A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today
On the rise
Husky Energy Inc. (HSE-T) rose 0.6 per cent in mid-afternoon trading on Friday after announcing it has reached an agreement for the sale of its Prince George Refinery to Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. (TWM-T) for $215-million in cash plus a closing adjustment for inventory, and a contingent payment of up to $60-million over two years.
Tidewater said it intends to finance the acquisition through an increase of its existing credit facility up to $600-million and a $100-million second lien term loan.
Shares of Tidewater were down 11.6 per cent.
In a research note on Husky, Raymond James analyst Chris Cox said: “We suspect investors will be discouraged by the valuation garnered from this transaction - reflective of the niche nature of the refinery and likely some competition issues impacting the buyers universe within the concentrated Western Canadian market. Regardless, the more impactful of the divestiture opportunities remains the retail portfolio where we suspect similar competition issues may create a challenging environment to garner a strong multiple.”
FCBI will be rebranded Reuters Events and will operate as part of the Reuters News division, the news and information provider said in a statement, without disclosing the terms of the transaction.
Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q) rose 2.4 per cent after Nikkei Asian Review reported the tech giant has asked suppliers to increase production of its iPhone 11 models by up to 8 million units, or about 10 per cent, citing better than expected demand.
“Previously, Apple was quite conservative about placing orders,” which were less than for last year’s new iPhone, said the Nikkei quoting a source.
“After the increase, prepared production volume for the iPhone 11 series will be higher compared to last year.”
Sources cited by Nikkei said that the recent surge in iPhone orders is concentrated in the cheapest iPhone 11 model and the iPhone 11 Pro model, while Apple has slightly revised down orders for its top range model, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has a starting price of US$1,099.
Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST-Q) were up 0.6 per cent after the retailer’s latest quarterly sales fell short of analysts’ forecasts amid stiff competition in the sector.
Comparable-store sales, or those recorded at Costco’s e-commerce platform and warehouses open for more than a year, rose 5.1 per cent,, excluding the impact of fuel and currency fluctuations. Analysts estimated a 5.25-per-cent rise, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. In the United States, comparable store sales, excluding fuel, rose 5.2 per cent, also missing the estimate of 5.32 per cent.
RBC Dominion Securities analyst Scot Ciccarelli said: “w: Excluding a $123mm charge, Costco nicely beat expectations with adjusted EBIT growth of ~10% YOY, while sales/traffic growth remain some of the strongest in retail (core US comps +5.2% and +5.1% Total, ex fuel/fx). We continue to believe that COST provides investors with extreme scarcity value due to its unique, treasure-hunt merchandising model, extreme consumer values and high margin membership model. We remain buyers of COST.”
On the decline
HP Inc. (HPQ-N) slid 9.6 per cent after said it will cut up to 16 per cent of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs. The company will cut about 7,000 to 9,000 jobs through a combination of employee exits and voluntary early retirement, it said in a statement. HP estimates the plan will result in annual gross run rate savings of about $1 billion by the end of fiscal 2022, it added.
Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Cabral said: “HP is undertaking a dramatic shift in Printing, breaking with the Supplies monetization strategy that has been status quo for decades. We recognize the value in the change and agree that pulling profitability earlier into a unit’s lifecycle likely leads to a more predictable income stream over time, more akin to the commercial A3 space. That said, we see a potentially disruptive transition over the near-term, which brings risk of increased volatility for both EPS/FCF and, ultimately, the stock. Further, raising price into a mature market will be tough, particularly if competitors choose not to follow; execution will be key.”
With files from Terry Weber, staff and wires