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

Shopify Inc. (SHOP-N, SHOP-T) “continues to capitalize on what is a large and evolving market opportunity,” said Citi’s Tyler Radke.

He was one of several equity analysts on the Street to raise their target prices for shares of the Ottawa-based e-commerce giant following Wednesday’s release of its second-quarter financial results, which saw it exceed US$1-billion in revenue for the first time.

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Mr. Radke called the revenue result, which was up 57 per cent year-over-year and 7 per cent above the consensus forecast, “strong,” however he warned the “magnitude of upside is waning” after exceeding the previous quarter’s result by just 14 per cent.

“There were broad drivers, though Merchant Solutions (transactional-driven) driving outsized contribution,” he said. “Overall, results indicated continuation of broader eCommerce momentum into Q2 despite a gradually reopening of offline channels & consumer activity, suggesting elevated merchant productivity is durable.”

“Blended GM% of 56.0 per cent was ahead of Citi/Street 53.8 per cent/53.4 per cent, and OPM% of 21.2 per cent was again far ahead of Citi/Street’s 12.8 per cent/10.6 per cent estimates given higher topline (though opex also 13 per cent below estimates). The company reiterated FY21 as an investment-heavy year, with accelerating opex plans playing out in 2H. Management’s directional guidance was also reiterated, with more balanced seasonality and growth rates between the two revenue streams.”

Touting that improved profitability, Mr. Radke hiked his earnings per share projections for the third and fourth quarters to US$2.26 and US$2.52, respectively, from 94 US cents and US$1.03. His full-year 2021, 2022 and 2023 estimates rose to US$15.11, US$13.09 and US$13.25 from US$5.01, US$5.38 and US$6.32.

Reaffirming his “neutral” recommendation for Shopify shares, he raised his target to US$1,650 from US$1,420 to reflect the increased financial forecast. The average target on the Street is US$1,625.65, according to Refinitiv data.

“We note our numbers are materially higher vs Street estimates in the near and medium-term, though it appears shares are already pricing in this more optimistic scenario,” he said. “We continue to believe that more meaningful upside to shares from here will likely come from further evidence of SFN, Shop App, and other MS monetization levers / contribution to incremental topline. This view is corroborated with relatively little share price reaction observed thus far after strong results in Q2.”

“We rate Shopify shares as Neutral, High Risk because while we appreciate the magnitude of the TAM, an acceleration of secular tailwinds coming into focus, a strong management team and record of execution, we believe much of this is priced in at the current multiple — which earns a significant premium to the implied multiple of its growth/margin framework and implies a 10-yr revenue CAGR that appears potentially too high.”

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Others making target adjustments include:

* Canaccord Genuity’s David Hynes to US$1,450 from US$1,350 with a “hold” rating.

“Our primary hesitation with SHOP has been valuation, which at 30 times EV/R on calendar 2022 estimates still remains a hurdle. We missed our chance to opportunistically upgrade the stock on its last couple of pullbacks, and we hope to be more aggressive should we get another chance. This is a great business that’s executing well, it’s really just about getting comfortable with an entry point,” he said.

* Mizuho’s Siti Panigrahi to US$1,500 from US$1,300 with a “neutral” rating

“We believe Shopify remains well positioned to gain E-commerce share through the addition of new merchants previously held to offline activity. The company’s expansion efforts continue both up-market and internationally with its Merchant Solutions portfolio, an engine that could drive sustainable robust growth,” said Mr. Panigrahi.

* Argus’ Jim Kelleher to US$1,850 from US$1,650 with a “buy” rating.

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“We continue to recommend the stock for risk-tolerant investors aware of the volatility in high-beta names,” he said.

* CIBC World Markets’ Todd Coupland to $1,750 from US$1,700 with a “neutral” rating.

* Jefferies’ Samad Samana to US$1,800 from US$1,675 with a “buy” rating.

* Credit Suisse’s Timothy Chiodo to US$1,700 from US$1,400 with a “neutral” rating.

* Oppenheimer’s Brian Schwartz to US$1,700 from US$1,500 with an “outperform” rating.

* Baird’s Colin Sebastian to US$1,700 from US$1,550 with a “buy” rating.

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* Piper Sandler’s Brent Bracelin to US$1,650 from US$1,600 with an “overweight” rating.

