Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
HEXO Corp. (HEXO-T) reported revenue of $23.8-million for its second quarter ended Jan. 31 up from $16.2-million the year before. Net revenue was $17-million, in line with expectations of $16.9-million and compared to $13.4-million a year earlier.
Its loss from operations for the quarter was $289.4-million, compared with a loss of $4.3-million in the prior period.
Argonaut Gold Inc. (AR-T) announced it will buy Alio Gold Inc. (ALO-T) in an “at-market merger” agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, all of the Alio issued and outstanding common shares will be exchanged on the basis of 0.67 of an Argonaut common share per each Alio common share.
Upon completion of the transaction, existing Argonaut and Alio shareholders will own approximately 76 per cent and 24 per cent of the company.
Argonaut will continue to be managed by the executive team in Reno, Nevada led by Peter Dougherty as CEO and David Ponczoch as chief financial officer.
Argonaut’s board will continue to be led by chairman James Kofman and Argonaut has invited two directors from Alio Gold to join the combined board.
The agreement includes non-solicitation provisions, a right to match any superior proposal and a US$2-million termination fee payable to Argonaut under certain circumstances, the release states.
Its net loss before tax decreased to $2.4-million from $3.5-million in the fourth quarter of 2018.
IMV Inc. (IMV-N; IMV-T), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, provided updates on the development of DPX-COVID-19, a vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus, and on the company’s business and clinical operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said it has used sequences of the virus and immunoinformatics to predict and identify several hundred epitopes, of which 23 were selected for their biological relevance to the virus and potential to generate neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
"Based on this analysis, IMV has begun manufacturing peptide candidates targeting these epitopes as well as planning with IMV’s suppliers and contract manufacturers to prepare for the cGMP batch required to support a clinical study in humans," it stated.
It said preclinical assays in animal models are also planned in April through May of this year "to validate the safety and potency of the vaccine candidate before initiating the human clinical study."
It said the design of a Phase 1 clinical study in 48 healthy subjects has been completed and clinical sites identified in both Nova Scotia and Quebec, in collaboration with Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCfV) and the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN).
IMV also said has initiated discussions with Health Canada in preparation for a clinical trial application. It said a meeting is being scheduled in the week of April 20, with the goal to initiate the clinical study in the summer of 2020.
Premier Gold Mines Ltd. (PG-T) confirmed an offer to acquire the remaining 50-per-cent interest in the Greenstone Gold Mines Partnership (GGM) has been made to Centerra Gold Inc. (CG-T) for about US$205-million. The offer includes a US$175-million cash payment and and the assumption of all Centerra’s obligations under the partnership agreement, including the remaining earn-in obligation of approximately US$30-million.
GGM's principal asset is the Hardrock Mine Project near Geraldton, Ont. Hardrock is one of the most significant large-scale, near permitted, mine development projects in North America.
"This offer should be viewed favourably by Centerra as we believe that it represents a substantial premium to the median of current analyst consensus valuations attributed to Centerra's 50-per-cent interest in GGM, full recovery of their total investment in GGM to date, and aligns with Centerra's stated focus of maximizing the value of its existing operating assets over new build opportunities," stated Ewan Downie, CEO of Premier. "The value of the offer is in excess of Premier's market capitalization, especially when you consider the company's considerable cash position."
Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd (OR-T; OR-N) announced an agreement with Investissement Québec for a non-brokered private placement of about 7.7 million common shares of the company at a price of $11 each. After the closing, Investissement Québec will hold 5.04 per cent of the company.
The net proceeds from the private placement will be used for general working capital purposes.
“We are pleased to announce today’s financing with Investissement Québec who have shown significant confidence in our business model during exceptionally volatile times," stated Sean Roosen, CEO. "Investissement Québec has been a partner since the early days of the Osisko group and we welcome them onto the shareholder roster in this more meaningful way."
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and events and circumstances resulting from that pandemic are expected to have a material impact on Freshii’s business, operations and financial performance for at least the first half of 2020, but this impact cannot be quantified at this time because of the significant uncertainty associated with the ultimate extent, duration and severity of the pandemic itself, and with the government restrictions, effects on consumer behaviour and other factors associated with or resulting from that pandemic, many of which are beyond the company’s control,” it stated.
Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust (CUF.UN-T) announced late Friday that it’s withdrawing its fiscal 2020 guidance “due to the growing economic and operating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainty with regard to its duration and the impact on the REIT’s tenants and their ability to satisfy rental payment obligations.”
Given construction is largely shut down in Quebec, the REIT said it has reduced its workforce by about 85 unionized construction workers. "The REIT is actively identifying other areas of its business where it can further reduce spending including, municipal tax deferrals, energy reductions, maintenance adjustments, staffing levels and capital expenditures in order to offset the expected negative impact on its business and cash flow in the short term," it stated.
As for transaction activity, the REIT said it expects liquidity in the property markets to slow and that it's "no longer forecasting disposition activity through the end of the year. Cominar continues to see value in properties such as its CN Central Station asset and will re-evaluate its value-maximization options for this irreplaceable and strategic Montreal property as market and economic conditions evolve."
The company said the Honduran National System for Risk Management announced on Sunday the extension of the suspension until April 12. Meanwhile, Aura said that it's conducting minimal care and maintenance and leaching activities during the suspension.
Knight Therapeutics Inc. (GUD-T) said that, as of late Friday, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had a material impact on its results. It also said it’s not possible, as of the date of the release, to estimate the impact that COVID-19 could have on the company. It said the continued spread of COVID-19 and the measures taken by the governments of countries affected “could disrupt the supply chain and the manufacture or shipment of product inventories and adversely impact the company’s business, financial condition or results of operations.” It also said the outbreak and mitigation measures "may also have an adverse impact on global economic conditions which could have an adverse effect on the company’s business and financial condition.
"The extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak impacts the company’s results will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information that may emerge concerning the severity of the virus and the actions to contain its impact," it stated.
Knight also said it's working "to alleviate some of the pressure that the global COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our healthcare systems and ensure that we maintain supply of our medicines to patients."
That includes employees working remotely, including field sales and medical teams, as well as "taking steps to establish digital and virtual channels to ensure that physicians and patients continue to receive continued support."
The company also said it has "sufficient liquidity to meet all operating requirements for the foreseeable future."
Funds from operations came in at approximately $3.4-million or 12.5 cents per unit versus $2.1-million or 11.9 cents a year earlier. Adjusted FFO was $3.4-million or 12.5 cents per unit which was in line with expectations and compared to $1.8-million or 10.1 cents a year earlier.