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

On the rise

Shopify Inc. (SHOP-T) jumped 8.3 per cent on Monday after announcing it has partnered with Walmart Inc. (WMT-N), as the retail giant looks to expand its online marketplace business and cash in on the coronavirus-driven jump in online shopping.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart said it expects to add 1,200 Shopify sellers to its marketplace this year and the partnership was focused on adding small- and medium-sized U.S. businesses to its platform,

Last month, the company reported a 74-per-cent surge in quarterly e-commerce sales and discontinued operations at e-commerce start-up, which it had acquired for US $3.3-billion in 2016.

See also: As Shopify soars, much of Bay Street misses the ride

Kinross Gold Corp. (K-T) rose 4.7 per cent on the heels of announcing Monday it has reached an agreement with Mauritania’s government under which the company will pay a total of $25-million to resolve disputes over fuel use, tax exemptions, and mining licences.

Under the deal, the government will give Kinross a 30-year exploitation licence for its new project Tasiast Sud. Mauritania will receive a 15-per-cent free carried interest in the project, with an option to purchase an additional 10 per cent after further feasibility work is completed.

The deal terms are similar to those agreed by Barrick Gold in January when it ended a long-running tax dispute with Tanzania by giving the government a stake in three gold mines.

Mauritania will reinstate a tax exemption on fuel duties and repay around $40 million in VAT refunds to Kinross, the company said in a statement.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT-N) rose 0.5 per cent after The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday clearing a new version of its continuous glucose monitoring device, FreeStyle Libre, helping the company build upon the success of its fastest-growing diabetes product.

FreeStyle Libre 2, which was approved in Europe in 2018, will be priced the same as its precursor and is offered at a discount compared to rival devices, Abbott said.

The first generation of the device, which has brought in millions in sales for Abbott, allows diabetics to track their blood sugar levels without multiple daily finger sticks. It was launched in Europe in 2014 and three years later in the U.S.

Honeywell International Inc. (HON-N), a major supplier of aerospace products, increased 1.5 per cent after it said Monday it has launched an unmanned aerial systems business to bet on the autonomous aviation space – drones, air taxis, and unmanned cargo delivery vehicles.

Stéphane Fymat, the head of that new business, said Honeywell expects the hardware and software market for urban air taxis, drone cargo delivery, and other drone businesses to reach US$120-billion by 2030 and Honeywell’s market opportunity would be about 20 per cent of that. He declined to say how much of that market Honeywell was targeting to capture, adding only that the unit has hundreds of employees with many engineers.

Honeywell doesn’t build drones itself but provides autonomous flight controls systems and aviation electronics.

The new business creation comes as the coronavirus pandemic creates a surge of interest in drone deliveries; Fymat said it’s accelerating the drone cargo delivery programs of some of its partners.

On the decline

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) and BlackBerry Ltd. (BB-T) were down 11.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively, after S&P Dow Jones Indices said late Friday it will remove the two from the S&P/TSX 60 later this month.

They will be replaced by Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and Canadian Apartment Properties REIT, known as CAPREIT.

The index manager also removed Bombardier from the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the broadest measure of the Canadian market. All told, S&P Dow Jones Indices added seven companies and removed 14 from the S&P/TSX Composite in Friday’s announcement.

- David Milstead

Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB-T) slid 1.5 per cent after it announced Monday that its chief executive officer, Francois Desjardins, will retire at the end of the month.

The Montreal-based bank’s announcement came abruptly, with no permanent CEO in place to succeed him. The current head of personal and commercial banking, Stéphane Therrien, will take over as interim CEO and the board of directors has struck a special committee “to immediately undertake the search for a new President and CEO,” the bank said in a statement.

Board chair Michael Mueller said Mr. Desjardins has made “an important contribution” to Laurentian. “We wish François well in his future endeavours,” he said.

