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

On the rise

Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B-T) rose on Tuesday after it reported better-than-anticipated first-quarter financial results before the bell

The media company says it earned $76.7-million in net income attributable to shareholders or 37 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Nov. 30. The result compared with a profit of $78.1-million or 37 cents per diluted share in the same quarter a year earlier.

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Revenue for the three-month period totalled $420.4 million, down from $467.9 million. The consensus expectation on the Street was $417.3-million.

On an adjusted basis, Corus says it earned 38 cents per share, the same as the same quarter last year but topping Street’s estimate of 31 cents.

Corus owns 33 specialty television services, 39 radio stations and 15 conventional television stations as well as other assets.

Lightspeed POS Inc. (LSPD-T) increased in the wake of revealing it is expanding its business to include suppliers, as the Canadian technology company jockeys to compete with dominant retailers like Amazon.

Montreal-based Lightspeed, which makes cloud software for retailers and restaurants to manage their cash registers and checkout systems, launched a new arm of its business on Tuesday to help retailers restock their inventory.

The system, called Lightspeed Supplier Network, is launching for bike stores, pet stores, jewelry stores and outdoor sporting good retailers in North America.

The new feature will help small retailers and independent suppliers better compete with Amazon, Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva said.

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“A large e-commerce merchant like an Amazon has a lot of visibility across the supply chain — a lot of data. In this case, we’re using all of the data that’s available to benefit independent, small- and medium-sized businesses and their suppliers,” said Mr. Dasilva.

The system aims to give Lightspeed’s retail customers an online marketplace to look for new, popular product suppliers, he said. Another goal is to make it more efficient for small shops to upload product descriptions and photos for online shopping, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more local stores to rely on e-commerce.

First Cobalt Corp. (FCC-X) jumped after it said on Tuesday it signed a deal with Glencore and has agreed on a tentative pact with a unit of China Molybdenum Ltd for cobalt supplies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The agreements come after First Cobalt last month secured $10-million in government loans and grants to accelerate startup and expansion of North America’s first cobalt refinery in Ontario.

The DRC is the world’s top producer of cobalt, a crucial ingredient for the lithium-ion batteries that underpin the fast-growing electric vehicle sector.

Toronto-based First Cobalt said it will source cobalt hydroxide at prevailing market prices from Glencore’s Kamoto Copper Co operation for five years starting in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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The Canadian company also said it aims to complete a definitive contract with China Moly subsidiary IXM SA for cobalt from CMOC’s massive Tenke Fungurume mining operation in the DRC over the same time period.

Walmart Inc. (WMT-N) was up on Tuesday after confirming it has entered a strategic partnership with investment firm Ribbit Capital to create a new fintech startup.

The startup, which will be majority owned by the world’s biggest retailer, expects growth through tie-ups and acquisitions with other fintech firms, Walmart said in a statement.

Ribbit Capital’s current investment portfolio includes mobile investment platform Robinhood and consumer technology platform Credit Karma.

U.S. grocer Albertsons Cos Inc. (ACI-N) saw gains after it raised its annual forecast for earnings and beat quarterly estimates for sales on Tuesday, as rising number of coronavirus cases push more consumers to cook their meals at home.

The company, which also owns Vons and Safeway supermarkets, forecast fiscal 2020 earning at between US$3.05 and US$3.15 per share, compared with its prior projection of US$2.75 to US$2.85.

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Several grocery retailers across the United States have ramped up their e-commerce platforms, from online ordering to flexible delivery options, as consumers change the way they shop as they stay away from large crowds and gatherings.

The company’s net sales and other revenue rose 9.3 per cent to US$15.41-billion in the third quarter ended Dec. 5, compared with estimates of US$15.34-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

General Motors Co. (GM-N) shares jumped on Tuesday to their highest level since the company’s post-bankruptcy IPO in 2010, as the automaker announced its entry into the growing electric delivery vehicle business.

After Chief Executive Mary Barra outlined plans for GM’s first BrightDrop commercial vans to be delivered to FedEx later this year, GM shares rose as high as US$48.95 in morning trading, pushing the company’s market cap over US$68-billion.

The new BrightDrop delivery business will put GM squarely in competition in the commercial sector with cross-town rival Ford Motor Co, as well as startups such as Rivian, Arrival and Canoo that are developing electric commercial vehicles for customers ranging from Amazon to Hyundai Motor .

Fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic, GM estimates the U.S. market for parcel and food delivery will climb to more than US$850-billion by 2025. It is one sector that EV sales leader Tesla has yet to crack.

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Intel Corp. (INTC-Q) rose after sources told Reuters the chipmaker plans to tap Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to make a second generation discrete graphics chip for personal computers that it hopes will help it combat the rise of Nvidia Corp.

