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

On the rise

Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC-T) jumped 5.8 per cent on Wednesday after reporting fourth-quarter financial results that exceeded expectations on the Street, as holiday sales at Saks Fifth Avenue stores and online purchases improved.

Overall, the company posted a $226-million loss from continuing operations, due largely to a $194-million restructuring charge to combine HBC Europe’s retail operations with SIGNA’s Karstadt Warenhaus GmbHc. After adjusting for one-time items, the company earned 41 cents per share, beating the analyst average estimate of 25 cents.

“We are a far stronger company today than a year ago, despite some of the top-line challenges this quarter," said CEO Helena Foulkes. “We’ve returned to positive operating cash flow, improved the bottom line across all of our businesses, increased profitability by 30 percent and strengthened our balance sheet. We also made great strides in simplifying the business, strengthening operations, and deepening understanding of our customers. While there is still more work to be done, these results further demonstrate that HBC is benefiting from the bold strategic actions taken throughout 2018.”

Great-West Lifeco Inc. (GWO-T) was up 0.4 per cent after announcing plans to merge three of its well-known Canadian subsidiaries under one roof as it retires two brands.

The Great-West Life Assurance Co., London Life Insurance Co. and The Canada Life Assurance Co. will operate as one company under the Canada Life brand.

“Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for our companies in Canada ,” said Great-West president and chief executive officer Paul Mahon in a press release. “Bringing our companies together under one brand will allow us to deliver a simpler and unified experience for our customers, advisors and consultants, focusing on what matters most – helping Canadians reach their full potential, every day.”

Boyd Group Income Fund (BYD.UN-T) increased 3.7 per cent after announcing before market open that it has expanded its revolving credit facility to US$400 million through the accordion feature available under its existing facility.

“As we execute on our long-term growth strategy, we continue to see many attractive opportunities to make accretive acquisitions,” said executive vice president and chief financial officer Pat Pathipati. “This expanded facility positions us well to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Bombardier Inc. (BBD-B-T) was up 2.6 per cent after signing US$255-million contract to upgrade trains for the Queensland New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) project in Australia.

"The significance of the NGR project in Queensland cannot be understated,” said Wendy McMillan, President, Southeast Asia and Australia at Bombardier Transportation. “With 70 percent of Queensland’s future population growth targeted in the South-East region, the NGR fleet will bring a significant 26 percent capacity increase to the South-East Queensland rail network to meet the growing demand for rail services. It’s a game-changing project for Queensland and Bombardier is proud to be delivering it.”

Shares of Lyft Inc. (LYFT-Q) rose 1.5 per cent on Wednesday after suffering two consecutive sessions of steep declines following their much-anticipated US$72 initial public offer on Friday.

The ride-hailing service received its first “sell” rating on Tuesday as Seaport Global analyst Michael Ward called its current valuation a “leap of faith.”

Despite the optics of vehicles being an underutilized asset, we believe people will continue to own their own vehicles as primary transportation and instead rely on the ridesharing services as a convenient supplement,” said Mr. Ward.

Meal-kit provider Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (APRN-N) jumped 7.2 per cent after announcing on Tuesday after market close that chief executive officer Brad Dickerson and co-founder Ilia Papas has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

Etsy Inc.’s former chief operating officer Linda Findley Kozlowski will become the New York-based company’s CEO, effective April 8.

“This is an exciting time to join Blue Apron,” said Ms. Kozlowski in a release. “Over the past year, the company has made significant product, platform and operational advancements, and now has the right foundation for growth. I look forward to working closely with the team to focus on the best opportunities to attract and engage consumers and drive the business to new levels of performance.”

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM-A-T) was up 0.3 per cent after Bloomberg reported it’s planning to buy a commercial property site in Shanghai for approximately US$2-billion.

According to the report, Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners III is considering buying three office towers and a retail mall at Greenland Huangpu Center from a unit of Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Ltd..