* DA Davidson’s Tom Forte to US$1,450 from US$1,275 with a “neutral” rating.

* Wedbush’s Ygal Arounian to US$1,800 from US$1,650 with an “outperform” rating.

* ATB Capital Markets’ Martin Toner to $2,500 (Canadian) from $2,250 with an “outperform” rating.

* Goldman Sachs’ Christopher Merwin to US$1,919 from US$1,685 with a “buy” rating.

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Scotia Capital analyst Konark Gupta sees Air Canada (AC-T) poised for a fourth-quarter turnaround as demand continues to improvement, leading him to raise his rating for its shares to “sector outperform” from “sector perform” on Thursday.

“The stock has lost 15 per cent since mid-March (similar to JETS and XAL) despite a significant ramp-up in vaccinations across Canada,” he said. “We believe prior uncertainty related to Canadian travel restrictions, renewed COVID-19 concerns (i.e., delta variant), fuel inflation, and recent equity dilution (government funding) are the key drivers behind this weakness. However, new bookings are turning the corner as travel restrictions are easing and demand is accelerating over the next 6-9 months, particularly for domestic, transborder, sun destination and select transatlantic routes. As a result, we think EBITDA and operating cash flow could potentially turn around by Q4, if not earlier.”

After a second-quarter earnings beat that featured noticeable sequentially improvement, Mr. Gupta is now projecting $1-million per day cash burn by the fourth quarter, which he said equates to positive operating cash flow (net of interest) and positive FCF (net of capex) for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019.

“We could be conservative yet again as we note Canada has relaxed quarantine rules for fully vaccinated Canadians effective early July, is easing cross-border travel restrictions effective early August, and is planning to ease travel restrictions on foreign nationals effective early September,” he added.

“We believe net bookings accelerated in Q2 after being flattish over the prior three quarters. Advance ticket sale liability declined to $1.7-billion from $2.3-billion at the end of Q1 (was also $2.3-billion in Q4/20 and Q3/20). However, the ticket liability would’ve been up quarter-over-quarter, adjusted for $997-million in refund of non-refundable tickets (as part of the government deal). AC witnessed a significant increase in bookings in June, following the government’s announcement of easing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians. Bookings continue to rise especially for domestic, transborder, sun destination and transatlantic travel. Thus, we expect a rebound in ticket liability in Q3 despite AC’s guided $200-million in refund of non-refundable tickets.”

With domestic, transborder and sun markets “driving recovery,” Mr. Gupta raised his target for Air Canada shares to $31,up from $28 and above the $30.63 average.

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“We continue to see H2/21 and early 2022 as transition periods before AC approaches full recovery in late 2022 or 2023. In our blue-sky scenario, we value AC shares at $38 to $43, reflecting full recovery in EBITDA and net debt,” he said.

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Seeing it “sticking to the script,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst Sam Crittenden reaffirmed First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM-T) as his top copper pick, pointing to its ability to generate “strong” free cash flow, “execute on the strategy” to pay down its $2-billion debt, return capital to shareholders and pursue organic growth.

“We estimate FM can generate $2.1-billion of FCF in 2021 at spot copper for a yield of 15 per cent vs. copper peers at 11 per cent,” he said. “The company has growth at Cobre Panama as the mill expands to 100 mtpa from 85 Mtpa by 2024 and is evaluating Enterprise in Zambia (potential for 30 ktpa nickel with a decision in late 2022); Las Cruces underground in Spain (technical report in H2/2021), and the S3 expansion in Zambia ($650-million capex which could start in 2023).”

Though its second-quarter results, released Tuesday after the bell, exceeded expectations, Mr. Crittenden did warn negotiations on reaching a new mining contract for its Cobre Panama open-mine represent a potential headwind moving forward.

“This essentially comes down to the mining royalty which was 2 per cent under Law 9 but is 5 per cent under the current mining code,” he said. We currently model 5 per cent as our base case but if it went to 7 per cent it would be a 2-per-cent hit to our NAVPS estimate, or a 6-per-cent hit if it went to 10 per cent. “FM did not comment on the timing as it is a government process.”

