A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today
On the rise
A group of Canadian cannabis producers rose in early afternoon trading trading on Wednesday after an equity analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch initiated coverage of their stocks.
HEXO Corp. (HEXO-T) was up 9.6 per cent after being called Christopher Carey’s “top pick in cannabis” and receiving a “buy” rating.
Shares of Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM-Q) on Tuesday rose 10.4 per cent in the wake of a major victory in its wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple Inc. (AAPL-Q) as the companies reached a surprise settlement that called for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modem chips.
Apple Inc. rose 1.5 per cent on the news
Hudbay Minerals Inc. (HBM-T) was up 1.5 per cent after announcing its largest shareholder, Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc., would back the company’s 11 board nominees in an upcoming election, bolstering the Canadian miner’s position in its proxy battle with activist investor Waterton Global Resource Management Inc.
Waterton, which possesses an approximately 12-per-cent stake in the Toronto-based miner, has been pushing for major changes to Hudbay’s board.
Letko, Brosseau & Associates owns 13.4 per cent of the company.
Railroad operator Kansas City Southern (KSU-N) jumped 4.3 per cent after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by a 21-per-cent revenue jump in its Chemicals and Petroleum segment due to increase in refined product shipments to Mexico
On an adjusted basis, the company earned US$1.54 per share, beating the consensus expectation on the Street of US$1.44.
“We are pleased to announce a strong start to the year with solid revenue growth and improved operational performance,” said president and CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer in a release. "Although we are still in the early stages of implementation, KCS’ transition to a precision-scheduled network is already producing improved velocity and dwell, which is driving improved customer service, labor and asset utilization as well as other efficiencies.
Overall, Morgan Stanley reported a quarterly profit of US$2.34-billion, or US$1.39 per share, down from US$2.58-billion, or US$1.45 per share, during the same period a year ago.
Excluding items, the company earned US$1.33 per share. Its revenue fell 7 per cent to US$10.29-billion.
Both metrics exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts had expected earnings of US$1.17 per share and revenue of US$9.93-billion.
On the decline
The grocery store operator reported adjusted earnings per share of 60 cents, falling 3 cents below the expectation on the Street, due, in large part, to lower-than-expected sales ($3.702-million versus a consensus projection of $3.731-billion). That result came despite food same-store sales growth of 4.3 per cent, which topped estimates.
The company also announced François Coutu will retire as president of the Jean Coutu Group Inc., the pharmacy division of Metro, as of May 31.
It plans to use the the net proceeds from the offering to support its international expansion initiatives, for future acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.
“What’s making investors nervous is that there are signs of a slowdown in the second-quarter subscriber growth,” said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at Investing.com. “This is made all the more prominent by the looming threat of competition from Disney and Apple.”
With files from staff and wires