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Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions

Though Quebecor Inc.’s (QBR.B-T) opportunity to enter the auction for wireless carrier Freedom Mobile has “suddenly materialized” after Canada’s competition watchdog vowed to take steps to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s (RCI-B-T) $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR.B-T), National Bank Financial analyst Adam Shine lowered his rating for the company’s shares to “sector perform” from “outperform,” citing uncertainty around its intentions moving forward.

“QBR has seen a door opened when no access was previously provided to the Freedom data room,” said Mr. Shine in a research note. “The company has apparently entered the process. We’ll see whether a bid occurs, QBR is indeed palatable to the government, and regulatory approvals can be achieved for the RogersShaw merger in July or perhaps by the fall.”

“QBR acquired 3500 MHz spectrum outside Quebec last summer and has talked about the possibility of testing MVNO, but it has been vocal over the past year about its desire to buy Freedom. The Competition Bureau could have other issues with the Rogers-Shaw deal beyond the Freedom auction process and bidders already presented, but QBR will now negotiate with a motivated seller as it seeks growth outside of its core market of Quebec.”

Quebecor invited by Rogers to join bidding for Shaw’s Freedom Mobile

Believing an “overhang [will] reassert itself ahead of more clarity and plans,” Mr. Shine maintained a target of $37 for Quebecor shares. The average target on the Street is $35.33, according to Refinitiv data.

“Shares were at $33.23 ahead of Rogers-Shaw merger news. The stock’s now at $29.54 and trading 10 basis points lower on EV/EBITDA,” he said. “A $4-billion Freedom buy would move leverage up 100 basis points to more than 4 times. QBR may need to pay more. The presumption has been that it would not raise equity and work with financial, strategic and/or infrastructure partners to manage costs/risks. We’ve always been confident in QBR’s execution, but its cable results of late have been sub-optimal and risks associated with Freedom and a foray west will likely temper near-term upside on the stock until greater clarity is achieved.”


National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen expects the “acceleration” in the global airline recovery to both support growth in Chorus Aviation Inc.’s (CHR-T) expanded aircraft leasing business and boost sentiment around its stock.

Accordingly, touting a “compelling” valuation, he raised his recommendation to “outperform” from “sector perform” after incorporating its US$845-million acquisition of Falko Regional Aircraft into his financial projections, which he sees leading it to become a more diversified business.

“With its Q1 release, Chorus provided guidance for 2022 including the recently closed Falko acquisition. Management is guiding to $420-455-million in EBITDA (versus our prior estimate that did not include the acquisition of $329 million) and EPS of $0.48-$0.56, versus our prior estimate of $0.42,” Mr. Doerksen said. “Based on the low end of the EPS guidance range (which looks achievable based on our updated estimates), the stock is currently trading at only 7.6 times current year P/E. Chorus also plans to launch a new US$500-million regional aircraft investment fund in Q2 that should provide for incremental earnings growth in 2023 and beyond.”

“One historical criticism of Chorus has been its over-reliance on Air Canada for earnings and cash flows, but with the Falko acquisition, management estimates that 50 per cent of total company earnings will be generated from non-Air Canada CPA-related operations. Indeed, the leasing segment’s customer base will increase to 32 airlines (from 19 previously) in 23 countries (from 16).”

Also expecting its to benefit from “improving” sentiment around airlines, Mr. Doerksen raised his target for Chorus shares to $5.50 from $4.65. The average is $5.89.

Elsewhere, others making changes include:

* Scotia Capital’s Konark Gupta to $5.75 from $6 with a “sector outperform” rating.

“The company provided much-needed clarity on the financial impact of the previously announced (now closed) acquisition of Falko Regional Aircraft, issuing segmented guidance for the first time,” said Mr. Gupta. “We believe guidance suggests solid double-digit EPS accretion from Falko, which along with its asset-light growth platform should more than offset the equity dilution from the issuance of preferred and common shares to Brookfield.”