After slight tweaks to his financial projections for the remainder of the year, Mr. Crittenden raised his target for First Quantum shares to $37 from $36, keeping an “outperform” recommendation. The average is $34.21

“First Quantum provides investors strong exposure to copper (88 per cent of 2021 estimated EBITDA) and potential for attractive returns based on growing copper production (10 per cent from 2020-2022) and strong FCF generation (average 16-per-cent FCF yield at spot commodities and $4.00 per pound copper over the next 3 years),” he said. “Management has a favorable track record of project development, mining expertise, and a conservative ramp-up forecast for Cobre Panama. As a result we expect the shares to re-rate higher over the course of the next 12 months.”

Elsewhere, Citi’s Alexander Hacking reduced his target to $32 from $33, keeping a “buy” rating.

“We remain at Buy on FM seeing the company generating 12-per-cent attributable-FCF yield at spot copper which offsets the headline risk,” he said. “The key near-term catalysts appear to be geopolitical. Management noted more than once that upcoming Zambia elections could create noise. Panama royalties are also up for negotiation and we raise these in our model to 5 per cent from previous 2 per cent given that Law 9 seems over.”

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With the release of “solid” second-quarter results and a “positive” outlook from its management, Desjardins Securities analyst Chris Li reiterated 2021 is likely to be a “strong recovery year” for Loblaw Companies Ltd. (L-T).

However, he sees that optimistic view already partly priced into its shares after a period of outperformance and feels the focus is now shifting to 2022 and the retailer’s ability to maintain its momentum and delivery on earnings per share growth above its 8-10-per-cent framework.

“There is upside from a renewed focus on execution and reprioritizing strategic initiatives under the new management team,” Mr. Li said.

The analyst said the biggest surprise from Loblaw’s second-quarter results, which were released early Wednesday, was stronger-than-expected retail gross improvement. It logged a 1.3-per-cent gain, topping the 0.5-per-cent projection and building on 0.5 per cent in the first quarter.

“Management believes the margin strength is sustainable. Key drivers: (1) cycling through pricing investments last year, which has put L in a stronger competitive position; (2) vendor support, including a supplier fee increase; (3) sales recovery of higher-margin products (cosmetics, Rx, apparel, etc); and (4) ongoing process and efficiency initiatives (supply chain, shrink, pharmacy distribution and goods not for resale),” he said.

“Management expects EPS to grow by 20–25 per cent in 2021. Our 2021 EPS estimate of $5.20 (up 28 per cent year-over-year) is above the high end of management’s target. We believe there is upside to management’s target since the reduction in COVID-19-related expenses alone should drive more than half of the growth. Management expects food inflation to accelerate in 2H, with positive implications for earnings. Partial offsets will come from a decline in food sales volume and higher SG&A from an increase in discretionary spending, investments in growth initiatives and sales growth at Shoppers.”

After raising his revenue and earnings estimates through 2022, Mr. Li increased his target for Loblaw shares to $88 from $85, maintaining a “hold” rating. The average target on the Street is $87.25.

Other analysts making target adjustments include:

* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Peter Sklar to $85 from $71 with a “market perform” rating.

“No matter how investors want to look at the margin, clearly the trend is improvement which management attributed largely to the re-opening of high-margin service counters in the conventional grocery store, a favourable mix of higher-margin apparel, pharmacy prescriptions and services, and strength in over-the-counter products related to the allergy season,” he said. “Going forward, management also expects that higher-margin beauty mix will improve as consumers resume mobility. The bottom line on all these factors is that management expects that the gross margin rate will remain at the Q2/21 level for the remaining quarters of the year which we believe is above expectations and will result in a general slight upward revision to the quarterly earnings estimates.”

* Scotia Capital’s Patricia Baker to $86 from $73 with a “sector perform” rating.

“The current valuation on L shares is close to a five-year high and two full multiple points higher than the five-year average, which suggests to us the shares are at this point fairly valued,” she said. “As such, we maintain our Sector Perform rating. The shares have had a good run year-to-date, up 31 per cent, with an 21-per-cent move since the release of Q1/F21 results. Investors appear to have warmed to the notion that under changed leadership at the top, there will be a renewed focus on driving improved operating performance.”

* RBC’s Irene Nattel to $104 from $103 with an “outperform” rating.