Viacom Inc. (VIAB-Q) rose 1.9 per cent in the wake of signing a content distribution agreement with T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS-Q) under which the media company’s brands including MTV and Nickelodeon would be available to the wireless carrier’s 80 million customers.

“Viacom represents the best of the best, most-popular brands on cable, so they are an amazing partner for us!” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS. And Macgyvering together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better. That’s why T-Mobile is on a mission to give consumers a better way to watch what they want, when they want.”

Shares of T-Mobile was down 1.1 per cent.

On the decline

Tricon Capital Group Inc. (TCN-T) lost 5.8 per cent after announcing a deal to Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 5) Core Fund (STUS.A-X, STUS.U-X) in an all-share transaction valued at $1.4-billion, which includes the fund’s 23 multi-family properties totaling 7,289 units located primarily in the U.S. Sun Belt.

“The Transaction will provide Tricon a significant presence in U.S. multi-family, which is the largest investible property type in residential real estate. The portfolio enhances our exposure to high-growth markets and aligns with our U.S. rental focus on the middle market demographic. With this acquisition, we will have created a strong foundation for future growth as well as a major source of recurring rental income to complement our thriving single-family rental and Canadian build-to-core multi-family rental businesses,” said Tricon president and CEO Gary Berman.

Roots Corp. (ROOT-T) fell 4.5 per cent on Wednesday after posting adjusted profit per share of 53 cents in the fourth quarter, ahead of the 51 cents analystson The Street had been expecting.

Total sales increased 0.6 per cent year-over-year to $130.8-million, which also topped the consensus estimate ($129.4-million).

“Roots resonates incredibly well with consumers during the holiday season, and that continued to be the case in Q4 2018,” said preside and CEO Jim Gabel. “In the quarter, we saw growth in key perennial product favourites and encouraging consumer response to new product introductions. In addition, we benefitted from store renovations, our ability to support higher levels of shopping activity during peak selling periods, and our success in overcoming challenges caused by the Canada Post strike. As a result, we delivered Comparable Sales Growth of 3.1 per cent for the quarter and 18.3 per cent on a two-year stacked basis.”

Shares of Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TXG-T) dropped 5.5 per cent after its first-quarter production results disappointed the Street.

The Toronto-based miner announced 76,500 ounces of gold were sold, at an average realized price of $1,301 per ounce. 77,800 ounces of gold were produced.

“On the production front, many know that skarn deposits are variable,” said president and CEO Fred Stanford in a statement. “We have seen the upside and downside of that variability in past quarters. Guidance in 2019 was weighted to H2 in expectation of managing through more of the downside of variability in H1. In Q1, we mined the bottom of one pit area and opened up the top of another, with the expected grade and tonnage variability that comes at the edges of the deposit. There is also variability in the hardness of the rock types within the deposit.”

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT-N) was down 0.6 per cent after an equity analyst at Deutsche Bank downgraded its stock over concerns of “negative back-log growth.”

“The biggest risk to the bull case for CAT is if its backlog growth turns negative and it is becoming increasingly clear that it will within this next quarter,” said Chad Dillard.

GameStop Corp. (GME-N) plummeted 4.7 per cent after the videogame retailer forecast current-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates.

The company said it now expects earnings of breakeven to a loss of 5 US cents per share for the first quarter. Analysts were expecting a profit of 17 US cents per share.

“As we think about 2019 and beyond, we recognize the challenges facing our pre-owned video game business and are prepared to address them as we continue to evolve our business model going forward. Importantly, we will continue to leverage our powerful brand to drive growth and, with a new cost savings and profit improvement initiative in place, we will focus our efforts on driving profitability. GameStop is a leader in the video game industry, and we remain committed to capitalizing on our leadership position to discover new and unique ways to meet our loyal customers’ entertainment needs and attract new customers,” said chief financial officer Rob Lloyd.

With files from staff and wires

Follow David Leeder on Twitter: @daveleederOpens in a new window

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