A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today
On the rise
Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. (FAF-T) was up 6.8 per cent on Wednesday after an equity analyst initiating coverage of its stock with a “buy” rating, pointing to the promise of faster growth in digital sales and the expectation of retail store growth.
The Toronto-based miner also said its cash position increased $146-million or 31 per cent during the quarter, with total cash and equivalents at Sept. 30, totaling $615-million.
Halliburton Co. (HAL-N) rose 0.2 per cent after it is cutting another 650 U.S. oilfield services jobs as U.S. and gas producers have slashed spending amid weak prices and investor demands for higher returns.
The latest job cuts, on top of an 8-per-cent reduction earlier this year, affect workers across Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and North Dakota, said spokeswoman Emily Mir. Employees affected by the change will be offered a chance to relocate to other regions, she said.
On the decline
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGOD-T) was down over 17 per cent after it announced it’s reviewing financing alternatives to complete construction for its facilities in Ancaster, Ont, and Phase 1a at Valleyfield, Que., citing “changing market conditions” that have challenged discussions.
The company said it has been in talks for "ordinary course commercial bank facilities and equipment leasing. However, due to changing market conditions, those sources of financing have been unavailable on acceptable terms within the timeframes required, leading the company to commence a review of additional alternatives."
The company said it has no debt and $56.7-million in cash available in Canada, including $40.2-million in restricted cash allocated to capital expenditures.
It said it might revise the construction schedule for its Ancaster and Valleyfield projects if it is unable to obtain “sufficient financing on reasonable terms, within the required timeframe.”
Toronto-based Just Energy Group Inc. (JE-T) dropped 6.4 per cent on the heels of signing a deal to sell its U.K. operations to Shell Energy Retail Ltd. for as much as $17-million.
The company says the sale of Hudson Energy Supply UK Ltd. is part of its strategy to focus on its North American operations and improve liquidity.
Under the agreement, Just Energy will receive approximately $3.2-million at closing and up to $13.8-million depending on whether the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets or the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reinstate the capacity market payments within a specified period of time.
Exchange Income Corp. (EIF-T) slid 3.6 per cent after it announced a $70-million bought-deal financing. It has an agreement to sell 1,860,000 common shares from its treasury to a syndicate of underwriters.
The shares will be offered at a price of $37.65 each. The stock closed at $39.11 on Tuesday.
The net proceeds will be used to fund two acquisitions and for general corporate purposes. The acquisitions include L.V. Control Mfg. Ltd. and Advance Window, Inc. The aggregate purchase price for the two companies is up to $78-million, “if certain post-closing targets are achieved,” the company said. At closing, EIC said it will pay $72-million funded with $62.6-million in cash and $9.4-million in shares.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-N) lost 2 per cent after a Philadelphia jury awarded US$8-billion in punitive damages against the company and a subsidiary in a suit over claims the antipsychotic drug Risperdal is linked to abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys.
Analysts called the amount excessive, particularly since the plaintiff, Nicholas Murray, had already won $680,000 in compensatory damages over his claims.
But several said that J&J’s shares were now exposed to fears among investors that it would be hammered by further litigation costs as it battles other claims over Risperdal, its opioid treatments and talcum powder.
“It’s definitely a disproportionate award,” Bernstein analyst Lee Hambright said, noting that the FDA-approved label for the drug does mention breast growth as a side effect.
“(But) I think the stock reaction shows how sensitive investors are about litigation-related concerns for Johnson & Johnson.”
Shares in Netflix Inc. (NFLX-Q) fell 1.2 per cent, the most on the S&P 500 in early trading, after two brokerages cut price targets on the video streaming service provider’s shares.
Citing “unprecedented” competition, Rosenblatt analyst Bernie McTernan said he expects Netflix to miss the Street’s expectations for subscriber growth in the fourth quarter. He said it “will lead to adverse impacts on content spend and pricing power, impacting FCF generation and revenue growth.”
With files from Brenda Bouw, Terry Weber and wires