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Inside the Market Market movers: Stocks that saw action Thursday - and why

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

On the rise:

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST-T) shares rose 7 per cent after BNN Bloomberg reported “early-stage interest behind the scenes to find a white knight that could potentially spare the cannabis producer from losing its licences if Health Canada exercises the full extent of its enforcement power.” Citing Multiple sources “directly familiar with the matter” BNN Bloomberg reports that at least two Canadian cannabis producers have been approached by bankers to gauge interest in acquiring CannTrust.

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eBay Inc. (EBAY-Q) shares are up 7 per cent after the company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit. The e-commerce company forecast third-quarter adjusted profit in the range of 62 cents US to 65 cents US per share and revenue of US$2.61-billion to US$2.66-billion. Analysts had expected a profit of 63 cents US on revenue of $2.68-billion US, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. San Jose, California-based eBay announced a review of its StubHub and eBay Classifieds businesses in March and said it would name two new directors to its board as part of an agreement to ease pressure on the board from activist investors.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM-N) shares rose 3 per cent in early trading after the company posted a 4.2-per-cent fall in quarterly revenue, in line with analysts’ estimates, as weakness in its legacy businesses of selling hardware and software offset growth in its high-margin cloud computing unit. The company’s net income rose to US$2.50-billion, or US$2.81 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from US$2.40-billion, or US$2.61 per share, a year earlier. Total revenue slipped 4.2 per cent to US$19.16-billion, in line with analysts’ estimates of US$19.16-billion. IBM’s results were released after Wednesday’s close.

Honeywell International Inc. (HON-N) shares were up 2 per cent in early trading after the company reported a 21.6-per-cent rise in quarterly profit, as higher demand for air travel drove sales of its aircraft parts and spares. Net income rose to US$1.54-billion, or US$2.10 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from US$1.27-billion, or US$1.68 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell about 15 per cent to US$9.24-billion due to certain divestitures.

Philip Morris International (PM-N) shares surged 7 per cent after the tobacco producer reported adjusted earnings of US$1.46 per share for its latest quarter, which beat the consensus estimate of $1.32 a share. Revenue also beat forecasts and the company raised its full-year forecast.

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NEPT-T) shares jumped 14 per cent after the company announced the closing of a US$41-million private placement.

Aimia Inc. (AIM-T) shares rose by nearly 1 per cent in early trading the day after Mexico’s leading airline threatened to sever ties with the company. As part of its second-quarter earnings, Grupo Aeromexico has disclosed it is “re-evaluating all aspects of its customer loyalty strategy.” The company said it wants to minimize its reliance on the loyalty-program provider PLM Premier and is considering a “seamless transition away” from its plan. Aimia issued a response after markets closed on Wednesday saying it’s “disappointed that Aeromexico would disclose non-material communications as a means to leverage its desire to buy back Aimia’s interest in PLM.”

On the decline:

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A handful of energy stocks were down on Thursday alongside a 2-per-cent drop in August West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET-T) was down by about 4 per cent in early trading, while Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE-T) was down about 3 per cent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ-T), Encana Corp. (ECA-T), Cenovous Energy (CVE-T) were each down by more than 2 per cent.

Netflix Inc. (NFLX-Q) shares were down 10 per cent in early trading after the streaming giant said it lost 126,000 paid subscribers in the United States, marking the first time the service had shed domestic subscribers since launching its digital service more than a decade ago. During the quarter, Netflix added 2.7 million worldwide subscribers, short of the five million expected. Six brokerages cut their share price targets to reflect the dip in the shares, but there were no cuts to their ratings on the stock, still seen by a majority of Wall Street firms as a high-potential growth business and a clear “buy”.

Shares of SAP SE (SAP-N) were down 5 per cent in early trading after the company told investors not to expect a major improvement in margins before next year. Europe’s most valuable tech firm reiterated its forward guidance and CEO Bill McDermott expressed his “absolute commitment” to meeting a strategic goal of expanding margins by 5 percentage points through 2023. Revenue and operating profit came in below expectations, weighed down by one-off costs and weakness in Asian markets.

Shares of United Rentals Inc. (URI-N) dropped 6 per cent in early trading after the equipment-rental company trimmed its guidance on revenue and adjusted EBITDA. United Rentals reported earning of US$270 million, or US$3.44 a share, compared with US$270 million, or US$3.20, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 21 per cent to US$2.29 billion from US$1.89 billion.

Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM-Q) shares fell 1 per cent after the world’s No. 1 chip maker, was fined US$272-million by the European Commission for blocking a rival from the market about a decade ago, its second EU antitrust penalty. The European Commission, the EU’s competition regulator, accused Qualcomm of predatory pricing between 2009 and 2011 aimed at forcing out British phone software maker Icera, now part of Nvidia Corp. “Qualcomm’s strategic behavior prevented competition and innovation in the market,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

With files from wire services

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