Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions
With pandemic lockdown measures continuing to weigh on the performance of its Tim Hortons operations, a group of equity analysts on the Street trimmed their target prices for shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR-N, QSR-T) on Friday in response to weaker-than-anticipated fourth-quarter financial results.
“While 4Q results came in below expectations — driven by both lower-than-expected top line and elevated SG&A — sales improved in January for Burger King/Popeyes U.S., consistent with broader domestic industry trends,” said RBC Dominion Securities’ Christopher Carril.
“Tims Canada comps, however, remain challenged as lockdown measures in the brand’s primary markets continue to weigh on mobility and, thus, sales recovery. Encouragingly, management remains confident in the reacceleration of net new development in ’21, but investors will continue to watch for signs of a comp/AUV recovery, with focus on performance relative to fast food peers.”
Keeping an “outperform” rating for Restaurant Brands shares, Mr. Carril lowered his target to US$68 from US$70. The average on the Street is US$66.63.
Other analysts making adjustments included:
* Credit Suisse’s Lauren Silberman to US$67 from US$69 with an “outperform” rating.
* Morgan Stanley’s John Glass to US$65 from US$66 with an “overweight” rating.
* CIBC’s Mark Petrie to US$68 from US$69 with an “outperformer” rating.
“RBI reported weaker-than-expected Q4 earnings, reflecting disappointing results at Burger King (BK) and elevated opex,” said Mr. Petrie. “Though our 2021 estimates have been moderated, we believe QSR is well-positioned for recovery as consumer conditions normalize. Net restaurant growth (NRG) returning to 2018/2019 levels is reassuring; we expect BK same-store sales (SSS) to recover near term and believe Tim’s has substantially more upside than downside—not unlike QSR shares.”
* Cowen and Co.’s Andrew Charles to $63 from $64 with an “outperform” rating.
* Stephens’ James Rutherford to US$67 from US$67 with an “overweight” rating.
* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Peter Sklar to US$66 from US$70 with an “outperform” rating.
“Despite the Q4/20 miss and the development of a new higher level of SG&A costs, we continue to recommend RBI,” said Mr. Sklar. “Restaurant dining should recover quickly as society climbs out of COVID-19 with vaccinations.”
Meanwhile, Scotia Capital’s Patricia Baker raised her target to to $71 from $63, keeping a “sector outperform” recommendation.
“Q4 results, broadly speaking, continued to see an impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily reflecting the impact of closures and capacity restrictions. Various markets imposed added restrictions and tightened lockdowns in Q4, which clearly impacted operations, especially impacting routine based visits like breakfast and snacking. Prior to these, there were certain encouraging signs and improved sequential trends in the business. RBI, though, continues to invest for the long term and has accelerated the transformation of its drive-thru experience. RBI has installed 3,600 digital menu boards in home markets, permitting tailored promotions based on past purchase behaviour, weather, and time of day,” said Ms. Baker.
After announcing a plan to cease production of its Learjet luxury aircraft later this year and slash another 1,600 jobs, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Walter Spracklin upgraded Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) to “outperform” from “sector perform” with a $1 target, rising from 60 cents. The average is 51 cents.
Other analysts making target changes included:
* Desjardins Securities’ Benoit Poirier to 55 cents from 50 cents, keeping a “hold” recommendation.
“BBD reported weaker-than-expected 4Q results and introduced soft 2021 profitability and FCF guidance,” said Mr. Poirier. “That said, we are pleased with the details provided by management on its restructuring plan and expect additional details on the long-term potential of the business as well as its debt management strategy during the upcoming investor day (scheduled for March 4). We prefer to wait for further clarity on these initiatives before revisiting our investment thesis.”
* National Bank Financial’s Cameron Doerksen to 70 cents from 80 cents with a “sector perform” rating.
* TD Securities’ Tim James to 65 cents from 75 cents with a “hold” rating.
* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Fadi Chamoun to 85 cents from 40 cents with a “market perform” rating.
“As a standalone company, BA could be disadvantaged in terms of cost of capital and we sense that BBD may postpone product upgrades and improvements given limited near-term cash flow, which could hamper long-term competitiveness or re-escalate capex down the road,” said Mr. Chamoun.
“These concerns weigh on the valuation multiple that we (and investors) are willing to place on a highly cyclical business with a high degree of financial and competitive risk.”
