Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG-T; CPG-N) is revising its 2020 capital spending by approximately 35 per cent in response to the recent decline in commodity prices. “This conservative and disciplined approach demonstrates the company’s flexibility, focus on returns and prudent risk management to protect its balance sheet,” the company stated.
Crescent Point said its revised 2020 capital expenditures budget of $700-million to $800-million is expected to generate annual average production of 130,000 to 134,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. "This guidance reflects a high-graded, lower activity budget with fewer wells drilled," the company stated. "This program is expected to moderate the company's corporate decline rate and reduce variable expenses while also protecting the long-term value of its drilling inventory."
Endeavour Mining (EDV-T) said it was informed on Saturday that an employee at the Houndé mine in Burkina Faso tested positive for COVID-19. “The employee experienced mild symptoms hours after arriving at site, following his return from the UK,” the company stated. “In line [with] the company’s COVID-19 protocol and procedures, the Burkinabe health authorities were immediately notified, and the employee was placed in quarantine.”
The company said the "small number of people who were in contact with the employee have all been identified and have also been placed in quarantine as part of the preventative measures."
The company said it has further increased its preventive measures by introducing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for any employees or contractors arriving in Cote d’Ivoire or Burkina Faso.
“Endeavour has not witnessed any impact to production or operations at any of its mines or exploration activities,” it stated. “The company also has sufficient inventory of supplies and equipment, while suppliers have confirmed that placed and forecast orders are intact.”
"MTY's priority has been and continues to be the safety and well being of its employees, guests and partners," it stated in a release. "The company's focus has been on taking all the necessary precautions at its offices, including a work from home policy, and additional or modified practices across all of its locations, such as increased cleaning frequency and the suspension of certain practices like the use of reusable cups, in order to minimize risk."
CEO Eric Lefebvre says the company is “cognisant of the overall impact the decreased traffic is having on our restaurants and that we will need to support our franchisees during this difficult period.” He said the total amount of royalties that will be deferred during the four-week period is expected to be between $15-million and $18-million. “We are hopeful that the governments, our landlords and other partners will do their part as well,” he stated.
Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (GC-T) announced the temporary suspension of gaming facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, effective today and until further notice "in an effort to contribute to the containment of the COVID-19 virus. "
The company said no cases of the COVID-19 virus have been reported by any guests or employees of the company at any of its properties and the closures "are preventative in nature to limit the potential for transmission of the virus. The suspensions are temporary and will be reviewed as the situation with respect to the COVID-19 virus evolves."
BSR Real Estate Investment Trust (HOM.UN-T) announced that it has acquired Ariza Plum Creek Apartments, a 349-apartment unit residential community in Kyle, Texas for $55-million. The transaction was funded with $35.8-million in mortgage debt, and the REIT’s credit facility was used for the balance, it stated. “The addition of the property is expected to be immediately accretive to the REIT’s adjusted funds from operations on a per unit basis,” it said.
“We anticipate that methanol demand could be impacted in the second quarter of 2020 as there has been a substantial reduction in manufacturing activity in countries that have had significant outbreaks of COVID-19," stated CEO John Floren. "As a result, we are reducing production at our methanol facilities, where we have flexibility in our gas agreements, to prepare for lower demand for methanol. We do not expect this production change to have a significant impact on our cash flows in the current price environment.”
Mr. Floren added: “Given the uncertainty in the global economy and challenging commodity price environment, we are taking steps to strengthen our balance sheet while maintaining financial flexibility. We are evaluating all capital and operating spending, including our advantaged Geismar 3 project.”
Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI-T; AGI-N) announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire and cancel a 3 per cent net smelter return royalty payable on production from the Island Gold mine for $75-million.
"The royalty was acquired from a privately held company and is payable on gold production within four patented claims that comprise the majority of currently defined Mineral Reserves and Resources within the Island Gold deposit," the company stated. "The acquisition and elimination of the royalty will immediately reduce operating costs and increase operating cash flow while providing increased exposure to Island Gold’s significant exploration potential."
“The acquisition of the royalty further reduces costs at what is already a low-cost operation while also increasing our exposure to the tremendous exploration upside," stated CEO John McCluskey.
The company has also lowered its 2020 total cash cost and mine-site all-in sustaining cost guidance by $40 per ounce.
"Our goal is to do our part for the global well-being. As we navigate this complex and challenging landscape, we feel this is the best decision for our people, our clients, our partners and our community as a whole," said Brian Hill, founder and CEO.
Enerplus Corp. (ERF-T; ERF-N) announced it’s reducing its 2020 capital spending budget to $325-million, or approximately 40 per cent at the midpoint of prior 2020 guidance of $520-million to $570-million. “The reduced 2020 capital budget is focused on prioritizing the company’s balance sheet and free cash flow at US$35 per barrel WTI and US$2.25 per Mcf NYMEX,” the company stated.
Enerplus also said it's "moving swiftly to preserve financial flexibility, maximize value and maintain the long term sustainability of the company. Specifically, the company plans to cease all operated drilling and completions activity in North Dakota by mid-April. Based on the revised plan, the company will have 32 gross drilled uncompleted wells in inventory in North Dakota, creating valuable flexibility for rapid future capital deployment."
Under this reduced capital program, the company said 2020 crude oil and natural gas liquids production is expected to average between 50,000 to 52,000 barrels per day (from 57,000 to 60,000 barrels per day), representing a decline of approximately 7 per cent at the midpoint compared to 2019 average liquids production.
"Despite this initial decline in liquids production from 2019, Enerplus estimates it could sustain liquids production approximately flat to 2020 over the next several years with capital spending at similar levels to the revised 2020 plan," it stated.
It said total average production guidance for 2020 has also been reduced to 89,000 to 92,000 boe/pd (from 96,000 to 100,000 boe/pd) in line with the company's revised liquids production range.
“We’re taking immediate and decisive steps to protect value and maintain our balance sheet strength in response to the rapid deterioration in crude oil prices stemming from simultaneous supply and demand shocks,” stated CEO Ian Dundas.
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (WPRT-T; WPRT-Q) announced it would temporarily suspend production in its Brescia, Italy facility effective immediately. Westport said the company’s Italian operations in Cherasco and Albinea continue to operate “under the highest and most stringent standards for health and safety in line with the Italian government’s guidance, decrees and directives on COVID-19.”
The company said it intends to reassess the production suspension at its Brescia facility in two weeks.
Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (MPVD-T) announced the delay of the release of its year-end results, originally scheduled for today, by one week to March 23, after market hours, “in light of recent events related to the Covid-19.”
The company said the coronavirus impact on travel restrictions and self-isolation has hindered it and its auditors’ ability to complete the work on time. “At present, the virus is not impacting operations at the Gahcho Kué Mine as numerous precautionary measures have been taken over the past few weeks to ensure, as far as possible, a safe working environment for all employees and contractors travelling to and from site as well as the support offices in Yellowknife, Calgary and Toronto,” the company stated, adding that, “It is possible that the progress of Covid-19, the containment measures for Covid-19 and the economic impacts of these measures will impact on the business and operations of the company over the coming weeks, including mining, processing and sales of diamonds.”