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A roundup of some of the North American equities that made moves in both directions

On the rise

Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) jumped 5.5 per cent after it said on Thursday production and deliveries of its Model Y sport utility vehicle was significantly ahead of schedule, as the company delivered the highest number of vehicles in any first quarter to date.

The company’s production and delivery was largely unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak in the first three months of the year, as Tesla only began to temporarily suspend production at its San Francisco Bay Area vehicle factory on March 24.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer said: "We view these results as a clear indication that EV demand had remained strong for Tesla well into the quarter, and that the company is well positioned to satisfy that renewed demand once the COVID-19 pandemic abates.

“While the focus for quarterly results will continue to be profitability for Q1 and the meaningful negative impact expected for Q2, we are highly encouraged by these results and see the company as the clear leader in the EV space.”

Great Panther Mining Ltd. (GPR-T) finished flat after it announced that it has initiated the suspension of mining and processing activities at the Guanajuato Mine Complex and the Topia Mine until April 30, due to the directive of the Mexican federal government announced on March 31 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The company said there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 across its global mining operations, projects, and corporate offices.

On the decline

Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (CHE.UN-T) dropped 10.6 per cent in the wake of announcing that it has suspended its 2020 earnings guidance due to “the general economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Desjardins Securities analyst David Newman said: “Despite near-term chlorine (disinfectants) and sodium chlorate (bleached pulp for tissue, etc) strength, the weakness in caustic soda and HCl could be magnified by potential downside in merchant and regen acid given slack industrial and refinery demand amid COVID-19. Water treatment chemicals should remain stable. We have lowered our estimates, despite the benefit of a weak Canadian dollar and a potential 2H20 caustic soda recovery.”

Canadian Tire Corp. (CTC-A-T) was down 1.3 per cent on Friday after announcing a series of measures in reaction to the spread of COVID-19.

Late Thursday, the retailer said it’s taking “aggressive action to preserve its cash position and financial flexibility,” including reduced operating costs at our head office and corporate stores, and moves to lower working capital company wide. It is also deferring a portion of its 2020 planned capital expenditures and pausing the repurchase of shares.

It also said it is “leveraging our well-established and solid relationships with Canadian banks and our high standing in capital markets to secure additional sources of liquidity should they be required.”

It also announced moves in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in its stores. Those include reduced hours and enhanced cleaning protocols. The retailer also has also installed plexiglass and floor decals and is working to limit the number of customers allowed in-store at any given time.

3M Co. (MMM-N) fell 2.9 per cent as it said Friday it would increase the production of respirators and import more masks into the United States, after President Donald Trump invoked a law to help ease a shortage in the items needed to protect health staff against the coronavirus.

The company said it will work closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prioritize orders for the masks

Trump slammed 3M in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks.

The Defense Production Act, which was passed in 1950, grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons.

U.S. trade adviser Peter Navarro said that the government had some issues making sure that enough of the masks produced by 3M around the world were coming back to the United States.

“The narrative that we aren’t doing everything we can as a company is just not true,” 3M Chief Executive Officer Mike Roman told CNBC television in an interview on Friday.

FedEx Corp. (FDX-N) was down 6.4 per cent after saying on Friday it would slash its chief executive officer’s pay and draw down US$1.5-billion from a credit facility as delivery services take a hit from coronavirus-led lockdowns across the globe.

The company, which also suspended its financial outlook, said its board had approved a 91-per-cent reduction in CEO Frederick Smith’s base salary for six-month period from April 1 to Sept. 30.

AutoNation Inc. (AN-N) was 2.7 per cent lower on Friday its new and used vehicle unit sales fell about 50 per cent year-over-year during the last two weeks of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest U.S. auto dealership chain has placed about 7,000 employees on unpaid leave, implemented temporary pay cuts for associates and frozen new hiring, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Ford Motor Co. (F-N) lost 2.8 per cent after it extended the temporary suspension of vehicle and engine production at most of its European manufacturing sites to May 4.

The automaker said last month that the suspension would last for a “number of weeks” depending on the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ford’s production restart plans depend heavily on the pandemic situation in the weeks ahead, national restrictions in operation at the time, supplier constraints and the ability of our dealer network to operate,” the company said in a statement.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker on Thursday posted a 12.5-per-cent fall in U.S. auto sales for the first quarter.

The company’s U.S. sales chief has said that once the crisis eases, some level of government stimulus will be needed to support car buyers in the face of an unprecedented decline in sales and rising claims for unemployment benefits.

Luckin Coffee Inc. (LK-Q) was down a further 16.3 per cent in the wake of China’s securities regulator it would investigate claims of fraud the company and sources said some of the banks involved in the Chinese chain’s successful U.S. IPO last year were reviewing their work in the listing.

Shares of Luckin, which competes in China with Starbucks Corp, sank as much as 81 per cent on Thursday in New York after it announced an internal investigation had shown its chief operating officer and other employees fabricated sales deals.

The company said it had suspended COO Jian Liu and employees reporting to him following initial recommendations from a special committee that was appointed to investigate issues in its financial statements for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019.

U.S. engine maker Cummins Inc. (CMI-N) slid 0.4 per cent after it said on Friday it would cut salaries of all employees in the United States as well as its chief executive to reduce costs as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic weighs on the industry.

Employees working hours will be reduced and their salary cut between 10 per cent and 25 per cent, while Chief Executive Tom Linebarger’s would be halved, the company said.

“The impact from the pandemic on the global economy has been sudden and is growing, and it is imperative for us to respond quickly to maintain our strong financial position,” Mr. Linebarger said.

The company added that it planned to take similar actions outside the United States based on local regulations.

Defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT-N) slipped 1 per cent after it said on Friday it hired about 1,000 employees in the last two weeks and increased payments to suppliers to counter the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which last week pledged to advance more than US$50-million to defense suppliers, said it was increasing its payment by US$53-million to a total of US$106-million.

Reuters reported last month the Pentagon was increasing the amount of interim payments it makes to defence contractors in an effort to give them a financial boost.

“As we all deal with the challenges of the health crisis, we will continue to perform and deliver critical products and capabilities for the United States and our allies, support job creation and help those in need wherever we operate,” Lockheed said.

With files from Brenda Bouw, staff and wires

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