* RBC Dominion Securities’ Walter Spracklin to $5 from $4.75 with an “outperform” rating.

“While Q1 was mixed, management provided solid new guidance on the back of the Falko acquisition,” he said. “The acquisition created the ‘world’s largest lessor focusing on regional aviation,’ which reaffirmed our favorable view on the market opportunity and CHR’s underlying valuation. We continue to view CHR as well positioned for a continued recovery in the regional air travel and aircraft leasing business environments.”

* BMO’s Fadi Chamoun to $6 from $5.50 with an “outperform” rating.

“The acquisition offers many strategic benefits for CHR and puts the company in a segment with much larger growth opportunities going forward,” he said.


Following better-than-expected first-quarter results, BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Peter Sklar now expects the lift in sales enjoyed by Jamieson Wellness Inc. (JWEL-T) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will “likely prove to be more resilient than we had previously anticipated.”

Accordingly, seeing its current valuation to be “compelling,” he raised his recommendation to “outperform” from “market perform.”

“We had been maintaining a Market Perform rating on Jamieson due to our concerns surrounding consumer behavior during COVID and its consequent potential impact on Jamieson’s future results,” said Mr. Sklar. “Clearly, during COVID, Jamieson’s sales were buoyed by consumers’ desire to boost their immunity, and as a result, there has been strong demand for relevant vitamins (e.g., vitamins C and D). Jamieson’s management has previously indicated that COVID resulted in the broadening of its customer base as new demographics purchased Jamieson’s products, and that it has improved its penetration within the younger cohorts (i.e., millennials and Gen Zs).

“Notwithstanding these positive developments, our concern had been that as societies emerged from COVID, demand for vitamins and Jamieson’s products would noticeably soften as consumers reverted to their traditional pre-COVID consumption habits. However, this concern has not played out as we had previously anticipated.”

Emphasizing “Jamieson has not experienced any change in consumption patterns for its products,” he raised his target for its shares to $42 from $37. The average is $42.50.

“we note that Jamieson has been an underperformer within the Canadian consumer staple/discretionary space year-to-date,” said Mr. Sklar. “This has resulted in what we consider to be an attractive entry point from a valuation perspective. Since the IPO, Jamieson’s enterprise value has generally been valued within a range of 14 times to 20 times forward EBITDA. The valuation did momentarily dip to about 12 times in 2019; however, this was associated with a short-term disappointment related to an operational issue that was promptly resolved resulting in a relatively quick recovery in the valuation.”


RBC Dominion Securities Robert Kwan believes the first-quarter results from Enbridge Inc. (ENB-T) highlight how its “two-pronged growth strategy that focuses on both conventional energy and low-carbon growth has the potential to deliver a multitude of attractive growth projects.”

“Enbridge’s diversified infrastructure footprint is well-positioned to capture growth from both conventional energy initiatives as well as energy transition initiatives,” he added. “For example, the company is poised to benefit from the ‘energy security’ theme via numerous pipeline projects to serve growing third-party LNG export capacity. On the energy transition side, Enbridge has numerous irons in the fire that lever off its existing assets including recent developments for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) in Alberta, as well as a newly-announced potential joint venture for low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production and exports to be located at Enbridge’s Ingleside terminal.”

Mr. Kwan called the results, while were in line with expectations, and reaffirmation of its guidance on Friday as “a solid start to 2022.”

“Relative to its original target, Enbridge noted thatstrong operational performance is expected to be offset by challenging market conditions, which continue to impact Energy Services, along with moderately higher financing costs, due to rising interest rates,” he said.

Calling its capital allocation plan “a nice mix of action and messaging,” the analyst added: “Despite the improved growth outlook as the energy security theme comes to the forefront, Enbridge has kept its eye on the ball when it comes to capital allocation, which featured one million shares being repurchased in Q1/22.”

Keeping an “outperform” rating for its shares, Mr. Kwan raised his target to $65 from $60, exceeding the $59.53 average.