“Strong Q2 results above forecast and at high end of consensus range and upward revision to 2021 expectations should be well-received by investors,” said Ms. Nattel. “Looking ahead, enhanced focus on operating efficiency, normalizing footfall in the discount channel and contribution from Shoppers, roll-off of certain pandemic costs, and reopening of high margin departments should sustain momentum and enable Loblaw to deliver at or above targeted EPS growth of low to mid-twenty % in 2021. Financial results, outlook, and absolute and relative valuation support our constructive view on the stock.”

* CIBC World Markets’ Mark Petrie to $96 from $87 with an “outperformer” rating.

“Loblaw lapped a rough Q2/20 with strong results, exhibiting healthy top-line momentum and excellent gross margins. There is significant noise given the volatility of the pandemic, but we are gaining confidence in the company’s ability to deliver more consistent results with margin - and multiple - upside over time,” said Mr. Petrie.

* ATB Capital Markets’ Kenric Tyghe to $92 from $85 with an “outperform” rating.

* TD Securities’ Michael Aelst to $95 from $80 with a “buy” rating.

* National Bank Financial’s Vishal Shreedhar to $91 from $84 with an “outperform” rating.

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With organic growth “picking up,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Treiber expects further gains for CGI Inc. (GIB.A-T) from “solid” booking momentum.

Before the bell on Wednesday, the Montreal-based firm reported second-quarter results that largely fell in line with the analyst’s forecast. Revenue dipped 1 per cent year-over-year to $3.02-billion, just below Mr. Treiber’s estimate of $3.08-billion and consensus of $3.07-billion due largely to a greater-than-anticipated foreign exchange headwind. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.36 was a penny below the analyst’s projection but 1 cent above the consensus.

“Constant currency organic growth improved to estimated 3.1 per cent year-over-year, above RBC’s estimate of 2.3 per cent and up from negative 2.7 per cent Q2,” said Mr. Treiber. “While year-over-year comparables were easy (negative 6-per-cent constant currency organic growth Q3/FY20), the rate of change in organic growth is improving. On a two-year stacked basis, organic growth improved 100 basis points quarter-over-quarter, compared to just 40 basis point improvement Q2. CGI’s quality of revenue is also improving, as managed services growth outpaced SI&C (up 1 per cent vs. down 3 per cent year-over-year). We slightly increase our FY21 organic growth estimate to negative 0.2 per cent from negative 0.5 per cent while keeping our FY22 estimate unchanged at 3.4 per cent.”

Expecting further gains from its M&A pipeline after management reiterated its ambitious plan to double the company’ size over the next 5–7 years, Mr. Treiber increased his target for CGI shares to $125 from $120, keeping an “outperform” rating. The average is $120.07.

“Our price target equates to 13 times CY22 estimated EV/EBITDA (previously 12 times), above global IT services peers (12.3 times), in our view justified by the likelihood of sustained growth from CGI’s buy-and-build strategy over the next several years,” he said. “CGI has converted 57 per cent of adj. EBITDA into FCF over the last five years.”

Other analysts making changes include:

* Canaccord Genuity’s Robert Young to $125 from $120 with a “buy” rating.

“Overall, we see COVID-related headwinds subsiding and expect positive momentum in revenue and EBIT margins going forward,” said Mr. Young. “Management reiterated the long-held aspiration for doubling the company in 5-7 years, which is dependent upon M&A. Management notes the pipeline of opportunities has increased while valuations have become higher, which may limit near-term action.”

* Raymond James’ Steven Li to $129 from $120 with an “outperform” rating.

“The IT market looks quite robust right now and combined with strong new business bookings, we would expect CGI organic growth to continue to improve/accelerate into the new fiscal year — which should bode well for its share price,” said Mr Li.

* Scotia Capital’s Paul Steep to $130 from $124 with a “sector outperform” rating.

“We believe CGI is positioned to benefit from ongoing efforts by firms to transform their operations and to increase their focus on new/updated systems, although we continue to monitor for volatility in the demand environment given the ongoing pandemic. In our view, CGI remains positioned to execute well despite end-market volatility, generating strong FCF to both invest in its business and provide returns to shareholders through capital deployment,” said Mr. Steep.

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Following the release of weaker-than-anticipated results that pushed its shares lowered by 12.9 per cent on Wednesday, a pair of analysts downgraded Real Matters Inc. (REAL-T).

National Bank Financial analyst Richard Tse lowered the Toronto-based technology company, which provides services for the mortgage lending and insurance industries, to “sector perform” from “outperform” with a $15.50 target, down from $35. The average is $23.88.

