, with gross margins of 36 per cent, up from 23.6 per cent in the previous quarter. The company is scheduled to release its full earnings report for the quarter on Feb. 26. Tweed also announced that Bruce Linton has been named chairman and CEO of the company. Mr. Linton said the company has completed the construction of three additional growing rooms and an in-house laboratory at its facility in Smith Falls, Ont. "We invested in a large growing platform early so we could remove any customer onboarding roadblocks," Mr. Linton said. "This investment began to yield significant inventory in November, clients in December, and sustained growth to date. The volume of supply this market needs requires scale. Tweed has been an early leader in almost all respects in this sector, and I fully intend to continue this trend as we approach 3,000 patients."