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

On the rise

Shares of Cogeco Inc. (CGO-T) and Cogeco Communications Inc. (CCA-T) soared in after Altice USA Inc. (ATUS-N) announced it has presented an offer to acquire 100 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares of Cogeco.

Altice also announced it has entered into an arrangement to sell all the Canadian assets of Cogeco to Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T), the largest long-term shareholder of Cogeco, if its transaction with Cogeco is completed.

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Rogers shares also jumped higher on the news.

Upon completion of the transaction, Altice USA would own all the U.S. assets of Cogeco, namely Atlantic Broadband.

See also: U.S. cable company Altice bids $10.3-billion for Cogeco; Rogers would get Canadian assets

Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD.B-T) soared 7.5 per cent after its quarterly earnings beat estimates, as customers spent more on groceries at its stores, while a fall in fuel prices boosted profit margins at its gas stations.

Increased fears of the novel coronavirus led people to make fewer trips to its stores, consolidate their shopping and opt for home-delivery and curbside pickups.

Revenue from Couche-Tard’s merchandise and services unit that sells food products and everyday essentials rose 7 per cent to $3.86-billion in the first quarter, with gross profit rising 7.5 per cent.

Net income attributable to the company rose 44.2 per cent to $777.1-million, or an adjusted 71 cents per share, in the first quarter ended July 19, beating analysts’ estimates of 40 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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Gross profits in the company’s fuel business rose 13.1 per cent due to lower oil prices.

However, a coronavirus-led slump in fuel demand brought Couche-Tard’s total revenue down 31.4 per cent to $9.71-billion.

The company said demand was beginning to recover, especially in Europe where travel patterns were normalizing.

In a research note, Desjardins Securities analyst Chris Li said: “Adjusted EPS of US$0.71 was well ahead of our estimate (US$0.38) and consensus (US$0.41). About two-thirds (US$0.20) of the beat was due to very strong U.S. fuel margins. The remainder was due to strong fuel margins in Europe and Canada, strong merchandise SSSG in all geographies and good expense control. The results highlight the resilience of the c-store business and ATD’s strong execution. We expect the shares to react positively. While the market typically does not pay up for a fuel-margindriven beat because it is volatile, structural factors (eg improving competitive landscape) will be viewed favourably.”

Macy’s Inc. (M-N) reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and beat sales estimates on Wednesday before the bell, as shoppers stuck indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic bought more apparel using the department store chain’s app and website.

Shares of the company, which have lost nearly 60 per cent of their value so far this year, were up about 1 per cent.

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To cope with the closure of malls and stores due to coronavirus-related lockdowns, Macy’s has been focusing on its online business giving shoppers the option to buy online and collect from stores.

That helped online sales surge 53 per cent for the second quarter ended Aug. 1.

Net sales fell 35.8 per cent to US$3.56-billion, but beat analysts’ estimates of US$3.48-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Gross margin of 23.6 per cent also improved about 650 basis points from the immediately preceding quarter.

On an adjusted basis, the company lost 81 US cents per share, compared to estimates of a loss of US$1.77 per share.

Net loss came in at US$431-million, or US$1.39 per share, in the second quarter, compared with a profit of US$86-million, or 28 US cents per share, a year earlier.

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Keyera Corp. (KEY-T) was 0.5 per cent higher after saying president and chief commercial officer Dean Setoguchi will become its next chief executive after David Smith retires from the job at the end of the year.

The natural gas pipeline and processing company says Mr. Setoguchi will take over the top job and join the company’s board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Mr. Setoguchi joined Keyera in 2008 as chief financial officer.

He was appointed chief commercial officer in 2018 and promoted to president and chief commercial officer this past March.

As part of the transition, Jamie Urquhart has been promoted to the role of senior vice-president and chief commercial officer.

Industrial Alliance Securities analyst Elias Foscolos said: “This morning’s announcement of the retirement of David Smith as Keyera’s CEO and President and Mr. Smith’s retirement from Keyera’s Board, along with the simultaneous appointment of Dean Setoguchi to fill Mr. Smith’s roles is not surprising to us. Although, Mr. Smith has been instrumental in shaping Keyera over his 22-year tenure, the promotions of Mr. Setoguchi and Mr. Urquhart from within Keyera should be viewed by investors as a natural progression and a reaffirmation of the Company’s strategy.”

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Peloton Interactive Inc. (PTON-Q) jumped 8.8 per cent after an equity analyst at J.P. Morgan set a new Street-high target price for its stock and reaffirmed the exercise bike maker as a top idea.

Seeing it as a stay-at-home beneficiary but also positioned for long-term growth, Doug Anmuth hiked his target by 80 per cent to US$105, exceeding the consensus among analysts covering the stock of US$66.38.

