Inside the Market’s roundup of some of today’s key analyst actions
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB-T) is “grinding out improvements,” according to CIBC World Markets analyst John Zamparo, emphasizing international expansion now appears to be “the most compelling part” of its investment case.
“Aurora’s retail sales trends have not yet leveled off, but we believe its international medical gains and anticipated cost cuts should mean continued progress towards profitability,” he said in a research note released Thursday. “There is a risk the $9-million Israeli shipment fails to materialize in FQ2, making this coming quarter look somewhat soft, but we look further out. We give credit to ACB’s GM% which is well above most peers at greater than 60 per cent on medical/international and more than 30 per cent on recreational, despite the sales declines. If ACB can execute on SG&A cuts, where historically it’s had some success, ACB should hit positive EBITDA in about one year from now.”
While its first-quarter results, released late Tuesday, fell largely in line with his expectations, Mr. Zamparo emphasized significant 85-per-cent quarter-over-quarter and 140-per-cent year-over-year increases in international sales, which now accounts for 25 per cent of its overall total.
Though he cautioned “progress isn’t linear,” he thinks “ACB is clearly winning favour with regulators worldwide given increased share in Israel and Germany.”
With that view and emphasizing international sales are “high margin and high growth,” he raised his recommendation for Aurora shares to “neutral” from “underperformer” and bumped up his target to $9.25 from $6.50. The average on the Street is $7.73, according to Refinitiv data.
CIBC’s Paul Holden thinks valuations for Element Fleet Management Corp. (EFN-T) are now looking past 2022 into 2023.
Predicting catalysts to increase 2023 estimates are unlikely to materialize in the next 6-9 months and calling it “too long a wait” for potential gains, he downgraded its shares to “neutral” from an “outperformer” recommendation.
“There are plenty of other financial stocks with better near-term outlooks and catalysts, in our view,” he said.
After the bell on Wednesday, Toronto-based Element released adjusted earnings per share guidance of 80 cents for 2021, 87-90 cents for 2022 and $1-$1.05 for 2023. To align with that view, Mr. Holden cut his forecast by 6 per cent, 12 per cent and 9 cents, respectively, with notable increases to his operating expense and tax rate projections.
“Origination guidance of $5.5-$5.7-billion for 2022 confirms that supply constraints will negate new customer wins for at least another year (2020 originations were $6.0-billion),” he said. “Management expects vehicle production will ramp by mid-2023, resulting in originations of $7.8-$8.1-billion, more than we had previously contemplated. While the magnitude of the expected rebound is great, it’s a long time to wait to see the hard evidence of customer growth.”
“We had expected positive operating leverage of positive 5 points this quarter. Instead, operating leverage was negative 5 points as operating expenses came in substantially higher than expected. Higher expenses are expected to roll into future periods and guidance implies no operating leverage in 2022. Positive leverage is expected to return in 2023 along with originations.”
With those reduced expectations, Mr. Holden cut his target for Element shares to $14 from $15.50. The average is $16.38.
Elsewhere, BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Tom MacKinnon cut the stock to “market perform” from “outperform” with a $14.50 target, down from $17.
“Management’s guides to significantly lower operating 2022/2023 EPS/FCF/originations, as OEM production delays continue, with order backlogs now not expecting to start to clear until 2H/2023, pushing EFN’s catalyst out even further,” he said. “Combining this with a valuation that, at 15.4 times 2022 estimated operating EPS, is not exceptionally cheap (we believe 14 times NTM op EPS is appropriate, a blend between Ryder/ALD’s 10 times 2022, and FLT/WEX’s 15 times 2022 we’re downgrading EFN.”
Meanwhile, RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan cut his target to $16 from $19 with an “outperform” rating and Scotia’s Phil Hardie lowered his target to $15.50 from $16.50 with a “sector outperform” rating.