Seeing “emerging green shoots,” Desjardins Securities analyst David Newman upgraded Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (CHE.UN-T) to “buy” from “hold” ahead of the release of its fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 23.
“We forecast adjusted EBITDA of $47-million, driven by a more constructive outlook on merchant and ultra-pure acid, stable water solutions products, and early signs of recovery in the chlor-alkali market (especially HCl), offset by the COVID-19 impact on driving activity, specialty chemicals and sodium chlorate,” he said.
Mr. Newman said he’s “encouraged” by the brighter prospects for both its Sulphur Products & Performance Chemicals (SPPC) and Electrochemicals (EC) segments, seeing improving prices and increased demand for both.
“The share price should rally ahead of an improvement in fundamentals toward 2H21,” he said.
The analyst increased his target for Chemtrade units to $9 from $5.75. The average is $6.41.
Despite its quarterly results beating expectations on Thursday, CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Holden lowered Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC-T) to “neutral” from “outperformer,” expressing concern over its valuation.
“MFC reported solid results that support a return to earnings growth and that should alleviate some investor concerns around balance sheet risk,” he said.. We are increasing our price target ... in consideration of the increase to our EPS estimate. ... We are downgrading the stock from Outperformer to Neutral given that the P/BV [price-to-book value] is back to 1.0 times and that the implied return to our price target is only 4 per cent.”
Mr. Holden raised his target to $26 from $25.50. The average on the Street is $27.32.
Others making target changes included:
* Desjardins Securities’ Doug Young to $28 from $27 with a “buy” rating.
“We like MFC’s strong capital position, Asia franchise and valuation,” said Mr. Young.
* National Bank Financial’s Gabriel Dechaine to $27 from $25 with a “sector perform” rating.
* Credit Suisse’s Mike Rizvanovic to $26 from $25 with an “outperform” rating.
* Canaccord Genuity’s Scott Chan to $69 from $68.50 with a “buy” rating. The average on the Street is $67.88.
* Credit Suisse’s Mike Rizvanovic to $67 from $65 with an “outperform” rating.
* CIBC World Markets’ Paul Holden to $69 from $64 with a “neutral” rating.
Pointing to progress on its development initiatives and potential gains brought on by the reopening of the economy from COVID-19 pandemic-driven restrictions, Canaccord Genuity analyst Brendon Abrams raised his rating for SmartCentres REIT (SRU.UN-T) following better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter 2020 results.
“We recognize the potential leasing challenges facing the REIT, both in the near term with renewed government restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID and longer term as e-commerce gains a larger share of retail sales and puts pressure on traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers,” he said.
“However, we balance this against a backdrop of a low interest rate environment, an expected improvement in the economy once vaccines are widely administered, and the long-term value creation potential as SmartCentres continues to advance its development pipeline. While the REIT currently trades at an 18-per-cent discount to NAV [net asset value], we expect this to narrow over the next 12 months. Importantly, while we view the distribution as sustainable, we believe that even in the event of a cut, we would not expect a significant negative reaction in the unit price, particularly given the current distribution yield and the mild market reaction to its retail peers who have revised distributions recently.”
After the bell on Wednesday, the Vaughan, Ont.-based REIT reported funds from operations per unit of 57 cents, down 3 per cent year-over-year but ahead of both Mr. Abrams’s estimate (51 cents) and the consensus projection on the Street (54 cents). It collected 94.4 per cent of collected rent, up from 88.4 per cent in the third quarter and 75.8 per cent in the second quarter.
“SmartCentres REIT (SmartCentres) reported Q4/20 results which were ahead of our estimates and consensus as realized profits from Transit City condo closings ($16.1-million) more than offset bad debt expenses ($4.9-million),” he said. “The REIT also made significant progress on several development projects during the quarter including the completion of its first three self-storage facilities in the GTA and a key entitlement at its 73-acre Cambridge, Ont., property. SmartCentres also relocated a Walmart store at its Vaughan Metropolitan Centre development, freeing-up over 15 acres of land for redevelopment.”
Mr. Abrams increased his target for SmartCentres units to $28.25 from $26. The average on the Street is xxx.
“SmartCentres’ operating performance has improved meaningfully since bottoming in Q2/20 and this should continue over the next year,” he said. “We expect relatively stable cash flow from the retail portfolio going forward with additional contributions a developments are completed.”