TD Securities’s Daniel Chan cut Real Matters to “hold” from “buy” with a $15 target, down from $22.

Others making target changes include:

* Canaccord Genuity’s Robert Young to $22 from $25 with a “buy” rating.

* BMO’s Thanos Moschopoulos to $15 from $18 with a “market perform” recommendation.

“Real Matters’ FQ3 print underwhelmed with a material miss across the board versus CG and Street estimates,” said Mr. Young. “While refi activity was flat in the quarter, the drop in net revenue was caused by a strategic pivot toward allocating resources for a potential Tier 1/Tier 2 title win and management’s decision to rationalize non-core elements of the diversified title business, which have not been ported onto the cloud service and was foreshadowed earlier. With diversified title revenue removed, we expect FQ4 and FQ1/22 to be impacted as well. That said, Real Matters has been winning new clients and share across both business lines and suggested that the pace had increased in FQ4. Real Matters is marshalling all its resources in support of a large Tier 1 ramp in Title to the detriment of near-term financial performance. With the stock down 12 per cent after earnings, we believe the share price will be subdued in the near term as investors absorb the longer-term benefits. With our estimates lowered and a lower multiple to reflect the near-term volatility.”

* Scotia’s Paul Steep to $17 from $22 with a “sector perform” rating.

“We remain cautious on Real Matters shares given the impact of repositioning the firm’s U.S. title business and cyclicality in U.S. mortgage refinancing market,” he said. “We would opt to take a cautious approach to the stock in watching for stabilization of the firm’s Title operations and up-take by new Tier 1 and 2 clients in this segment. Factors we are monitoring in revisiting our view on the shares include the ramp-up of volumes in U.S. Title, given the new Tier 1 client launch earlier in 2021, and additional new client wins.”

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A group of analysts on the Street hiked their targets for Intact Financial Corp. (IFC-T) following the release of better-than-anticipated second-quarter results.

Late Wednesday, Intact reported net operating earnings per share of $3.26, easily exceeded the Street’s forecast of $2.37.

“All four operating divisions posted underwriting profit above our estimates. The outperformance was mainly driven by higher positive prior-year reserve developments (PYRD), lower CAT losses, higher distribution income and a higher contribution from RSA,” said Desjardins Securities’ Doug Young.

He raised his target to $190 from $185 with a “buy” rating. The average is $193.82.

“We like IFC’s high-quality management, the RSA acquisition and near-term market outlook. That said, as conditions return to normal, it faces a tough comp in 2022,” he added.

Others making changes include:

* BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Tom MacKinnon to $200 from $190 with a “outperform” rating.

“Superior market positioning, strong defensive characteristics, its already exceptional competitive advantage in data analytics and a management team that continues to deliver, we see no reason why IFC’s premium multiple should abate, especially as it delivers on the RSA acquisition. We see target multiple appreciation as IFC, a proven acquirer, delivers, especially in these favourable P&C markets,” said Mr. MacKinnon.

* Scotia Capital’s Phil Hardie to $193 from $190 with a “sector outperform” rating.

“Despite the upside surprise, the stock response was tepid as investors appear to be hesitant to reward exceptional operating performance until conditions normalize. The combination of mild weather, low catastrophe losses, reduced driving frequency, and favourable prior year reserve releases, all contributed to the much stronger than expected underwriting profitability. That said, we believe the Intact team (and stock) deserve more credit for the stellar performance,” said Mr. Hardie.

* CIBC’s Paul Holden to $197 from $188 with an “outperformer” rating.

“Our positive investment thesis is supported by confirmation of RSA financial benefits, organic premium growth, and strong margins across business lines. BVPS growth over the next year, plus potential for multiple expansion result in compelling upside potential,” said Mr. Holden.

* RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan to $197 from $196 with an “outperform” rating.

* Raymond James’ Stephen Boland to $193 from $190 with a “strong buy” rating.

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In other analyst actions:

* BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Jackie Przybylowski trimmed her target for shares of Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN-T) to $16 from $16.50 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $15.33.