“We believe the stock will continue to benefit from its focus on capital allocation (i.e., share buybacks; reducing leverage), higher dividend yield, and greater optionality from energy security themes and high commodity prices versus its regulated utility peers,” he said.

Elsewhere, National Bank Financial’s Patrick Kenny raised his target to $60 from $57 with an “outperform” rating, while TD Securities’ Linda Ezergailis bumped her target to $62 from $61 with a “buy” rating.


In response to a recent share price correction and related valuation contraction, TD Securities analyst Sean Steuart upgraded Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (BEP-N, BBU.UN-T) to “buy” from “hold” following the release of better-than-anticipated first-quarter results.

“BEP’s share price has declined 13 per cent since we lowered our rating to Hold in early April, compared with an average 8-per-cent decline for Canadian Renewable IPPs,” he said. “We believe that BEP is well-positioned to navigate near-term sector headwinds, and benefit from long-term tailwinds for clean power and global decarbonization.

“We believe that BEP deserves a valuation premium based on several factors: scale; broad investment opportunity-set; consistent value-accretive track record; ability to act on large/complex transactions; operating/procurement expertise; management depth; and a strong funding platform.”

His target for Brookfield’s U.S.-listed shares remains US$41. The average is US$36.88.

Others making target adjustments include:

* BMO’s Ben Pham to US$40 from US$42 with an “outperform” rating.

“BEP units have corrected 20 per cent from recent highs due to rising interest rates, index changes, inflation concerns, and mean reversion. Yet, the Q1/22 results illustrate that growth continues to rise, cash flows continue to become more diverse, and equity needs can be contained through capital recycling. A premium valuation is still warranted and we recommend building and/or adding to positions esp. for longer-term oriented investors. Combined with 18-per-cent potential total return to our new target of US$40 (vs. US$42 on higher WACC), we’re maintaining our Outperform rating.”

* National Bank Financial’s Jaeme Gloyn to US$38 from US$41 with an “outperform” rating.


Despite increased foreign exchange headwinds and macro “uncertainty,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst Daniel Perlin sees Telus International Inc.’s (TIXT-N, TIXT-T) first-quarter earnings beat as “a good jumping-off point” to reaffirm its full-year guidance, citing “a combo platter of recent new client wins, strong funnel conversions, large client ramps and preemptive headcount growth, up 33 per cent year-over-year, to support in market demand.”

On Friday, Vancouver-based Telus International, which went public last year in both New York and Toronto, reported revenue of US$599-million and adjusted earnings per share of 26 US cents. Both exceeded Mr. Perlin’s estimates ($593-million and 24 US cents) and the consensus projections on the Street (US$597-million and 25 US cents).

Mr. Perlin said an acceleration in organic revenue growth of 19 per cent year-over-year, versus 15 per cent in the previous quarter, “highlights the demand for TIXT’s solutions as well as investments the company has been making in sales & marketing.”

“During the quarter, TIXT benefitted from growth within its current customer base while signing on several new high-growth customers,” he said. “Within current clients, management cited strength in its largest client (a leading social media company), third largest client (Google), the world’s largest retailer, and others, gaining multimillion-dollar expansions in wallet share. On the conference call, management noted a trend of their large customers consolidating vendors, which has been to the benefit of TIXT because of its scale, robust capabilities, and service quality.”

Raising his revenue and earnings estimates for both fiscal 2022 and 2023, Mr. Perlin trimmed his target for Telus International shares to US$39 from US$41 after incorporating lower valuations from its peer group. The average is US$38.79.

Others making target adjustments include:

* Citi’s Ashwin Shirvaikar to US$30 from $32 with a “buy” rating.