“We expect that the REIT’s unit price will continue to trade at a discount to NAV given the still-uncertain outlook for the retail sector and the long time horizon and complexity associated with many of its development projects. Combined with a 7.6-per-cent distribution yield, our target price implies a one-year total return of 23.5 per cent. We are upgrading SmartCentres.”
Following “soft” fourth-quarter results that missed his expectations due to higher-than-anticipated expenses, Desjardins Securities analyst Gary Ho lowered his rating for IGM Financial Inc. (IGM-T) to “hold” from “buy.”
“2021 expense guidance was also elevated vs our expectations,” he said. “While AUM [assets under management] has reached record levels, EPS [earnings per share] has not kept pace, in our view. For us to be more constructive, we would like to see a reacceleration in earnings growth.”
In justifying his downgrade, Mr. Ho pointed to four factors: a disconnect between earnings and AUM growth; “unexpected” expenses; underwhelming 2021 expense guidance and an incremental increase in its tax rate.
In response to the results, he trimmed his 2021 and 2022 EPS projections to $3.70 and $3.88, respectively, from $3.83 and $4.01.
He also lowered his target for IGM shares to $39 from $41. The current average target is $38.38.
“Given a 14-per-cent potential return, we are downgrading IGM,” he said.
In a separate note, Mr. Ho said CI Financial Corp. (CIX-T) is “too cheap to ignore.”
Seeing “early signs of improvements” in the wake of stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results, he raised his rating to “buy” from “hold,” citing a 25-per-cent potential return.
While it reported January net outflows, they were better than what we modelled, and positive industry momentum should benefit CI, in our view,” he said. “In addition, management disclosed intriguing U.S. RIA metrics, including 9-per-cent net organic growth and a 40-per-cent EBITDA margin (better than our forecast).”
His target for CI shares rose to $22 from $20. The average on the Street is $21.38.
“We are encouraged to see some signs of retail net redemptions stabilizing,” said Mr. Ho. “In addition, the U.S. RIA buildout has gained traction and we are comforted by the solid net organic growth rate as well as the healthy EBITDA margins this platform generates. Valuation remains attractive and CI’s NCIB program should support the shares.”
Elsewhere, RBC Dominion Securities’ Geoffrey Kwan upgraded CI Financial to “outperform” from “sector perform” with a $24 target, rising from $19.
Others making target changes include:
* CIBC’s Nik Priebe to $20 from $18.50 with a “neutral” rating
* Canaccord Genuity’s Scott Chan to $25 from $24 with a “buy” rating.
* Scotia Capital’s Phil Hardie to $21 from $22 with a “sector perform” rating.
“We continue to believe that CI is emerging as a contrarian value play with improving operational momentum and catalysts for potential transformation but widening valuation discount,” said Mr. Hardie. “Over recent months, CI’s valuation has compressed despite signs of improved operational momentum and refreshed leadership that is driving rapid progress towards its new strategic priorities.
“The rapid expansion of CI’s wealth management platform has caught headlines, but its stock has likely yet to price in the benefits of this strategy. The aim is to transform the economics of the business from being almost entirely asset management based to be better balanced with wealth management which attracts higher valuation multiples.”
In the wake of a “modest” second-quarter sales and earnings miss, Desjardins Securities analyst John Chu lowered his rating for Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB-T) to “sell” from “hold,” citing recent share price appreciation that has seen it jump 100 per cent in the last three months.
After the bell on Thursday, the Edmonton-based company reported sales and EBITDA of $67.7-million and a loss of $12.1-million, respectively, falling short of both Mr. Chu’s projections ($73.5-million and a loss of $7.8-million) and the consensus estimates on the Street ($71.1-million and a $3.2-million loss).
“Aurora continues to lose market share as sales were down 17 per cent quarter-over-quarter, with its value-branded Daily Special flower sales accounting for most of the decline,” the analyst said. “With the pivot to premium flower still in the early stages, we suspect market share losses may persist for the near term at least. We still remain concerned regarding Sky’s ability to grow premium flower—testing at Sky is ongoing.”
Mr. Chu also emphasized that a timeline for achieving positive EBITDA was not provided. He thinks it suggests management “wants the flexibility to make sound business decisions without being held to an EBITDA schedule.”
