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Inside the Market Market movers: Stocks that saw action on Thursday - and why

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

On the rise

Airline and tour operator Transat AT Inc. (TRZ-T) finished flat on Thursday after reporting before the bell that its third-quarter loss more than doubled due to fees and executive compensation related to its deal to be taken over by rival Air Canada (AC-T).

For the three months ending on July 31, Montreal-based Transat said it lost $11-million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a loss of $5-million or 13 cents in the same period of 2018.

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Shares of Air Canada gained 0.5 per cent.

Desjardins Securities analyst Benoit Poirier said: “Overall, while we believe investors will focus on the takeover transaction, we note that 3Q results and the outlook are encouraging as TRZ starts to benefit from its fleet optimization initiative (two A321neo LRs received already). At this point, we remain confident that the proposed transaction will close and see value at the current share price (potential return of 18 per cent).”

See also: Air Canada and Transat, Onex and WestJet: A guide to Canadian airline deals

Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC-T) gained 0.1 per cent after it reported steeper losses before the bell as it continues to close stores and sell off discounted merchandise, in an effort to modernize the offerings of its Bay department store chain and to combat falling sales.

Toronto-based HBC, which owns also owns luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, posted a second-quarter net loss from continuing operations of $462-million or $2.51 per share on Thursday, compared with $104-million, or 58 cents per share in the same period last year.

See also: Hudson’s Bay selling Lord & Taylor banner amid privatization battle

Baker Hughes (BHGE-N) gained 1.5 per cent after General Electric Co. (GE-N) began divestment of its stake in the oilfield services provider.

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GE on Wednesday said it plans to reduce its ownership in Baker Hughes to 38.4 per cent from 50.4 per cent at June-end, and aims to raise US$2.7-billion in the process.

The U.S. conglomerate, which will lose majority control of Baker Hughes, said it would raise the amount through a public offering of 115 million Baker Hughes Class A shares priced at US$21.50 each, and through a private sale of US$250-million Class B Baker Hughes shares to the oilfield services provider.

On the decline

Dollarama Inc. (DOL-T) was down 0.7 per cent on the heels of raising its full-year comparable-store sales forecast on Thursday, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales, benefiting from investments in its online business and higher demand for its products.

The company’s net income rose to $143.2-million, or 45 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $140.4-million, or 42 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post a profit of 46 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB-T) plummeted almost 9 per cent after it reported revenue of $98.9-million in the latest quarter after the bell on Wednesday, up from $19.2-million a year earlier, but still short of early targets set by the company.

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Last month, Aurora had said it expected revenue in the quarter of between $100-million and $107-million.

Touting its “impressive” sequential growth, Canaccord Genuity analyst Matt Bottomley said: “The reason the overall net top line came in just under management’s guided range of $100-million to $107-million was a result of a higher than anticipated proportion of revenues from Aurora’s ancillary business that ended up servicing the company directly, resulting in inter-company eliminations to revenue. Nonetheless, given the significant sequential growth in ACB’s results, we believe Aurora now has the highest market share in Canada.”

See also: Aurora earnings: Six key takeaways (Cannabis Pro)

Sale of Aurora Cannabis stake in The Green Organic Dutchman struggles amid industry-wide chill

Grocery store operator Empire Co. Ltd. (EMP.A-T) slipped 0.6 per cent on Thursday after reporting better-than-anticipated quarterly results before the bell.

On an adjusted basis, Empire says it earned 49 cents per share for the quarter, up from 37 cents a year ago.

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Analysts on average had expected a profit of 48 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Boeing Co. (BA-N) lost 1.9 per cent a day after chief executive Dennis Muilenburg told an investor conference the 737 Max passenger planes could be cleared to resume flying before the end of the year, but that timeline is jeopardized by disagreements among the world’s regulators over approvals to the model that was grounded after two crashes that killed 346 people.

See also: Boeing plane deliveries down 72 per cent in August as Max grounding weighs

Nutrien Ltd. (NTR-T) dipped 1.2 per cent after it said Wednesday it would face a $100-$150-million reduction in its annual potash EBITDA as a result of inventory shutdowns at three potash mines due to a short-term slowdown in global potash markets.

The company said it planned eight-week inventory shutdowns at its Allan, Lanigan and Vanscoy potash mines in the fourth quarter, adding it would reduce potash production by about 700,000 tonnes.

“Despite the current short-term market conditions, we remain positive on potash demand for 2020, as well as the medium to long-term potash fundamentals,” Nutrien said in a statement.

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Oracle Corp. (ORCL-N) fell 4.2 per cent after it said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd would be taking a medical leave, and the business software maker posted first-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street expectations.

The company said, assuming currency headwind, it expected second-quarter adjusted profit between 87 US cents and 89 cents per share, below estimates of 91 US cents per share.

Net income fell to US$2.14-billion in the quarter ended Aug. 31, from US$2.27-billion a year earlier. On a per share basis, Oracle earned 63 US cents per share from 57 US cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding items, Oracle earned 81 US cents per share, in-line with analysts’ expectations.

Citi’s Walter Prichard said: “An overall underwhelming Q1/outlook and some heightened execution risk was somewhat offset by positive data points that help contextualize the early progression of ORCL’s ‘newer products’. Our conviction on sustained growth is still weak given challenges in the business and market backdrop in cloud/database.”

With files from staff and wires

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