“The demand environment remains solid with the AI data solutions business in particular continuing to benefit from the cross-sell of a more integrated offering,” said Mr. Shirvaikar. “The accelerated hiring in the quarter also gives support to continued elevated organic growth levels in the near-term. The regulatory return to office mandate in the Philippines is something to monitor but TIXT believes it is well positioned as it maintained its office lease commitments through the pandemic and has the office space for employees to return to (vs. some competitors who may have reduced their office presence through the pandemic). We continue to view TIXT’s valuation as attractive relative to the above-market growth that it offers.”

* BMO’s Keith Bachman to US$26 from US$34 with an “outperform” rating.

“We believe TELUS delivered a quality print across the board including a revenue and margin guidance raise, net of negative FX impact,” he said. “We thought TELUS’s demand commentary was encouraging, and we think that TELUS’s services would fare better than other service areas like Consulting if the economy were to meaningfully weaken. We are lowering our target price to $26 largely due to compression in tech multiples though we remain rated Outperform. We think TELUS’s fundamentals remain strong and the valuation at current levels is attractive especially relative to organic growth.”

* TD’s Daniel Chan to US$33 from US$38 with a “buy” rating.

* CIBC’s Stephanie Price to US$39 from US$44 with an “outperformer” rating.

“TELUS International (TI) reported a solid Q1, with 21-per-cent constant currency organic growth and a reiteration of 2022 guidance, despite an expected 3-per-cent FX headwind,” he said. “TI is navigating an uncertain environment well, adding a record number of new hires to accommodate accelerating client demand. While recessionary concerns persist, TI’s diversified customer base and client value proposition have offset past headwinds, including during the recent pandemic, and we see them as well positioned in the current environment. We continue to view TI as undervalued at these levels.”

* JP Morgan’s Tien-tsin Huang to US$32 from US$38 with an “overweight” rating.

* Credit Suisse’s Matthew Cabral to US$25 from US$32 with a “neutral” rating.


The negative sentiment swirling around the markets creates “a positive opportunity” for Equitable Group Inc. (EQB-T), said Scotia Capital analyst Meny Grauman ahead of release of its first-quarter results after the bell on Tuesday.

“Sometimes solid fundamentals get overwhelmed by a souring macro narrative, and this is exactly what is happening to EQB shares right now,” he said. “Since announcing strong year-end results punctuated by a well-received and highly accretive acquisition announcement for Concentra Bank the shares are down 28 per cent and have underperformed peers by 1,245 basis points. This has been driven by souring economic sentiment that in Canada is once-again fueling fear of a housing crash. This bearish sentiment is not just impacting EQB, but it has hit EQB harder than any other name we cover. The good news is that with the shares trading at just 5.2 times consensus 2023 EPS and just under current book value we see an attractive buying opportunity here even in a more challenging macro scenario.

“However, given the current market environment we do not think that a strong Q1 earnings result has the power to turn the bearish narrative on this name around all on its own, but we do see significant upside for investors with a longer time horizon.”

For the quarter, Mr. Grauman is projecting core earnings per share of $2.03, up a “modest” 2 per cent year-over-year against a " a tough comparable that was helped by reserve releases.”

“After a string of PCL recoveries in 2021, we are now forecasting a flat provision line this quarter,” he said. “Investors are increasingly pricing in a recession scenario, but we are not yet contemplating anything but a further normalization in loan loss ratios in the wake of the global pandemic. The market may be getting more nervous about EQB’s longer-term outlook in the face of rising rates, but for the quarter we continue to forecast strong underlying average loan growth of 15 per cent, which is at the top end of Management’s full-year target of 12-15 per cent. Recall that loans grew by 16 per cent in 2021, and we expect that momentum to have continued to start our 2022 even if we see it slowing modestly from here. At the same time our outlook for deposits also remains constructive for Q1, albeit slowing from 2021′s record pace.”

Keeping a “sector outperform” recommendation for Equitable shares, Mr. Grauman cut his target to $79 from $94. The average is $86.29.


In other analyst actions:

* Stifel’s Robert Fitzmartyn upgraded Perpetual Energy Inc. (PMT-T) to “buy” from “hold” with a $2 target, rising from 95 cents. The average is $1.63.