“The recent amendment of its credit covenants, which removed an EBITDA timeline, also suggests the urgency to be EBITDA positive at any cost has been removed,” he added. “The company took a step back as its EBITDA decreased sequentially, mostly due to underutilized capacity, which management suggested should improve modestly in the coming quarter. We have thus pushed back our positive EBITDA timeline to 2Q FY22 (from 1Q FY22).”
After lowering his estimates through 2023 to reflect the results as well as “continued market share pressure and a slower margin ramp,” Mr. Chu cut his target for Aurora shares to $11 from $12, which is the average on the Street.
Elsewhere, MKM Partners cut the stock to “sell” from “neutral.”
Others making target changes included:
* ATB Capital Markets analyst David Kideckel to $13 from $10.50 with a “sector perform” rating.
“Q2/FY21 results were below expectations, but we believe that ACB is taking a short-term hit to position its business to long-term profitability as the Company transitions to an asset-light model and adopts a CPG go-to-market approach,” said Mr. Kideckel. “Considering ACB’s encouraging performance in higher-margin medical cannabis markets, robust capital position, and execution to date (e.g. significant cost reduction and asset rationalization), we believe that the Company is on the right path. In our view, ACB is also strongly positioned in terms of cannabinoid-based science, which we believe will be a key long-term value driver for the sector. However, over the near-term, we maintain our neutral stance given headwinds in the Canadian cannabis industry.”
* Stifel’s W. Andrew Carter to $7.80 from $6.50 with a “sell” rating.
* Canaccord Genuity’s Matt Bottomley to $14 from $11 with a “hold” recommendation.
“Aurora’s FQ2/21 print was admittedly behind our expectations; however, the sector continues to see value appreciation as a function of positive macro headlines coming out of the U.S. (Biden presidency; Democratic control of Senate; commitment to push U.S. cannabis reform at the federal level),” said Mr. Bottomley. “Although we do not believe that ACB has a near-term path to accessing US THC markets, we have elected to lower our discount rate by 200bps (which now ranges from 10 per cent to 17 per cent) to account for overall higher optionality in these markets (while also rolling forward our valuation by one year to 2021). "
“[Thursday] morning, Mogo announced an agreement to acquire an initial 20-per-cent stake in Coinsquare for $56.4-million in cash and shares, which included options to increase the stake further,” he said. “The move more firmly ties the company to the surge in Bitcoin popularity and activity. We have tweaked our Mogo model forecasts higher to reflect this increased activity, noting that we think Bitcoin trading revenue represents 10 per cent of Mogo’s overall revenue. Mogo’s gearing to the cryptocurrency rally has allowed it to quickly re-establish value from the significant investment it has made in its fintech platform.
“The stock now trades at 14.9 times NTM [next 12-month] sales, after a 160-per-cent rise year-to-date and 257-per-cent over the past 12 months. We like the Coinsquare move, utilizing the recent rise in share value to diversify the asset base. With that said, we believe Mogo’s platform is now fairly valued, given the current growth profile, and its share price has, for better or worse, become tied largely to Bitcoin prices/sentiment.”
Mr. Taylor hiked his target for Mogo shares to $13 from $6. The current average is $9.25.
“We see the risk/reward potential as more balanced, noting there is certainly potential for shares to continue to appreciate in the near term term if cryptocurrency assets in general maintain their momentum,” he said.
Several equity analysts raised their targets for iA Financial Corp. Inc. (IAG-T) on Friday.
* RBC Dominion Securities analyst Darko Mihelic to $75 from $74 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $67.72.
* National Bank Financial’s Gabriel Dechaine to $70 from $66 with an “outperform” rating.
* TD Securities’ Mario Mendonca to $79 from $69 with a “buy” rating.
* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Tom MacKinnon to $73 from $70 with an “outperform” rating.
After Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM-N, BAM.A-T) logged “strong” fourth-quarter results, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Geoffrey Kwan said he expects 2021 to be “an active year for monetizations, which should be positive for the share price.”
“BAM reported solid results across the board with the dividend increased to US$0.52/share annualized (was US$0.48),” he said.