“Lundin’s Q2 production is in line with expectations, but the market’s focus will be on two key announcement,” she said. “Positive: Lundin has introduced a new dividend payout framework, which significantly increases the company’s dividend yield and acknowledges Lundin’s strong balance sheet. Negative: Lowered guidance at Candelaria in 2022-2023 is a surprise after the recent cut to 2021 expectation.”

* BMO’s Jenny Ma raised her Melcor REIT (MR.UN-T) target to $7 from $6.50 with a “market perform” rating, while Desjardins Securities’ Kyle Stanley increased his target to $7.25 from $7 with a “hold” rating. The average is $7.19.

“We are increasing our target ... reflecting slightly better-than-expected 2Q21 results,” said Mr. Stanley. “Continued stability on the operational front and elevated rent collections were the primary contributors to the 14% distribution increase. On a relative basis, MR screens well against diversified peers (8.1x 2022 FFO vs 10.5x); however, ongoing leasing challenges within the Alberta office market keep us on the sidelines.”

* Credit Suisse analyst Jailendra Singh downgraded MindBeacon Holdings Inc. (MBCN-T) to “neutral” from “outperform” and slashed his target to $5 from $12, while TD Securities’ Graham Ryding lowered it to “speculative buy” from “buy” with a $7.50 target, down from $10. The average on the Street is $9.88.

“MBCN reported mixed 2Q21 results and provided some business updates, which leads us to question the company’s NT growth prospects,” said Mr. Singh. “In fact, with the virtual mental health market getting increasingly competitive, these developments are unlikely to ease out anytime soon for MBCN, which is still a sub-scale operator. Specifically, while MBCN continues to see benefits from the Ontario contract and increase sales in the B2B2C channel, growth has been offset by a decline in DTC sales as more consumers opt for the free-to-use Ontario program. Additionally, MBCN has seen sales cycles in the B2B2C channel lengthen. Further, the growth outside of the Ontario contract (21 per cent year-over-year for Asynchronous revs on a small revenue base in a high growth market) has been below optimal. While MBCN operates in a highly attractive market, where the consolidation will be an ongoing theme, the company’s highly concentrated business mix makes them less of an attractive target. Finally ... despite shares being down 40 per cent over the last three months, we expect shares to remain range-bound pending the clarity on the Ontario Government contract.”

* Raymond James’ Jeremy McCrea raised his Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU-T) target to $44.50 from $44 with a “strong buy” rating. The average is $47.17.

“A FCF yield of 16 per cent should support further upside in the shares as the company continues to build out what we believe will be the most dominant gas franchise on the continent by the middle of this decade underpinned by a classleading cost structure and a premier market diversification strategy,” he said.

* Mr. McCrea also increased his target for Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE-T) to $3.50 from $3.25 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $3.13.

“BTE’s leverage profile has been a major benefactor of rising oil prices. While still elevated compared to peers, we highlight the company’s strong FCF conversion with management guiding to a reinvestment rate of 70 per cent at US$55 WTI to maintain production over the next five years. Put another way, at current prices we would expect BTE to continue to rapidly equitize debt which in combination with improving E&P results across the portfolio should help the shares maintain the momentum experienced year-to-date. Within the capital program, results from multiple ‘8-leg’ Peavine Clearwater wells later this year should serve as a key catalyst for the shares.”

* Raymond James’ Brian MacArthur increased his Cameco Corp. (CCO-T) target to $25 from $24, exceeding the $23.50 average, with an “outperform” rating.

“We believe Cameco provides investors with lower-risk exposure to the uranium market given its diversification of uranium sources,” said Mr. MacArthur. “These sources are supported by a portfolio of long-term contracts that provide some downside protection in periods of depressed spot uranium prices, while maintaining optionality to higher uranium prices. In addition, the company has multiple operations curtailed that can be brought back should uranium prices increase. Although the 2021 tax court decision applies only to the 2003, 2005, and 2006 tax years, we view it as a positive for CCO given we believe it will be relevant in determining the outcome for other years and reduces risk related to the CRA dispute.”

* RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan raised his Equitable Group Inc. (EQB-T) target to $163 from $161 with an “outperform” rating, while National Bank Financial’s Jaeme Gloyn raised his target by $1 to $179 also with an “outperform” recommendation. The current average is $166.13.

“Q2/21 results were good but largely in line with our forecast based on pre-tax, pre-PCL earnings (normalized EPS was ahead of our forecast due to better-than-forecast loan loss provisions). Subject to shareholder approval, EQB plans to implement a 2-for-1 stock split. We think EQB continues to do a good job executing on its growth strategy,” said Mr. Kwan.