“In an alternate reality with no chip shortage, we think EFN’s share price would be substantially higher due to a very successful transformation and pivot to growth as evidenced by continued new customer win momentum and high FCF driving substantial return of capital. However, the harsh reality is that the chip shortage has tempered EPS growth in the nearterm. While valuation could be constrained in the short term, we think early signs of the chip shortage abating could result in significant valuation upside in the stock, which could emerge in H2/22,” said Mr. Kwan.
With its shares down 32 per cent from 2021 highs and seeing its third-quarter results “displaying positive underlying trends,” Scotia Capital analyst Adam Buckham raised his rating for WELL Health Technologies Corp. (WELL-T) to “sector outperform” from “sector perform.”
“WELL reported Q3 results [Wednesday] morning, which for the most part, beat ours and Street estimates across the board, with revenue and Adj. EBITDA coming in at $99-million and $22-milion (vs. the Street at $92-million and $19-million),” he said. “However, what was important to us, were several underlying trends which we believe point to a positive outlook. These include: (1) solid organic growth of 14 per cent year-over-year, (2) robust expansion of U.S. telehealth (approaching US$57-million in run-rate revenues), and (3) solid visibility to $500-million in annualized revenues in 2022. On the back of these positives, along with recent share performance, we are taking the opportunity to upgrade.”
His target for target for shares of the Vancouver-based digital health technology company slid by $1 to $9. The average is currently $11.73.
“We see the current valuation as an attractive entry point,” he said.
Elsewhere, Canaccord Genuity’s Doug Taylor raised the stock to “buy” from “speculative buy” with an unchanged $12 target.
“WELL’s Q3 results came in ahead of expectations and the company updated its outlook as its business lines continue to execute well post acquisition. We have tweaked our forecasts modestly and maintain our $12 target price. On a consolidated basis, WELL is now producing significant and consistent profitability and cash flow for a revenue base described as 93-per-cent recurring or re-occurring. In our view, this has reduced the risk profile and allows the company to execute on further M&A while limiting dilution. These factors lead us to upgrade our rating,” he said.
Meanwhile, CIBC’s Scott Fletcher increased his target to $11 from $10.50, keeping an “outperformer” rating.
“WELL reported a solid quarter with revenue 6.5 per cent ahead of consensus estimates and adjusted EBITDA 11.5 per cent ahead of expectations. The strength was driven by WELL’s virtual services business, where patient enablement and telehealth offerings continue to see solid growth. WELL’s businesses saw 14-per-cent organic growth over the last year, as the mix of omni-channel patient care and virtual services delivered growth in an uncertain environment,” he said.
The overreation to Dexterra Group Inc.’s (DXT-T) third-quarter results should be seen as a “gift,” said Raymond James analyst Frederic Bastien.
Shares of the Calgary-based facilities support services company, formerly Horizon North Logistics Inc., dropped 7.5 per cent on Wednesday following the earnings report, which Mr. Bastien deemed “good.” That prompted him to raise his rating for its shares to “strong buy” from “outperform.”
“We believe Dexterra Group’s vision to create a billion-dollar support services champion with broad geographic and end-market exposure is becoming a near-term reality,” he said. “More importantly, the public entity’s transition from a capital-intensive model to an asset-light one is effecting stable and growing cash flows from operations.
“DXT displayed the benefits of its increasingly diversified model in 3Q21, overcoming delays in Modular Solutions (MS) segment to grow adjusted EBITDA 22 per cent year-over-year (after adjusting 3Q20 results for the impact of CEWS) and exceed consensus expectations. For reasons still unbeknownst to us, however, the stock is off 9 per cent [interday] today (versus a 1-per-cent loss for the TSX index). Given little has changed since our Oct. 12 comment Catalysts Abound, we are capitalizing on the share price weakness to change our recommendation to Strong Buy. We have every reason to believe the market will re-rate Dexterra, as the more recurring activities of its Facilities Management (FM) segment accelerate organically and inorganically over the foreseeable future.”
His target for Dexterra share remains $12, exceeding the $10.89 average.
Equity analysts on the Street applauded WSP Global Inc.’s (WSP-T) in-line third-quarter results, positive revisions to its full-year 2021 guidance and the expectation for further gains from the US$1-trillion infrastructure bill south of the border.