“We see 2 key positives from Q4/20 results: (1) BAM plans to be active monetizing assets in 2021, which normally surface value and therefore likely positive for BAM’s share price; and (2) BAM reiterated its fundraising target of US$100-billion for its flagship funds (vs. US$57-billion raised in the last round), which if achieved, suggests a positive tailwind for Fee Related Earnings (FRE) growth in upcoming years. BAM is our 2nd best idea for 2021 and we view as a core holding. BAM trades at a 16-per-cent discount to NAV, which looks too wide (we think BAM should trade at or a slight premium to NAV). We see significant valuation upside from a narrowing of the discount to NAV and double-digit NAV growth potential over the next year
Keeping an “outperform” recommendation, Mr. Kwan raised his target to US$55 from US$52. The average is US$60.56.
Others making changes included:
* Citi analyst William Katz to US$49.50 from US$45 with a “buy” rating.
“We believe both 4Q results and post Q call reinforce BAM is benefiting from strong flywheel around NNA, scalability and building realizations,” said Mr. Katz. “The stock bounced 4 per cent on Feb. 11, outperforming peers. We see solid follow through as investors work through FRE and realization dynamics. One area of caution reflects management’s view around potentially ebbing dry powder deployment, notably in Public Markets, but unlikely to a point to derail the budding super cycle. Management bumped up the dividend modestly, but the yield is not much of a draw given fixed payout structure.”
* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Sohrab Movahedi to US$54 from US$58 with an “outperform” rating.
“BAM’s fundamentals are trending favourably, with continued fee-bearing capital growth, sustained margins, operational efficiency, and a constructive environment for asset monetizations,” said Mr. Movahedi.
“We anticipate 2021 to be rich in catalysts, underpinned by flagship fundraising and potential for carry realization, and, as such, believe BAM’s current valuation provides an attractive entry point with a 28-per-cent total return to our upward revised target price.”
* JP Morgan’s Kenneth Worthington to US$57 from US$55 with an “overweight” rating.
* CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson to US$54 from US$49 with a “buy” rating.
* TD Securities’ Cherilyn Radbourne to US$63 from US$57 with a “buy” rating.
* Deutsche Bank’s Brian Bedell to US$43 from US$40 with a “hold” rating.
Raymond James analyst Jeremy McCrea thinks Headwater Exploration Inc. (HWX-T) recent acquisition of Cenovus Energy Inc.’s assets in the Clearwater formation of Alberta are likely to bring new investor attention to the region, which he calls “one of the top economic plays in Canada.”
“When combined with Headwater’s expected significant free cash flow with 20-30-per-cent annualized debt adjusted funds from operations per share growth, all while using no debt, and management’s track record of execution, there are few companies that match this potential today, in our view,” he said. “Over the next few years, we believe Headwater will likely become a ‘new favorite’ name with institutional investors.”
Mr. McCrea initiated coverage of the Calgary-based resource company with an “outperform” rating and $4 target, exceeding the $3.65 average.
“We can safely say we have never seen play economics quite as strong as the results coming from the Clearwater at Marten Hills,” he said. “There’s a few ways investors will look at well economics (IRR, NPV/well, P/I, payout; 2x payout) but each analysis would put the Clearwater ahead of the 100-plus play economics we track within western Canada. Ultimately the challenge Headwater will face is proving the areal extent of the play across its 270 net sections.”
In other analyst actions:
* BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Ray Kwan lowered Seven Generations Energy Ltd. (VII-T) to “market perform” from “outperform” with a $12.19 target, up from $9 and above the $9.60 average.
“In our view, consolidation in the Canadian oil & gas sector is necessary, and the proposed Seven Generations and ARC Resources combination is a gateway to a larger, more relevant Montney producer,” he said.
* UBS analyst Thomas Wadewitz lowered TFI International Inc. (TFII-T) to “neutral” from “buy” with a $105 target, up from $98. The average is $101.55.
* National Bank Financial analyst Endri Leno raised Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc. (AND-T) to “sector perform” from “underperform” with a $36.25 target. The average is $44.75.
* RBC Dominion Securities’ Drew McReynolds raised his target for Telus Corp. (T-T) to $29 from $28 with an “outperform” rating, while National Bank Financial’s Adam Shine also raised his target to $29 from $28 with an “outperform” rating. Canaccord Genuity’s Aravinda Galappatthige increased his target to $29.50 from $27 with a “buy” rating. The average is $28.04.