- James Bradshaw

See also: Laurentian plows ahead amid COVID curveball

Shares of Cineplex Inc. (CGX-T) dropped 16.9 per cent after UK-based movie theatre giant Cineworld Group PLC pulled out of its $2.2-billion deal to acquire the Toronto-based company.

Cineplex announced on Friday that it had received notice about the termination of the transaction, and acknowledged that the deal “will not proceed.” The company said it will now pursue legal action, seeking damages for what it characterized as a breach of contractual obligations by Cineworld.

Cineplex said it plans to hold Cineworld “responsible for its breaches and failure to complete the Transaction at $34.00 per common share,” which was the original price of the deal announced in December.

In a release on Monday, Cineplex said it plans to start legal proceedings “promptly against Cineworld and seek damages for Cineworld’s breaches of the agreements governing the Transaction and its failure to discharge its obligations thereunder.”

- Susan Krashinsky Robertson

See also: Coming soon: Legal thriller to determine if Cineworld can end Cineplex deal

U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY-N) was lower by 1.4 per cent in the wake of saying Monday it has started a late-stage trial testing its rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

The company said it was looking to enroll 400 patients in the trial to be conducted in the United States, Europe and Latin America, with results expected in the next few months.

First Majestic Silver Corp. (FR-T) dipped 1.4 per cent after chief executive Keith Neumeyer told Reuters on Friday it has asked Canada’s ambassador to Mexico to intervene in an escalating tax dispute with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government.

Mr. Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that some of Canada’s mining firms were behind on their tax payments and urged the Canadian government to lean on them to avoid the dispute reaching international tribunals.

He did not mention First Majestic by name, but the miner last month said it had served notice to Mexico’s government under its North American trade treaty obligations to begin talks to resolve taxation disputes.

“We’ve been trying to get somebody to the table to finally put this behind us,” Mr. Neumeyer told Reuters.

General Electric Co. (GE-N) declined 0.1 per cent after it said on Monday David Joyce, the chief executive of the company’s aviation unit, would retire after 40 years with the industrial conglomerate, and would be succeeded by Embraer executive John Slattery.

The change comes as the global aviation industry grapples with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. GE said last month it was planning to cut the global workforce of its aviation unit this year by as much as 25 per cent, or up to 13,000 jobs.

GE Aviation had previously issued furloughs impacting about 50 per cent of its U.S. maintenance, repair and overhaul employees and new engine manufacturing.

It had also imposed a hiring freeze, canceled a salaried merit increase and dramatically reduced non-essential spending.

Mr. Slattery will assume the role of president and CEO of GE Aviation on Sept. 1, and Mr. Joyce will transition to non-executive chair of GE Aviation through December 31.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (UAL-Q) fell 1.7 per cent after it said on Monday it is securing a US$5-billion loan backed by its MileagePlus loyalty program, further buffering its liquidity even as bookings hit by the coronavirus pandemic improve.

Chicago-based United said that if it also decides to a tap US$4.5-billion government loan before Sept. 30, it would have US$17-billion in total liquidity.

This would be enough to carry it through a potential second or third wave of COVID-19, senior executives said.

Under the loan deal structured by Goldman Sachs, Barclays Bank and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, United will retain control over its loyalty program, valued at about US$20-billion, the airline executives said.

Slots, gates and routes could be used as collateral for the government loan, the company said. Rival American Airlines has said it could use its loyalty program as collateral for a government loan.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ-N) plummeted 33.8 per cent on news it will sell up to US$500-million in new shares, the car rental firm said on Monday, as it takes advantage of a strong rally in its stock since it filed for bankruptcy last month.

Hertz said its shares would be eventually “worthless,” but the stock sale, part of the US$1-billion that the company announced last week, could benefit creditors seeking to recover more of their claims during the bankruptcy process.

The company’s stock closed at 55 US cents on May 26, since then it has risen more than five-fold in value.

Investors, many of them amateur traders who use apps including Robinhood, are betting on how high they can push the stock before it collapses.

With files from Brenda Bouw, staff and wires

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