“Perpetual reported first quarter financial and operating results and indicated that it expects to be at the high end of previous guidance in terms of capital investment and production volumes,” he said. “After focusing on debt reduction, success in its East Edson Wilrich 4Q21 drilling program, coupled with promising results with multi-lateral horizontal wells in the Sparky formation at Mannville, we return the company to a BUY rating with a 12-month target price of $2.00/share founded on a discount valuation with the context of the current forward strip.”

* Scotia Capital’s Phil Hardie raised his Alaris Equity Partners Income Trust (AD.UN-T) target to $23 from $21 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $24.57.

* National Bank Financial’s Rupert Merer cut his target for Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (BEP-N, BEP.UN-T) to US$38 from US$41, keeping an “outperform” rating. Others making changes include: BMO’s Ben Pham to US$40 from US$42 with an “outperform” rating and iA Capital Markets’ Naji Baydoun to US$42 from US$45 with a “hold” rating. The average is US$41.38.

“BEP units have corrected 20 per cent from recent highs due to rising interest rates, index changes, inflation concerns, and mean reversion,” said Mr. Pham. “Yet, the Q1/22 results illustrate that growth continues to rise, cash flows continue to become more diverse, and equity needs can be contained through capital recycling. A premium valuation is still warranted and we recommend building and/or adding to positions esp. for longer-term oriented investors.”

* CIBC’s Scott Fromson cut his Dream Office REIT (D.UN-T) target to $28.50 from $31.50 with an “outperformer” rating. Other changes include: Scotia’s Mario Saric to $26.25 from $26.50 with a “sector perform” rating, RBC’s Pammi Bir to $26 from $27 with a “sector perform” rating and Desjardins’ Michael Markidis to $27 from $28 with a “buy” rating. The average is $27.53.

“Post an in-line start to the year, our stable view of Dream Office is intact,” said Mr. Bir. “While organic growth is off to a soft start, our outlook for the year ahead is unchanged. Indeed, as return to work continues to ramp up, we expect stronger leasing momentum to form and carry over into 2023. As well, potential capital recycling ahead could bolster the balance sheet, while also providing some capital for the NCIB. In short, D’s navigating well through a challenging backdrop.”

* National Bank Financial’s Don DeMarco raised his target for Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (DPM-T) to $10.50 from $10 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $12.36.

* RBC’s Greg Pardy raised his Enerplus Corp. (ERF-T) target to $18 from $17 with an “outperform” rating, while Stifel’s Cody Kwong bumped his target to $29 from $28 with a “buy” rating. The average is $21.64.

“Enerplus remains our favourite intermediate producer given its capable leadership team, solid execution, strong balance sheet and rising shareholder returns,” Mr. Pardy said.

* Scotia Capital’s Phil Hardie reduced his IGM Financial Inc. (IGM-T) target to $47, matching the consensus, from $51 with a “sector perform” rating. Others making changes include: TD Securities’ Graham Ryding to $48 from $51 with a “buy” rating, RBC’s Robert Kwan to $47 from $53 with a “sector perform” rating and Barclays’ John Aiken to $42 from $44 with an “underweight” recommendation.

“We continue to view IGM as the most defensive fundco in the current volatile market environment, with limited downside risk and attractive returns in a bull scenario where the broad market quickly recovers. We also estimate the stock is currently trading close to what we view as its trough multiple, and we see limited risk for further multiple contractions,” Mr. Hardie said.

* Credit Suisse’s Manav Gupta raised his Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO-T) target to $72 from $65 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $66.37.

“1Q 22 was a heavy upstream turnaround (planned and weather related downtime) quarter for IMO,” he said. “We expect Kearl volumes will rebound going ahead. We also forecast a very strong downstream earnings for IMO in 2022. On April 29, IMO’s Board of Directors, on the recommendation of a special committee of independent directors, has authorized the initiation of a substantial issuer bid pursuant to which the company will offer to purchase for cancellation up to $2.5-billion of its common shares. The company anticipates the offer will be completed before the end of June 2022. We believe the size of SIB shows IMO’s strong commitment to returning cash to its shareholders.”

