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Inside the Market Manulife, BCE, and Bombardier among stocks set for an action-packed Thursday

Manulife Financial Corp.’s robust earnings, driven by Asian demand for its financial products, were the highlight of post-market Canadian earnings numbers Wednesday.

Manulife’s core earnings rose 18.3 per cent to $1.3 billion, or 64 cents per share. Analysts had expected, on average, 62 cents. Shares were up modestly in after-hours NYSE trading Tuesday.

Manulife has benefited from a partnership with Singapore’s DBS Group DBSM.SI, agreed in 2015, through which it sells its products through the lender’s Asian branch network. Core earnings from the company’s Asia division rose 19.6 per cent to $427 million in the quarter, nearly one-third of the company’s profits.

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On the downside Tuesday evening, cloud-based business-software company Kinaxis Inc. posted EPS of 17 US cents, versus consensus of 24 US cents, per Thomson Reuters Eikon. Revenue of US$36.8 million was below consensus of US $37.44-million.

Gildan Activewear Inc. shares were up modestly after the company reaffirmed its 2018 guidance even as its first-quarter sales fell 2.7 per cent, to $647.3 million. The company reported 34 cents of EPS versus consensus of 35 cents.

Waste Connections Inc. reported 56 US cents EPS on US$1.14 billion in revenue, edging its consensus expectations of 55 US cents and US$1.13 billion, per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Yamana Gold Inc. reiterated its 2018 production and cost guidance, but shares slipped in after-hours NYSE trading as the company posted a 17-US-cent-per-share loss. Revenue of US$449.7-million was below consensus of just over $462 million, per Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Tahoe Resources Inc. posted a loss of 2 US cents per share when analysts expected, on average, a break-even quarter, per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Parkland Fuel Corp. and HudBay Minerals Inc. were slated to report earnings on Wednesday evening.

In the U.S., cult stock Tesla Inc. posted its worst ever quarterly loss, but said its Model 3 production target remains on track, and its shares were up about 1 per cent in after-hours trading. Tesla reported a loss of US$709.6 million, or US$4.19 per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of US$330.3 million, or US$2.04 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Tesla had a loss of US$3.35 per share. Analysts had expected a loss of US$3.58 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pharmacy benefits company Express Scripts Holding Co. posted EPS of US$1.77 versus consensus of US$1.76, but it missed on revenue and lowered its 2018 profit outlook. Shares were down slightly in after-market trading following a 2.4 per cent decline in the day’s session.

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Steel producer Stelco Holdings Inc. also released earnings late Wednesday, while reaffirming its second-quarter earnings guidance.

Bombardier Inc., BCE Inc., and a host of energy names highlight the Thursday before-market earnings action in Canada.

Bombardier, continuing its return from the dead, is one of the top 10 performers in the S&P/TSX Composite this year. Earnings day has often provided fodder for big jumps, sometimes for the numbers, sometimes for management commentary. That’s why there’s so much more at stake than the big zero in consensus — 0 cents EPS, per Eikon on just under $3.87–billion revenue.

Analyst Steve Hansen of Raymond James says that while the quarter should be another flat one for deliveries of the company’s C Series aircraft, he “expect[s] management will speak to an accelerating cadence in the underlying monthly pattern,” with four deliveries in March representative of the numbers to follow in 2018.

BCE is the biggest company reporting Thursday morning, but it is a company of few surprises; it hasn’t missed or beaten EPS consensus by more than one per cent in any of the past eight quarters, according to Eikon. It’s a stock to watch because it’s widely owned, but it’s very nearly an earnings report you can overlook. Analysts expect, on average, 82 cents in EPS on just over $5.62-billion in revenue.

Thursday is a big day in the energy sector, as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Crescent Point Energy Corp., Enerplus Corp. and Seven Generations Energy Ltd. all on the calendar for before-market releases.

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Canadian Natural analysts expect, on average, EPS of 66 cents on revenue of $5.4-billion. The company has a five-quarter winning streak of beating consensus.

Crescent Point offers the chance for non-numeric news, as it continues its fight with an activist investor who has nominated a dissident slate of directors. Meeting or beating earnings expectations would be a big help to Crescent Point’s cause, because it’s missed, sometimes badly, in each of the past three quarters. Analysts expect, on average, 7 cents of EPS on just over $947-million in revenue.

Enerplus is expected to post 27 cents of EPS on revenue of just under $341 million. The company has missed more often than hit in the last two years, underperforming EPS consensus in six of eight quarters, every time by a double-digit percentage.

Thursday’s before-market Canadian roster also includes Cott Corp., Norbord Inc. and Stella-Jones Inc.

Thursday’s U.S. calendar is light on giants, with big names including Church & Dwight, DowDupont and Kellogg.

With files from Reuters

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