TSX-listed shares of the Montreal-based management and consultancy services provider rose 3.6 per cent on Wednesday after it raised its EBITDA expectation to $1.30-1.32-billion from a previous range of $1.275-1.325-billion. The consensus estimate was $1.302-billion.
“Three things in life now seem certain. Death, taxes and WSP delivering on its strategic goals,” said Stifel analyst Ian Gillies, who raised his rating for WSP shares to “buy” from “hold” in a research note released Thursday.
“The company has a number of potential catalysts including a new business plan set to be released early next year, additional M&A given the impressive execution on the acquisition of Golder, and a U.S. infrastructure bill. The valuation is very expensive, but management’s repeated ability to deliver on its strategic goals is what drives our decision.”
Touting the potential for U.S. gains, seeing it “back to growth,” Mr. Gillies hiked his target for WSP shares to $200 from $162, citing “management’s consistency in delivering to its stated plan, the potential for significant revenue growth over the next five-years, and M&A benefits over that period are the basis for the increase.” The current average target on the Street is $185.21.
.“WSP is a best-in-class company, with what we view as an unassailable track record. Valuation is the primary headwind for the stock as it is trading well above its long-term historical averages. Positively, the company could outperform our forecasts due to 1) significant government stimulus in OECD nations and 2) M&A that is not built into our model. The recent addition of Golder & Associates may allow the company to also deliver better-than-expected margins due to an increasing amount of environmental work. Nonetheless, the stock is priced for perfection, in our view.”
Other analysts raising their targets include:
* Desjardins Securities’ Benoit Poirier to $185 from $171 with a “buy” rating.
“WSP reported encouraging 3Q results with positive organic growth across all regions,” said Mr. Poirier. “The integration of Golder is progressing well and delivered another quarter of double-digit organic growth. We believe the next catalyst for the story will be the launch of the next three-year strategic plan (2022–24). The U.S. infrastructure stimulus package, combined with WSP’s healthy balance sheet and strong M&A track record, gives us confidence in management’s ability to unlock significant value over that period.”
* BMO’s Devin Dodge to $178 from $158 with an “outperform” rating.
“Industry fundamentals are strong and WSP is well-positioned to benefit from the significant investments in many of its core markets,” he said. “However, with the stock trading at a 2022 P/E multiple of 33 times and a sub-3-per-cent FCF yield, we believe this optimism is already reflected in the shares. We’d consider a more constructive view on a pullback in valuation, all else equal.”
* RBC’s Sabahat Khan to $196 from $172 with an “outperform” rating.
* National Bank’s Maxim Sytchev to $185 from $168 with an “outperform” rating.
* Scotia Capital’s Mark Neville to $190 from $175 with a “sector perform” rating.
* ATB Capital Markets’ Chris Murray to $180 from $150 with a “sector perform” rating.
* CIBC’s Jacob Bout to $190 from $180 with an “outperformer” rating.
While “light” fourth-quarter bookings weighed on investor sentiment and threw doubt into its “organic growth narrative,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Treiber expects positive momentum to continue for CGI Inc. (GIB.A-T)
On Wednesday, shares of the Montreal-based IT-services provider slid 4.3 per cent after it reported bookings of $2.92-billion, down 16 per cent year-over-year and below Mr. Treiber’s $3.6-billion forecast. That came alongside better-than-anticipated revenue ($3.01-billion versus a $2.98-billion estimate) and EBITDA ($620-million versus $610-million).
“CGI’s bookings are typically lumpy from quarter to quarter,” said the analyst. “Management indicated that a few larger deals pushed into Q1. Even though Q4 bookings were light, we believe that directionally CGI is likely to continue to see positive organic growth due to structural demand tailwinds. For example, bookings related to new business rose 18 per cent year-over-year, suggesting a healthy demand environment.”
CGI saw its constant currency organic growth improve by 5.7 per cent year-over-year to a 10-year high, exceeding the analyst’s expectations of 4.5 per cent and the 3.1-per-cent result seen in the previous quarter.
