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

On the rise

Aritzia Inc. (ATZ-T) was up 1.2 per cent in the wake of reporting first-quarter results that largely fell in line with expectations on the Street.

The Vancouver-based Canadian women’s fashion retailer reported a net loss of $26.5-million, compared to net income of $16.2-million in the first quarter last year. Its adjusted loss was $24.9-million or 23 cents per share compared to an adjusted net income of $18.5-million or 17 cents in the first quarter last year.

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Analysts were expecting a loss of 25 cents per share.

In a research note released before the bell, Canaccord Genuity analyst Derek Dley said: “In our view, Aritzia has done a great job of navigating a changing retail landscape by offering an aspirational customer experience within its brick-and-mortar locations and an easy-to-use, consistent e-commerce platform. With an impressive track record of same-store sales growth (notwithstanding COVID-19), a robust pipeline of new store openings even in the COVID-19 environment, healthy balance sheet to support growth and margin enhancement initiatives, and a well aligned management team, we believe Aritzia is deserving of a premium valuation.”

See also: Fashion retailers confront consumer shifts amid ‘long, slow ramp’ to a new normal

MTY Food Group Inc. (MTY-T) increased 0.2 per cent after it reported better-than-anticipated quarterly results.

The restaurant operator reported revenue and EBITDA of $97.8-million and $18.2-million, respectively, exceeding the consensus projections on the Street of $58.8-million and $9.5-million.

Montreal-based MTY also negotiated an amendment to its credit facility for the next four quarters.

Knight Therapeutics Inc. (GUD-T) increased 1.6 per cent after announcing a normal course issuer bid with the intent to purchase up to 10.9 million common shares, or approximately 10 per cent of the public float, over the next 12 months.

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Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD-Q) increased 2.1 per cent in the wake of saying on Friday additional data from a late-stage study showed its antiviral remdesivir significantly improved clinical recovery in severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Findings from an analysis of its late-stage study showed that 74.4 per cent of remdesivir-treated patients recovered by Day 14 versus 59.0 per cent of patients receiving standard of care, the company said.

BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.’s (PFE-N) COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to seek regulatory approval by the end of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing the German biotech firm’s chief executive officer.

The experimental vaccine, which showed promise against the fast-spreading respiratory illness in early stage human testing, is expected to move into a large trial involving 30,000 healthy participants later this month, pending regulatory nod.

If it receives marketing approval, the companies are preparing to make up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and another 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021 at sites in Germany and the United States, Reuters reported last week.

Pfizer shares were up 0.5 per cent.

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See also: Wall Street shifts bets to big pharma as COVID-19 vaccine race progresses

Carnival Corp. (CCL-N) said on Friday it was planning to resume operations in a phased manner and would operate with a smaller fleet on its return, months after suspending trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending its shares up about 9 per cent.

The world’s largest cruise operator also said it has reduced capital expenditures by more than US$5-billion over the next 18 months.

“We will emerge a leaner, more efficient company to optimize cash generation, pay down debt and position us to return to investment grade credit,” Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said.

The cruise business has been one of the worst hit after several ships, including some owned by Carnival’s Princess Cruises, became coronavirus hotspots, killing some on board and forcing port quarantines for several crew and staff.

To survive through the crisis, companies, including peers Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, have raised billions through various means, even pledging ships and private islands.

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On the decline

Insolvent beverage retailer DavidsTea Inc. (DTEA-Q) was down 8.9 per cent after announcing it is closing 82 stores in Canada and all 42 of its stores in the United States as it focuses on its e-commerce business and supplying grocery stores and pharmacies.

The Montreal-based company says it is sending notices to terminate the leases at the 124 stores to take effect in 30 days.

It says it will also seek more favourable lease terms for the remaining 100 stores in Canada.

The store closings are part of its restructuring plan after it obtained court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and Chapter 15 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Company founder and interim chief executive Herschel Segal says the closing of “unprofitable stores” will help create a stronger business model for the future and ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the brand.

Chief financial officer Frank Zitella says it may permanently close additional stores if it is not able to negotiate more favourable lease terms from landlords.

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-The Canadian Press

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX-T) were down 1.8 per cent after it said on Friday it served a dispute notice to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government over the country’s refusal to extend a mining lease in the Porgera valley.

The company said the notice was sent by its subsidiary Barrick (PD) Australia Pty Limited, an investor in the Porgera mine, citing a violation in a bilateral investment treaty between PNG and Australia as well as international law governing foreign investment.

In April, Papua New Guinea’s government refused to extend Barrick’s expired lease on environmental and social concerns, prompting the company to trim its annual gold production forecast to 4.6 million-5.0 million ounces from an earlier 4.8 million-5.2 million ounces.

In May, the miner offered an extra 15-per-cent stake in the Porgera mine to local landowners, according to a letter from its CEO, in a bid to break an impasse with the national government over the mine’s future.

Pivot Technology Solutions Inc. (PTG-T) was lower by 3.9 per cent after revealing a cybersecurity incident in which an unauthorized third party attempt to encrypt its technology infrastructure and exact data.

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The Toronto-based firm believes the incident will have no material impact on its customers, suppliers or its operations.

With files from staff and wires

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