* Mr. Gupta also raised his targets for Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE-T) to $32 from $28 with an “outperform” rating and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ-T) to $93 from $85 with a “neutral” rating. The averages are $27.37 and $89.76, respectively.

* Desjardins Securities’ Benoit Poirier raised his target for IBI Group Inc. (IBG-T) to $18, matching the consensus, from $17 with a “buy” rating.

“Overall, we were very pleased with IBI’s beat across the board and the strong backlog reported in 1Q, especially in the Buildings segment. Beyond that, we believe its healthy balance sheet will be a key lever for unlocking shareholder value through 2022 and beyond. We are also looking forward to hearing more details about IBI’s 2022‒26 strategic plan in September,” he said.

* RBC’s Paul Treiber cut his Kinaxis Inc. (KXS-T) target to $175 from $200 with an “outperform” rating, while ATD Capital Markets’ Martin Toner raised his target to $210 from $200 with an “outperform” rating and BMO’s Thanos Moschopoulos lowered his target to $185 from $200 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $210.

“While it has taken several quarters (due to long sales cycles), Kinaxis is now showing strong and accelerating momentum. The uptick reflects demand from enterprises to better manage the disruption across supply chains. Q1 headlines were above expectations, FY22 guidance was raised, and key leading indicators (pipeline, ARR, bookings) were strong,” said Mr. Treiber.

* Scotia Capital’s Orest Wowkodaw cut his Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp. (LIF-T) target to $45 from $48, remaining above the $42 average, with a “sector perform” rating.

* Expecting to see the impact of cost inflation and the Omicron variant on production levels in its first-quarter results, National Bank Financial’s Ryan Li cut his target for Lassonde Industries Inc. (LAS.A-T) to $170, matching the consensus, from $172 with an “outperform” rating.

“We believe Lassonde is a mature and historically well-managed company, with the potential to grow through future acquisitions (over the mediumto-long term) and continued organic vectors (market share gains),” said Mr. Li. “Beyond near-term cost and productivity pressures (which we view to be transient to a degree), we are looking for further details/progress updates regarding Lassonde’s multi-year strategic plan to drive long.”

* Canaccord Genuity’s John Bereznicki cut his Loop Energy Inc. (LPEN-T) target to $5 from $6.50, below the $5.35 average, with a “speculative buy” rating.

* RBC’s Robert Kwan raised his Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL-T) target to $58 from $49 with an “outperform” rating. Other changes include: National Bank Financial’s Patrick Kenny to $48 from $45 with a “sector perform” rating and ATB Capital Markets’ Nate Heywood to $54 from $52 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $52.13.

“Pembina remains our favoured way to play WCSB-focused midstream infrastructure, and we viewed the Q1/22 release as highlighting a number of positive aspects, including: (1) solid financial results and an early in the year increase in the 2022 guidance; (2) the business tangibly capitalizing on improving energy market fundamentals via a new 20-year midstream agreement with ConocoPhillips Canada and the reactivation of the Phase VIII Peace Pipeline expansion project; and (3) continued and demonstrated discipline around its capital allocation priorities, including generating free cash flow (after all capex and dividend payments), reducing leverage, and buying back stock,” said Mr. Kwan.

* RBC’s Sabahat Khan lowered his target for Premium Brands Holdings Corp. (PBH-T) by $1 to $125 with a “sector perform” rating. Other changes include: TD’s Linda Ezergailis to $54 from $50 with a “buy” rating, BMO’s Stephen MacLeod to $139 from $142 with an “outperform” rating and CIBC’s John Zamparo to $113 from $120 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $141.