The chip, known as “DG2”, will be made on a new chipmaking process at TSMC that has not yet been formally named but is an enhanced version of its 7-nanometer process, the two people familiar the matter said.

Intel, long the world leader in chip-making technology, has lost its manufacturing edge in recent years and is now debating whether to outsource some of it flagship central processor unit chips, or CPUs, slated for release in 2023.

Activist investor Third Point LLC last month sent Intel’s board a letter asking it to consider whether to keep its chip design and manufacturing operations under one roof.

Intel has long outsourced chips other than its flagship CPUs and is a major customer of TSMC, the world’s leading contract chip manufacturer. The head of Intel’s self-driving subsidiary Mobileye last month told Reuters that its next autonomous vehicle processor will be continue to be manufactured by TSMC on its 7-nanometer process.

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (KL-T) saw gains after reporting full-year 2020 gold output of 1.37 million ounces, a 41-per-cent increase from 2019 and in line with guidance.

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The increase in production was driven largely by the all-stock $4.34-billion purchase of Detour Gold Corp. early in the year, which contributed 517,000 ounces from Jan. 31 to Dec. 31.

But the Toronto-based miner says all three of its “cornerstone assets” finished strongly, achieving their highest quarterly production levels of 2020 in the fourth quarter.

It says consolidated production in the last three months of 2020 was 369,000 ounces, up 32 per cent from the year-earlier period and nine per cent higher than the third quarter.

The company says its Fosterville mine in Australia beat its 2020 guidance by 30,000 ounces, registering a record 640,000 ounces in 2020 versus 619,000 ounces in 2019.

Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM-Q) was up in the wake of announcing it has commenced an underwritten public offering of US$1.5-billion of shares of its Class A common stock.

See also: ‘Stay-at-home’ trade still has legs in 2021: top mutual fund managers

Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) rose after a regulatory filing showed it has moved a step closer to its launch in India later this year by registering a company in the country.

Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited was incorporated on Jan. 8 with its registered office in the southern city of Bengaluru, a hub for several global technology companies.

The filing shows the Indian unit has three directors including David Feinstein, who is currently a senior executive at Tesla, according to his LinkedIn profile.

India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari told a local newspaper in December the U.S. electric carmaker would start with sales and then might look at assembly and manufacturing.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has tweeted several times in recent years, including as recently as October 2020, about an impending foray into India.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS-N) rose on the same day it confirmed founder, chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and major donor to Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, has died. He was 87.

Mr. Adelson died Monday night from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the company said in a statement.

On the decline

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OGI-T) fell after reporting first-quarter results that fell short of expectations on the Street.

The Moncton-based cannabis company announced a new loss for the period ending Nov. 30 of $34.3-million, increasing from $863,000 a year ago and below the consensus expectation of a $7.1-million loss. Net revenue fell 23 per cent to $19.3-million, missing the $20.3-million projection.

In a research note, Raymond James analyst Rahul Sarugaser said: “This was another difficult Q, but for slightly different reasons than expected. A bright light was slightly higher than expected adult-use revenue, but this was, unfortunately, more than offset by poor wholesale revenue combined with lower ASP. In addition, EBITDA was very disappointing, driven by materially higher than expected COGS. This Q’s numbers not withstanding, we do see signs of promise with the appointment to its board of Ms Marni Wieshofer — a U.S.-focused M&A and brand-building veteran — indicating to us that entry into the U.S. market is squarely in OGI’s crosshairs.”

High-flying electric vehicle maker Nio Inc. (NIO-N) finished lower after an equity analyst at Citi lowering his rating for its shares to “neutral” from a “buy” recommendation.

In a research report released late Monday, Jeff Chung said: “We downgrade Nio to Neutral (2H) due to: 1) We estimate that ET7 will only register limited incremental sales of 3-4k units/month from 1Q22; this model may also be challenged potentially by model-S facelift in the future. 2) Model-Y price may be further cut towards Rmb270k as 70% of parts contents can be shared with model 3 in China. This should create head-to-head competition to NIO’s EC6 and potentially marginalize its monthly sales to 1-1.5k units. 3) We expect NIO to deliver 7.8-8k units shipment in Jan but with a month-over-month slowdown into Feb/Mar with limited upside risk in 1Q21. Here, we turn more conservative on our forecasts and lower our 2021/2022E shipment forecasts to 82k/144k (from 92k/162k units). We roll over our valuation to 2022E from average 2021-22E and lift our target P/S multiple to 13.2x (current BEV OEMs sector average) to align with the sector valuation amid a strengthening NEV outlook. Our TP is raised to US$68.3 (from US$46.4). We expect a potential re-rating if the company posts a sharp month-over-month recovery in Mar-21 or if the company’s software earnings exhibit a strong margin upward trend.”

With files from staff and wires

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