“On a double-stack basis (normalizing for COVID pullback), organic growth was negative 1 per cent, which suggests the company is still recovering from contraction experienced during COVID,” he said. “Management commentary is positive regarding the potential for structurally higher long-term growth due to post-COVID digital transformation initiative.”
Expecting the pace of acquisitions to accelerate into fiscal 2022, Mr. Treiber raised his revenue forecast to $12.6-billion from $12.5-billion and his adjusted EPS estimate to $5.98 from $5.87.
Maintaining an “outperform” rating, Mr. Treiber raised his target for CGI shares to $127 from $125.. The average is $125.77.
“Our Outperform thesis reflects: 1) CGI will continue to create shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation on acquisitions and share repurchases, anticipated acceleration in organic growth; and 3) sustained re-valuation in line with global peers,” he said.
Other analysts making changes include:
* Scotia Capital’s Paul Steep to $131 from $127 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 as firms navigate the impacts of the 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 deploymen,” said Mr. Steep.
* CIBC’ Stephanie Price to $130 from $123 with an “outperformer” rating.
“Momentum [is] beginning to build” for Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAR.UN-T), said Echelon Capital Markets analyst David Chrystal.
On Wednesday, the Toronto-based REIT reported normalized funds from operations of 61 cents, matching Mr. Chrystal’s projection and up 4 per cent year-over-year.
“While same-property NOI was modest, we believe that Q221 was a trough and the REIT’s portfolio is showing early signs of recovery,” he said. “During Q321, occupancy and average rents ticked higher from Q2 lows, and bad debt expense and tenant incentives dipped from higher Q2 levels. Lifts on turnover leasing are trending higher after bottoming out in Q121, and with the expiry of rent freezes in Ontario and British Columbia at year-end, we expect lifts on renewal leasing will strengthen.”
Mr. Chrystal emphasized accretive asset rotation is becoming “an emerging theme” for investors to track.
He noted: “During Q3 CAPREIT disposed of a property in midtown Toronto for $52-million, and subsequent to quarter-end, sold its one-third managing interest in a downtown Toronto property for $91-million. Management commentary suggests that select properties with development potential in core markets are attracting interest at sub-2-per-cent cap rates based on in-place NOI. We believe that management will continue to opportunistically rotate out of assets where land value and potential development upside are driving prices well beyond the value of the existing cash flow. We expect proceeds will be redeployed accretively, into acquisitions with initial yields in the 3-per-cent range and better cash flow growth prospects.”
He also expects the REIT to be much more active on the acquisition front, seeing it “continue to pursue selective acquisitions in its core markets going forward.”
“The REIT’s liquidity position is strong, and could support significant incremental activity; cash and availability on existing facilities sits at $380-million, $1.2-billion of the REIT’s properties are currently unencumbered and debt and interest service coverage ratios are trending higher.”
Keeping a “buy” rating, Mr. Chrystal raised his target to $68 from $67.50. The average is $67.95.
Elsewhere, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mark Rothschild raised his target to $66 from $65 with a “buy” rating, while CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson bumped up his target to $67 from $65 with a “neutral” recommendation.
Boyd Group Services Inc. (BYD-T) road to recovery is being “challenged by an extraordinarily tight labour market (exacerbated by COVID-19- related absenteeism) and worsening supply chain disruptions for original equipment and aftermarket parts,” according to Desjardins Securities analyst David Newman.
On Wednesday, shares of the Winnipeg-based company dropped over 10 per cent with the premarket release of weaker-than-anticipated third-quarter results, including EBITDA of US$52-million, which missed both Mr. Newman’s US$59-million estimate and the US$63-million consensus expectation.
“Driving activity and collision data continue to climb, although the pace of recovery has slowed to a degree (gasoline sales remain rangebound at 10–12 per cent below 2019 levels), likely reflecting a new equilibrium level in today’s hybrid economy,” the analyst said. “Demand for BYD’s collision repair services is exceeding capacity in all U.S. markets, while demand in Canada is increasing slowly and gradually (well below pre-pandemic levels and significantly lower than the U.S.).”
