A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today
On the rise
Tour operator Transat AT Inc. (TRZ-T) increased after confirming takeover talks with Pierre-Karl Peladeau as the airline’s losses pile up amid a halt to operations that has reached the fifth month.
Montreal-based Transat said on Thursday morning it lost $69-million in the three months ending April 30, or $1.84 a share. For a quarter in which Transat’s planes were grounded, revenue fell by 98.7 per cent to $7.6-million.
The airline halted flights at the end of January after the federal government called for an end to service to Mexico and the Caribbean and imposed new travel restrictions.
“Following a quarter without revenues, progress made on vaccinations allows us to plan for a gradual resumption starting July 30,” said Annick Guérard, who in May replaced retiring founder Jean-Marc Eustache as Transat’s chief executive officer.
Ms. Guerard takes charge at a low point in Transat’s history. The pandemic halted its operations and sent plunging the value of Air Canada’s proposed takeover to $190-million from $720-million. The two airlines agreed in April to abandon the deal after the European regulator signaled it was unlikely to approve it.
- Eric Atkins
Vancouver-based Ero Copper Corp. (ERO-T) was up in the wake of the premarket announcement of the approval from the New York Stock Exchange for a U.S. listing of its common shares.
The Company expects to commence trading on the NYSE on June 15, under the ticker symbol “ERO”. It will continue trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“We believe this U.S. listing is an important milestone for our Company as it provides another access point for investors seeking to invest in Ero,” said Executive Chariman Noel Dunn. “Since our IPO in 2017, our business and assets have achieved tremendous growth, garnering increased attention from global investors. We believe that listing on the NYSE offers an opportunity to broaden our shareholder base and enhance trading liquidity for existing shareholders.”
Boeing Co. (BA-N) rose after sources told Reuters United Airlines (UAL-Q) was in talks to place a multi-billion-dollar order for single-aisle jets potentially split between Boeing and Europe’s Airbus.
If confirmed, the deal could include over 100 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 and several dozen larger Airbus A321neo jets, they said, asking not to be identified.
The carrier is looking to upgrade its fleet at a time when travel is surging in the United States, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported the Boeing negotiations.
That portion of the order could include 150 Max, it said.
“We do not currently have a deal in place with Boeing or Airbus to purchase new aircraft and do not comment on speculative aircraft orders,” United spokesperson Luke Punzenberger said in response to the earlier report.
On the decline
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (BIP.UN-T) was lower after it filed an application with the Alberta securities regulator seeking elimination of takeover target Inter Pipeline Ltd’s (IPL-T) $350-million termination fee to Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL-T).
Brookfield last week raised its hostile majority cash offer to buy Inter to $8.48-billion, topping Pembina’s $8.3-billion all-stock proposal for the Canadian oil and gas transportation company.
In a statement on Thursday, Brookfield said if it was successful in eliminating or reducing the break fee, it would further increase its takeover offer for Inter Pipeline by an equivalent amount.
Inter reiterated its recommendation for Pembina’s offer over Brookfield’s proposal to its shareholders.
Pembina did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
TC Energy Corp. (TRP-T) was lower after Wednesday announcement it is terminating the Keystone XL pipeline, ending a project that appeared to have run out of options after Joe Biden pulled its permit as one of his first official acts as U.S. President.
The Calgary-based company’s decision formally ends a 13-year regulatory odyssey that saw the proposed pipeline blocked twice by former president Barack Obama and revived by his successor Donald Trump. The project’s cancellation is a significant blow to Alberta, whose economy has struggled in the face of constrained pipeline access and whose government bought an ownership stake last year.
Keystone XL, which had become a focal point for climate change activists in Canada and the United States, was designed to ship 830,000 barrels of crude a day along a 1,947-kilometre route from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. It would have given Alberta oil companies a long-sought direct route to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
TC Energy, which first proposed the massive project in 2008, suspended construction in January after Mr. Biden revoked a presidential permit issued by the previous administration. The company took a “comprehensive review of its options” in the ensuing months before ultimately deciding to walk away, it said in a statement.
- James Keller, Jeffrey Jones and Kelly Cryderman
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY-N) closed narrowly lower after it said on Thursday it would sell some of its acreage in Texas’ Permian basin to an affiliate of private equity-backed Colgate Energy Partners III LLC for US$508-million.
The oil producer has cut jobs, production and the value of its assets after the pandemic hammered fuel demand, piling pressure on a company that had taken on significant debt to acquire Anadarko Petroleum for US$38-billion in 2019. The company’s long-term net debt stood at US$35.47-billion as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing, and has said it plans to sell between US$2-billion and US$3-billion in properties this year to reduce its debt.
The deal with Colgate Energy includes about 25,000 net acres in the Southern Delaware Basin in Texas with current production of about 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from about 360 active wells.
Occidental, which expects to close the deal by the third quarter, maintained its 2021 forecast for capital expenditure and production.
GameStop Corp. (GME-N) named the head of Amazon’s Australian business as its CEO and said the struggling videogame retailer may sell new shares, sending its volatile stock down and disappointing some of its ardent fan base of individual investors.
In a quarterly report that was stronger than analysts forecast, GameStop said it may sell up to 5 million new shares, which would be worth US$1.4-billion based on its latest share price.
Matt Furlong, a nine-year Amazon veteran, will succeed George Sherman as chief executive officer. GameStop said Mike Recupero, who spent over 17 years at Amazon, will succeed Jim Bell as chief financial officer.
Mr. Furlong will join on June 21, while Mr. Recupero, who was chief financial officer of Amazon’s North American consumer business, will come on board on July 12, the company said.
GameStop’s shares have almost doubled in the past month, approaching their January high. That was when a massive surge driven by investors on Reddit’s wallstreetbets trading forum made the stock the most traded on the U.S. market for several days.
Pennsylvania-based Ocugen Inc. (OCGN-Q) plummeted after it said on Thursday it would no longer pursue an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, and would instead aim to file for a full U.S. approval of the shot.
Ocugen said the decision was based on a recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which also requested more information and data for the full approval.
The company said it expects data from an additional clinical trial will be required to support the marketing application submission for Covaxin.
“While this will extend our timelines, we are committed to bringing COVAXIN to the U.S.,” Ocugen Chief Executive Officer Dr Shankar Musunuri said.
The company is co-developing Covaxin with India-based Bharat Biotech for the U.S. market.
Ocugen recently secured exclusive rights to market the vaccine in Canada and has started discussions with Health Canada for regulatory approval, it said.
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA-Q) was down after the videogame publisher said on Thursday it is investigating a recent data breach, where some of its game source code and related tools were stolen, becoming the latest victim of a spate of cyberattacks on U.S. companies.
The publisher of titles such as Battlefield, Apex Legends and Madden NFL 21 said it does not expect the breach to have an impact on its games or business and that it was working with law enforcement officials and other experts as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Vice’s Motherboard earlier reported that hackers had stolen a wealth of data, including source codes for popular title FIFA 21 and source code and tools for Frostbite engine, a software development toolset for game creators.
Overall, hackers stole about 780 gigabytes of data and also advertised it for sale on several underground hacking forum posts, according to the report.
“No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy,” EA said in a statement.
Hacking activity against corporations in the United States and other countries has increased as digital thieves have been able to take advantage of security weakened by work-from-home policies due the COVID-19 pandemic.
With files from staff and wires