* Mr. McReynolds increased his Cineplex Inc. (CGX-T) target by a loonie to $9 with a “sector perform” rating, while Canaccord Genuity’s Aravinda Galappatthige raised his target to $10.50 from $8.50 with a “hold” recommendation. BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Tim Casey hiked his target to $12 from $7 with a “market perform” rating. The average is $10.64.
“Operating results for Q4 are not meaningful given the severe impact shutdown measures have on indoor entertainment,” said Mr. Casey. “However, the quarter provided more reassurances that creditors will continue to support and provide covenant relief measures until the business can operate in a somewhat normal environment.”
* RBC’s Devin Dodge increased his target for Russel Metals Inc. (RUS-T) to $27 from $25 with an “outperform” rating, while Scotia Capital’s Michael Doumet raised his target to $26.50 from $26, maintaining a “sector outperform” recommendation. The average on the Street is $26.64.
* CIBC World Markets analyst Jacob Bout raised his target for shares of Toromont Industries Ltd. (TIH-T) to $95 from $92 with a “neutral” rating, while Canaccord Genuity’s Yuri Lynk raised his target to $99 from $96 with a “buy” recommendation. BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Devin Dodge raised his target to $96 from $95 with a “market perform” rating. The average is currently $97.50.
“We believe the demand fundamentals in Toromont’s markets are recovering well which should allow the company to increase revenues, expand margins and drive double-digit earnings growth through our forecast period,” said Mr. Dodge. “However, we believe our forecast captures this upside potential. In our view, Toromont will continue to look attractive to long-term investors but the near-term risk/reward is relatively neutral.”
* CIBC’s Todd Coupland hiked his target for Shopify Inc. (SHOP-N, SHOP-T) to US$1,660 from US$1,225 with a “neutral” ratin, while Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian increased his target to US$1,650 from US$1,300 with an “outperform” recommendation. The average is US$1,140.62.
“Shopify will report its Q4 results on February 17 prior to market open. While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to pull online purchasing forward in the fall, the effects moderated for both Shopify and the broader industry in Q4. Despite that, Shopify continued to improve its competitive position. For this reason we recommend that investors hold their Shopify shares into this quarterly report,” said Mr. Coupland.
* CIBC’s Paul Holden raised his target for Great-West Lifeco Inc. (GWO-T) shares to $36.50 from $34, maintaining an “outperformer” rating. The average is $33.
“GWO printed a solid quarter, but there was nothing in the results to make us materially alter o) to US$112 from US$120 with an “outperformer” rating, while Scotia Capital’s. George Doumet raised his target to US$126 from US$95 with a “sector outperform” recommendation. BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Stephen MacLeod increased his target to US$125 from US$83 with an “outperform” rating. The average is US$104. from a Putnam merger transaction,” said Mr. Holden.
* CIBC’s Stephanie Price raised her target for Colliers International Group Inc. (CIGI-Q, CIGI-T) to US$112 from US$120 with an “outperformer” rating, while Scotia Capital’s. George Doumet raised his target to US$126 from US$95 with a “secor outperform” recommendation. BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Stephen MacLeod increased his target to US$125 from US$83 with an “outperform” rating. The average is US$104.
“We believe the stock is undervalued both versus peers and on a standalone basis (SOTP valuation pushes $116-136). Colliers is well positioned to participate in a recovery, in light of its solid competitive position, diversification, liquidity, technology investments, and entrepreneurial culture,” said Mr. MacLeod.
* CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson increased his target for Choice Properties REIT (CHP.UN-T) to $14 from $13.50 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $13.83.
“Choice Properties reported an in-line quarter, with a slight SP-NOI decline (excluding bad debt expense). Rent collections continued to come in near the top of the peer group, reflecting a high proportion of essential retail tenants and less exposure to small businesses. Choice has also maintained its strong liquidity position, with $1.7-billion available, and has $12-billion of unencumbered assets. Trading at a valuation higher than most large-cap retail peers, and with defensive tenants and an attractive liquidity profile, Choice continues to represent a ‘safety trade’ amongst its peers,” he said.
* TD Securities analyst Mario Mendonca increased his Trisura Group Ltd. (TSU-T) target to $130 from $115 with a “buy” rating. The average is $132.75.
“We are encouraged by strong agriculture fundamentals and recent upward momentum in select regional fertilizer prices. We believe that NTR offers attractive upside and we reiterate our BUY rating,” said Mr. Tupholme.