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A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today

On the rise

Shares of investment giant Power Corp. (POW-T) rose 7.8 per cent on Friday after it announced its co-CEOS are set to retire amidst a company overhaul that will simplify its corporate structure and boost share price for investors.

After 23 years at the helm, Paul Desmarais, Jr. and André Desmarais will retire from their roles. Jeffrey Orr, president and CEO of Power Financial, will become president and CEO of Power Corporation.

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Both Paul and Andre will remain with the company as chairman and deputy chairman, respectively, of Power Corporation’s Board of Directors.

Shares of Power Financial Corp. (PWF-T) were 9.9 per cent higher.

- Clare O’Hara

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE-Q) rose 3.6 per cent after it beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and profit on Thursday on higher subscriptions in its core digital media business, which includes the flagship Creative Cloud suite of software.

In a cloud market dominated by application software providers such as Microsoft Corp and Inc., Adobe has carved a niche for its creativity and design-related software offerings such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

Revenue from its digital media unit rose about 22 per cent to US$2.08-billion in the quarter, edging past estimates of US$2.05-billion according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick said: “Adobe’s F4Q highlights its unique positioning and market opportunity with another record Digital Media quarter. Net new ARR [annualized recurring revenue] exceeded (recently updated) expectations, and Digital Experience Bookings stabilized at more than 20-per-cent growth. While some may harp on the F1Q20 guide, we believe the outperformance in F4Q19 and reiteration of FY20 net new ARR likely signals upside to Digital Media revenue, margins, and EPS. Despite on-going caution on Digital Experience, we anticipate that ARR momentum can continue across both Creative/Document clouds.”

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Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (SRPT-Q) soared 31.4 per cent after U.S. regulators shocked Wall Street by reversing their rejection of its muscle-wasting disorder therapy less than four months ago, to allow the drug’s immediate launch.

The Food and Drug Administration in August declined to approve the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) treatment, Vyondys 53, citing safety concerns, including the risk of infection and kidney toxicity.

In a statement, Sarepta said it had appealed the rejection through a formal dispute resolution request and, unusually, credited the swift approval to the FDA’s Review Division under Dr. Billy Dunn, and the Office of New Drugs, directed by Dr. Peter Stein.

Biogen Inc. (BIIB-Q) was up 1 per cent after it said on Friday it would discontinue development of its experimental therapy for a rare brain disease after the treatment failed a mid-stage trial.

The therapy, gosuranemab, failed to hit statistical significance in its main goal and did not demonstrate effectiveness on key secondary goals when tested in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).

PSP results in deterioration of cells in areas of the brain that control body movement and thinking, causing serious problems with walking, balance and eye movements.

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On the decline

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM-T) was down 2.9 per cent after revealing it has begun arbitration proceedings against Zambian state miner ZCCM-IH to try to resolve a dispute over a money transfer to the parent company of Kansanshi Mining, which is majority-owned by the Toronto-listed group.

The arbitration proceedings follow a criminal complaint made by state-owned ZCCM-IH against the alleged unauthorised transfer of money by Kansanshi Mining to First Quantum’s local subsidiary.

ZCCM-IH in a separate case, launched action in October 2016 to sue First Quantum for $1.4 billion over claims that the Canadian company borrowed $2.3 billion from its Zambian copper mining subsidiary Kansanshi Mining Plc without informing ZCCM-IH, a minority shareholder.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL-N) slipped 3.5 per cent after it fell short of quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday as growth in its cloud services failed to counter declines in its traditional licensing business, and the company’s chairman said it had no plans to hire a new co-CEO.

The company has been aggressively pushing into cloud computing to compensate for a late entry into the fast-growing business that helps companies move away from the more expensive traditional on-premise model.

Citi analyst Walter Prichard said: “With sentiment around ORCL shares suffering amid low expectations, we anticipate that these results will not be good enough to catalyze shares in the near term. While management again reiterated conviction around accelerating revenue growth in FY20, we suspect that investor conviction may not be reciprocated given what you ‘need to believe’ for Q4.”

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Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST-Q) was down 1.8 per cent in the wake of reporting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday after the bell, hit by a slowdown in e-commerce sales growth.

The warehouse club operator said the Thankgiving weekend moving into the second quarter also impacted sales in the first quarter ended Nov. 24. It also faced website outage during the Thanksgiving period, but the impact would only be known in the current quarter.

The company’s e-commerce comparable sales grew only 5.7 per cent in the first quarter, when it had risen 21.9 per cent in the previous quarter and 26.2 per cent in the year-ago quarter.

With files from staff and wires

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