“We continue to like shares into earnings and believe there is significant upside potential to consensus estimates both near and long term,” he said.

DraftKings Inc. (DKNG-Q) said on Wednesday basketball legend Michael Jordan has joined the e-sports and gambling company’s board as a special adviser.

Shares of the company jumped over 8 per cent.

Mr. Jordan, who has also agreed to take an equity interest in DraftKings, will provide strategic and creative inputs on areas such as product development and marketing activities, the sports betting company said.

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DraftKings was taken public earlier this year by an entity founded by Hollywood executives Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan in a deal that valued the company at US$3.3-billion.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA-Q) gained 3.8 per cent after several brokerages hiked their price targets on its shares following the announcement of powerful gaming chips in collaboration with Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

RBC Dominion Securities analyst Mitch Steves said: “we are positive on the NVDA product launch and raise our price target to $610 from $528. We think NVDA is a secular winner in the semiconductor space and believe the stock will continue to trade higher near term as well.”

United Airlines (UAL-Q) gained 2.4 per cent as it said Wednesday it plans to furlough 16,370 employees in October, down from an earlier target of 36,000 after thousands of workers took early retirement, buyouts, or long-term leaves of absence with the industry facing a slow recovery from the pandemic.

Airline officials said the final number could come down further before Oct. 1, when a prohibition on furloughs ends. They said the furloughs would be postponed if Washington approves another $25 billion to help passenger airlines cover payroll costs.

Flight attendants will bear the brunt of the cuts, with 6,920 getting furlough notices. About 2,850 pilots, 2,010 maintenance workers and 1,400 management and support staff would also lose their jobs.

The level of cuts, however, is 55 per cent lower than the number of layoff warnings that United sent to employees in July. The reduction was possible because 7,400 employees took buyouts or early retirement, and up to 20,000 more accepted reduced work schedules or took voluntary leaves lasting up to 13 months.

On the decline

Dollarama Inc. (DOL-T) slid 0.5 per cent after it beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly sales on Wednesday, as the Canadian discount retailer benefited from consumers spending more on household and cleaning products.

Net sales for Dollarama rose 7.1 per cent to $1.01-billion in the second quarter ended Aug. 2, compared with Wall Street expectations of $975.7-million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“Store traffic improved with each month as provincial reopening plans unfolded,” Chief Executive Officer Neil Rossy said.

Net earnings narrowed to $142.5-million from $143.2-million in the quarter, hurt by higher COVID-19-related costs.

Still, Dollarama earned 46 cents per share, compared with market estimates of 41 cents per share.

Goodfood Market Corp. (FOOD-T) dipped 0.7 per cent after announcing it has reached 280,000 active subscribers with the addition of 8,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter and 80,000 subscribers in the fiscal year, representing an increase of 40 per cent year-over-year.

“Robust demand momentum has driven the strong subscriber additions during the year, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and prompting stronger order rates and average order values, particularly in the second half of the fiscal year,” the company said.

See also: This TSX stock has doubled this year as diners stay at home. Here’s how the CEO expects to further reward investors

Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO-T) lost 3.4 per cent after it said Wednesday it had shut all production at its 220,000 barrel-per-day Kearl oil sands site in Canada due to an outage at a third-party diluent pipeline following a leak detected on Aug. 29.

“The impact of the outage and a timeline for restart is unknown at this time,” the company said in a release.

Apart from the Imperial site, the outage on Inter Pipeline’s 865,000 barrel-per-day Polaris diluent line due to a leak southeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta could also impact operations at Husky Energy’s Sunrise oil sands facility, Eight Capital said in a note.

The pipeline supplies ultralight oil to oil sands sites to be blended with heavy oil for transport.

The outage resulted in the discount on Canadian heavy oil to West Texas Intermediate to drop by $1.35 per barrel to $9.70, and it could drop further, Eight Capital said.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA-Q) slid 5.8 per cent after its largest outside shareholder, U.K.-based fund Baillie Gifford & Co., reduced its holdings in the electric vehiclemaker.

It now holds a less than 5-per-cent stake in the company, falling from 6.3 per cent.

“The substantial increase in Tesla’s share price means that we needed to reduce our holding in order to reflect concentration guidelines which restrict the weight of a single stock in clients’ portfolios,” said Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson in a statement.

“However, we intend to remain significant shareholders for many years ahead. We remain very optimistic about the future of the company. Tesla no longer faces any difficulty in raising capital at scale from outside sources but should there be serious setbacks in the share price we would welcome the opportunity to once again increase our shareholding.”

With files from staff and wires

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