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

On the rise

Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) saw gains after chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet on Monday that Model S Plaid will “probably” be coming to China around March.

In September last year, Tesla introduced a new Model S Plaid, a 520-mile range sedan that can reach top speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 km per hour), with deliveries starting in 2021.

Pipestone Energy Corp. (PIPE-T) rose on the premarket announcement of approval of its first normal course issuer bid.

The Calgary-based company plans to purchase up to 9.6 million common shares, representing 5 per cent of its outstanding shares as of Nov. 12.

“Pipestone intends to fund the purchases out of its available resources and is implementing the NCIB as part of its free cash flow allocation strategy. Pipestone believes that, at times, the prevailing share price may not reflect the underlying value of the Common Shares and the repurchase of Common Shares represents an opportunity to improve per share metrics as part of the Company’s commitment to shareholder returns,” it said.

Energy drinks maker Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST-Q) increased amid reports it is discussing a merger with international beverage alcohol company Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ-N).

The structure of a potential deal involving the companies, which have a combined market value of nearly US$92-billion, was not immediately known.

Bloomberg News, which first reported the plans on Sunday, said Monster Beverage has discussed a potential deal with advisers, citing people who requested not to be identified.

It was unclear if discussions will lead to a full merger or asset deal, the Bloomberg News report added.

Monster Beverage did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Constellation Brands told Reuters it does not respond to rumors or speculation.

As of Friday, the market capitalization of Monster Beverage was US$47.3-billion while the market capitalization of Constellation Brands was US$44.2-billion.

New York-based Constellation Brands has a diverse portfolio which includes brands like Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, Kim Crawford as well as SVEDKA vodka and High West Whiskey in the United States.

Monster Beverage Corporation, which has Coca-Cola as a major shareholder, develops and markets energy drinks brands like Monster Energy, Burn Energy Drink and Full Throttle Energy Drink.

The energy drink maker had reported increased net sales two weeks ago despite the pandemic although it still experienced supply chain challenges, shortages of shipping containers, freight inefficiencies in the United States and Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Coca-Cola agreed earlier this month to buy the remaining stake in BodyArmor it did not already own for US$5.6-billion.

High Tide Inc. (HITI-X) erased early losses after it announced that it will acquire 80 per cent of NuLeaf Naturals, LLC for US$31.2-million in shares and will have a three-year option to acquire the remaining 20 per cent at any time.

The arm’s length transaction implies an enterprise valuation of US$39-million representing 7.1 projected 2021 adjusted EBITDA and recognition for US$1.7-million recently spent on upgrading NuLeaf’s cGMP-certified facility, the cannabis company stated.

On the decline

Air Canada (AC-T) slid after agreeing to a $4.5-million settlement to resolve a U.S. government investigation into claims thousands of air passenger refunds were delayed, the Transportation Department said.

The proposed settlement, which still must be approved by an administrative law judge, would resolve the U.S. Transportation Department investigation into what it said were “extreme delays in providing refunds to thousands of consumers for flights to or from the United States that the carrier canceled or significantly changed”.

Of the $4.5-million settlement, $2.5-million would be credited to Air Canada for refunding passengers and $2-million would be paid to the U.S. Treasury.

In June, the department said it was seeking a $25.5-million fine from Air Canada over the carrier’s failure to provide timely refunds.

Air Canada did not immediately comment, but said in a U.S. government filing it agreed to the settlement “to avoid protracted litigation, as it focuses together with all stakeholders on rebuilding itself and doing its part to support the recovery of the airline industry”. Air Canada added it did not admit any violation as part of the agreement.

The department alleged in June Air Canada continued its no-refund policy in violation of U.S. law for more than a year.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL-T) fell in the wake of saying Monday Chief Financial Officer Scott Burrows would temporarily serve as top boss, after Mick Dilger stepped down as president and chief executive officer to pursue other opportunities.

The transition comes weeks after Mr. Dilger said Pembina was asking backers of two competing proposals for carbon capture hubs in the oil-producing province of Alberta to combine efforts with its own plan.

Mr. Burrows, who has served as Pembina’s CFO for about seven years, joined the company in November 2010. Previously, he had spent seven years in energy-focused investment banking.

Pembina said Cameron Goldade, vice president of its capital markets division, would take over as its interim finance head.

The company said it is working to identify and evaluate internal and external candidates for the CEO role.

In a research note, ATB Capital Markets analyst Nate Heywood said: “Overall, the leadership transition was largely unexpected and could be a near-term overhang on the stock as the market waits for official leadership announcements; however, we are of the view that the deep PPL executive bench holds the expertise to carry the business through the transition.”

Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER-N) dipped on Monday after revealing it will allow users in Ontario to place orders for cannabis on its Uber Eats app, marking the ride-hailing giant’s foray into the booming business.

Uber Eats will list cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace on Monday, following which customers can place orders from the Uber Eats app and then pick it up at their nearest Tokyo Smoke store, the spokesperson said.

Uber, which already delivers liquor through its Eats unit, has had its sights set on the burgeoning cannabis market for some time now. Its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told media in April the company will consider delivering cannabis when the legal coast is clear in the United States.

With more than three years into Canada’s legalization of recreational cannabis, the country is trying to fix its ailing pot market, where illegal producers still control a large share of total annual sales.

The partnership will help Canadian adults purchase safe, legal cannabis, helping combat the underground illegal market which still accounts for over 40 per cent of all non-medical cannabis sales nationally, Uber said on Monday.

Global cannabis stocks tracker MJ ETF (MJUS-A) also declined with the news.

Longueuil, Que-based Héroux-Devtek Inc. (HRX-T) was lower after announcing before the bell a private agreement with 2945-0228 Québec Inc., a company controlled by executive board chairman Mr. Gilles Labbé, for the repurchase for cancellation of 804,000 common shares of Héroux-Devtek at a price of $18.12 each, a 2-per-cent discount to Friday’s close, for a total consideration of $14.57-million.

Mr. Labbé entered into the deal for estate planning purposes and will continue to own, directly or indirectly, 2.9 million shares, representing approximately 8.41 per cent of issued and outstanding shares, down from 10.47 per cent previously.

Victoria-based biotech company Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUPH-Q) dropped after announcing a mixed shelf offering of US$250-million after the bell on Friday.

According to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the offering covers a combination of common shares, debt securities and warrants to be offered from time to time.

Aurinia shares were up 105.9 per cent thus far in 2021 through Friday’s close.

See also: TSX loses another Canadian biotech as Aurinia sheds domestic listing in favour of Nasdaq

With files from Brenda Bouw, staff and wires

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