“Premium Brands Holdings Corporation reported Q1 results that were largely in line with RBC and consensus expectations. Looking ahead, we are maintaining a cautious view given the potential for rising commodity prices to impact margins over the next year,” said Mr. Khan.

* Scotia Capital’s George Doumet lowered his Recipe Unlimited Corp. (RECP-T) target to $27 from $30 with a “sector outperform” rating, while CIBC’s John Zamparo cut his target to $16.50 from $19 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $20.88.

“We expect system sales to begin to show recovery in the coming quarters as consumers return to on-premise dining. However, there’s no shortage of challenges facing Recipe, including margins in the Corporate and Retail divisions, and a push to get to positive net openings. For the stock, the market’s move away from discretionary names causes us to reduce our blended EBITDA multiple,” said Mr. Zamparo.

* Mr. Doumet raised his Spin Master Corp. (TOY-T) target to $58 from $55, below the $64 average, with a “sector perform” rating.

* CIBC’s Hamir Patel raised his Resolute Forest Products Inc. (RFP-N, RFP-T) target to US$19 from US$16, keeping an “outperformer” rating. The average is $18.50.

* Canaccord Genuity’s Aravinda Galappatthige cut his targets for Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T) to $71 from $75 with a “hold” rating and Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR.B-T) to $35 from $40.50 with a “hold” rating. The averages are $79.29 and $40.36, respectively.

* RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan trimmed his Sprott Inc. (SII-T) target to $63 from $67, maintaining a “sector perform” rating, while TD’s Graham Ryding cut his target to $58 from $62 with a “hold” rating. The average is $62.50.

“Sprott delivered strong results in Q1/22, with AUM, net sales and Base Business EBITDA ahead of our forecast. The recent URNM acquisition further expands Sprott’s Uranium franchise with the Company expanding the product to Europe through a UCITS offering. We view Sprott’s shares as attractive for investors looking for a defensive investment idea with current positive fundamentals and high exposure to precious metals/resources,” said Mr. Kwan.

* RBC’s Alexander Jackson raised his Stelco Holdings Inc. (STLC-T) target to $62 from $61 with a “sector perform” rating, while Scotia Capital’s Michael Doumet lowered his target to $53 from $56 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $60.25.

“The recent supply shock has reversed Stelco’s fortunes in 2022,” Mr. Doumet said. “In the early part of the year, lower demand and destocking actions from customers drove lower prices (and higher discounts) and reduced shipments. That dramatically turned in the latter part of 1Q, with HRC up about 50 per cent. In recent weeks however, global steel markets have adjusted somewhat and prices have faded from their highs, which for now, means that after a strong 2Q margins should moderate in the 2H22.”

* Desjardins Securities’ Jerome Dubreuil raised his Telus Corp. (T-T) target to $36 from $34.50 with a “buy” rating. The average is $34.27.

“T reported in-line 1Q22 results, with various announcements that were broadly aligned with our expectations. We believe the strong 7–10-per-cent three-year dividend growth plan announced with the results is a signal that the company’s previous investments in its fibre footprint are now generating tangible benefits,” said Mr. Dubreuil

“In our view, T’s stock price does not fully capture the additional value the company offers shareholders through its large exposure to wireless, advanced FTTP program and ownership of attractive growth platforms. We believe its strong forward-looking management team has positioned the company well for long-term robust growth in connectivity, IT, health and agriculture.”

* National Bank Financial’s Patrick Kenny raised his TransAlta Corp. (TA-T) target to $15 from $14, below the $16.23 average, with a “sector perform” rating.

* National Bank Financial’s Rupert Merer cut his target for TransAlta Renewables Inc. (RNW-T) to $18.50 from $19 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $18.42.

* Canaccord Genuity’s Mark Rothschild lowered his target for True North Commercial REIT (TNT.UN-T) to $6.75 from $7, keeping a “hold” rating. The average is $7.13.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the Brookfield stock upgraded at TD Securities. This version has been updated.

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