* RBC’s Sam Crittenden bumped up his Capstone Mining Corp. (CS-T) target to $7, matching the average, from $6.50 with an “outperform” rating, while TD Securities’s Craig Hutchison also raised his target to $7 from $6.50 with a “buy” recommendation.

“Capstone continues to execute well operationally to take full advantage of the higher copper price environment (with a realized copper price of $4.78 per pound in Q2) and we forecast strong FCF in H2 and into 2022. Advancing Santo Domingo presents the next step in value creation with a partnership announcement expected in Q3, which could be a positive catalyst,” said Mr. Crittenden.

* RBC’s Irene Nattel hiked her George Weston Ltd. (WN-T) target to $149 from $138, keeping an “outperform” rating. The average is $129.86.

“Although focus of WN results is always on performance/outlook at WN Foods, in the wake of WN’s March 23 announcement that the company will sell its baking business, results are mostly of interest from the perspective of underlying trends and potential implications with respect to potential proceeds from the sale process. In our view, performance/valuation of Loblaw remain key value drivers at WN, but successful sale of WN Foods/subsequent NCIB should provide modest incremental upside,” she said.

* RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan cut his First National Financial Corp. (FN-T) target to $50 from $52, which is the current average, with a “sector perform” rating, while BMO’s Étienne Ricard cut his target to $54 from $57 with an “outperform” rating.

“First National continues to offer an attractive origination growth outlook underpinned by its broker channel relationships, leading market share, and diversified mortgage offering, in our view,” said Mr. Ricard. “In addition, income-oriented investors stand to benefit from potential for special declarations and outsized regular dividend increases. We reiterate our Outperform rating and would accumulate on the stock’s weakness.”

* CIBC World Markets analyst Sumayya Syed raised her Slate Grocery REIT (SGR.UN-T) target to $10.75 from $9.75 with a “neutral” rating, while RBC’s Pammi Bir increased his target to $10.75 from $10.25 with a “sector perform” recommendation. The average is $10.90.

“Post Q2 results that slightly exceeded our call, our stable view for SGR is intact,” said Mr. Bir. “Despite the steeper slide in organic growth, multiple drivers appear to be in place to support a stronger recovery over the next 18 months. As well, tailwinds appear to be forming for potential earnings and NAV upside from the Annaly portfolio acquisition. Net-net, we see valuation as well-supported by its defensive grocery anchored portfolio and improving growth profile.”

* CIBC’s Paul Holden cut his Element Fleet Management Corp. (EFN-T) target to $15.50 from $16 with an “outperformer” rating. The average is $16.77.

“The recovery to normal will take longer than expected, masking underlying customer growth and hindering earnings visibility. Despite the near-term challenges, we like EFN based on the quality of the business, growth prospects, free cash flow generation, and reasonable valuations,” said Mr. Holden.

* CIBC’s Kevin Chiang increased his Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP-T) target to $106 from $105, maintaining an “outperformer” rating. The average is $104.86.

“CP reported Q2 results ahead of expectations, reinforcing our positive fundamental outlook for the company. We continue to see CP put up both strong revenue growth and incremental margins,” he said.

* In response to better-than-expected quarterly results, Canaccord Genuity analyst Yuri Lynk increased his Toromont Industries Ltd. (TIH-T) target to $115, matching the consensus, from $111 with a “buy” recommendation.

“We expect record backlog to drive medium-term EPS/DPS upside and continue to see good momentum in Toromont’s end-markets. The rental opportunity in QM remains a source of upside,” he said.

* TD Securities analyst Lorne Kalmar raised his Morguard North American Residential REIT (MRG.UN-T) target to $21 from $19.50, topping the $19.90 average. He reaffirmed a “buy” rating.

* TD Securities’ Menno Hulshof lowered his Suncor Energy Inc. (SU-T) target to $42 from $44 with a “buy” rating, while Scotia’s Jason Bouvier trimmed his target to $33 from $35 with a “sector outperform” rating. The average is $36.34.

* National Bank Financial analyst Dan Payne increased his Trican Well Service Ltd. (TCW-T) target to $3.50 from $3.25 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $3.35.

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