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

On the rise

George Weston Ltd. (WN-T) rose 0.6 per cent on Tuesday after it reported before the bell its third-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago, boosted in part by improved performance at Loblaw Companies Ltd. and its direct ownership interest in Choice Properties as a result of a reorganization last year.

On an adjusted basis, George Weston says it earned $391-million or $2.54 per diluted common share in its latest quarter, up from $288-million or $2.25 per diluted common share a year ago.

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Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.14 per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Retailer TJX Companies Inc. (TJX-N) increased 1.9 per cent after it raised its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday ahead of the holiday shopping season and reported better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales as the off-price retailer’s steep discounts brought in more shoppers.

TJX, which draws in price-conscious shoppers with the promise of sought-after and luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein at discounts of up to 60 per cent, has been steadily expanding with a program of new store openings and remodeling of existing ones.

The company now expects full-year profit of US$2.61 to US$2.63 per share, compared with its prior forecast of US$2.56 to US$2.61.

“The fourth quarter is off to a solid start and we have many initiatives underway to keep driving traffic and sales to our stores and online during the holiday season and beyond,” Chief Executive Ernie Herrman said in a statement.

TC Energy Corp. (TRP-T) was up 0.1 per cent after saying at its Investor Day event it expects comparable core earnings (EBITDA) to exceed $10-billion in 2022, driven by long-term contracts and assets.

The forecast represents an EBITDA increase of more than 16 per cent from what the company reported for 2018.

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The Keystone pipeline operator also said it expects dividend to grow at an average annual rate of 8 per cent to 10 per cent through 2021 and 5 per cent to 7 per cent beyond 2021.

TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, has been investing heavily in the disputed 830,000 barrel per day (bpd) Keystone XL pipeline, which is expected to boost export volumes from the oil marketing hub of Alberta to U.S. refineries.

ConocoPhillips (COP-N) was 0.8 per cent higher after it unveiled its 10-year plan on Tuesday and said it would target free cash flow of about US$50-billion with annual capital expenditures averaging less than US$7-billion over the next decade.

The largest U.S. independent crude producer said it expects to spend about US$20-billion on dividends and US$30-billion in share buybacks in 10 years.

The announcement comes as investors, frustrated by weak commodity prices for 5 years, have been pressuring oil and gas companies to cut back on drilling and shore up cash to return to shareholders.

The company also forecast annual production growth averaging more than 3 per cent from 2020 to 2029.

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ConocoPhillips, which has been divesting assets to focus on its U.S. shale base, had in October posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates, primarily as higher shale production offset lower crude prices and higher exploration costs.

On the decline

Encana Corp. (ECA-T) was down almost 4.5 per cent after shareholder Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc said on Tuesday it will vote against the oil and gas company’s proposed exit from Canada to the United States.

The investment firm, which owns a nearly 4-per-cent stake in the company, said the move will cause significant losses for Canadian investors.

Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR-T) slid 0.9 per cent after more than 3,000 train operators went on strike just past midnight on Tuesday morning, shutting down Canada’s largest rail network.

Home Depot Inc. (HD-N) fell 5.4 per cent after it said on Tuesday its efforts to integrate online and in-store shopping were taking longer than expected to pay off, prompting the retailer to cut its 2019 sales forecast.

Same-store sales at Home Depot rose 3.6 per cent in the third quarter ended Nov. 3, below expectations of a 4.7-per-cent increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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Home Depot said it expected its fiscal 2019 sales to rise about 1.8 per cent, compared to a prior forecast of a 2.3-per-cent increase. The company also cut its full year same-store sales forecast.

Net income fell to US$2.77-billion or US$2.53 per share in the third quarter from US$2.87-billion, or US$2.51 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of US$2.52 per share.

With the results, rival Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW-N) was down 1.5 per cent.

See also: Sagging U.S. consumer discretionary shares look for a spark

Boeing Co. (BA-N) slipped 0.7 per cent as its 37 MAX took centre stage at the Dubai Airshow on Tuesday as airlines announced plans to order up to 50 of the jets worth US$6-billion at list prices despite a global grounding in place since March.

Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana said it had signed a letter of intent to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets for its FlyArystan subsidiary.

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Air Astana, which operates Airbus and Embraer jets in its main network, said it was confident in Boeing’s ability to resolve problems with the MAX.

Kohl’s Corp. (KSS-N) plummeted 19.5 per cent after it cut its annual profit outlook on Tuesday ahead of the all-important holiday season, after the department store operator’s quarterly comparable sales and earnings missed analysts’ estimates.

As buyers increasingly shift online, Kohl’s earlier this year partnered with Amazon.com Inc, allowing customers to return at its stores products bought on the online retailer’s website.

The tie-up, through which Kohl’s aims to attract more shoppers, has been extended to all its 1,000 outlets in the United States following a successful pilot.

The partnership could hurt Kohl’s profit and gross margin, with no guarantee of purchases when a shopper visits a store to return the order, analysts have said.

Kohl’s said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to be between US$4.75 and US$4.95 per share, compared to its previous forecast of US$5.15 to US$5.45.

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In the third quarter, sales from stores open for at least a year rose 0.40 per cent , while analysts on average had expected same-store sales to increase 0.76 per cent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK-N) was down 8.5 per cent after rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT-Q) said on Tuesday its workplace messaging app, Microsoft Teams, has more than 20 million daily active users, up from 13 million users in July.

The software maker offers the app as a free add-on platform to its Office365 users.

Microsoft Teams competes with Slack Technologies Inc , which reported over 10 million daily active users in the second quarter ended July 31.

Microsoft shares gained 0.1 per cent.

With files from staff and wires

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