“We expect supply chain issues and labour shortages to continue into 4Q, resulting in higher work in process and lower fixed cost absorption. We expect EBITDA of $55-million in 4Q at a margin of 10.7 per cent due to wage inflation and a lower margin on parts (sourcing parts from non-primary suppliers and higher OE mix). While some P&C insurers have been lenient on DRP criteria, it typically takes time for price increases to be negotiated to address wage inflation. BYD is in constructive discussions with key customers to negotiate prices, while demarketing lower-margin customers and investing in its Technical Development Program. It views parts availability as a transitory issue.”
In response to the near-term challenges brought on by the “difficult” environment, Mr. Newman slashed his target for Boyd shares to $244 from $290, keeping a “hold” rating. The average is $262.
Others making target adjustments include:
* Stifel’s Maggie MacDougall to $230 from $240 with a “hold” rating
“Despite recovering demand, Boyd reported soft Q3 results due to margin compression on parts and labor bottlenecks and cost escalation, in the absence of commensurate price increases,” said Ms. MacDougall. “We expect this dynamic to persist into Q4 and H1/22, with the parts issue likely abating in the New Year as global supply chains start to gradually improve. However, the labor shortages experienced in Q3 may pose a more difficult issue to solve. Price increases will likely come in the mid-term, however, production bottlenecks can only be solved through recruitment, training and technology, which takes more time.”
* BMO’s Jonathan Lamers to $264 from $274 with an “outperform” rating.
“Q3 earnings were well below estimates essentially due to the lag obtaining higher rates from insurance customers to pass through unusually rapid wage inflation, and also parts margin pressure caused by the supply chain issues. The issues have continued into Q4. Longer term, we expect the operating margin to return to historical levels as insurers eventually increase rates and volumes continue to recover. Boyd has a demonstrated history of very stable gross margins reflecting its ability to recover inflation through increased rates,” said Mr. Lamers.
* CIBC’s Krista Friesen to $272 from $284 with an “outperformer” rating.
* Scotia’s Michael Doumet to $260 from $265 with a “sector outperform” rating.
After underwhelming third-quarter results, Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Young dropped Pollard Banknote Ltd. (PBL-T) to “hold” from “buy,” saying he’s “taking a pause on weaker-than-expected iLottery and supply chain pressure.
“Pollard reported disappointing Q3 results with revenue and EBITDA light of our forecast despite a continued strong demand environment,” he said. “The core instant ticket business continued to see demand strength with high levels of retail sales. That said, Pollard saw capacity constraints driven by supply chain delays, both on inputs and outputs, which created inefficiencies and delays that limited revenue recognition of typically seasonal holiday selling strength. Higher ASP holiday sell-in is likely to fall in Q4 but was a headwind to revenue in Q3. The higher margin iLottery segment was a second headwind with Michigan sales down quarter-over-quarter and NPi flattish with mix shifting towards lower-margin gaming verticals. The charitable gaming business continued to benefit from a resumption of strong demand with volumes and ASP having a positive impact although production was pressured by hiring availability. With the weaker-than-expected quarter and supply chain challenges likely to persist in the near term, we are more cautious on Pollard’s ability to capitalize on strong near-term lottery demand. As well, our lowered iLottery forecast has a stronger impact on EBITDA given its margin structure.”
Mr. Young cut his target to $48 from $55. The current average is $57.75.
In other analyst actions:
* Canaccord Genuity analyst Christopher Koutsikaloudis upgraded BSR Real Estate Investment Trust (HOM.U-T) to “buy” from “hold” with a US$19 target, rising from US$15.50 and above the US$18.89 average.
“We expect that growing demand for rental housing in BSR’s core markets, supported by robust population growth, will continue to outstrip new supply over the next few years. This should position the REIT for continued strong cash flow and NAV per unit growth going forward,” he said.
* Seeing the “stronger for longer theme [continuing] under accelerating inflation,” RBC’s Dominion Securities analyst Irene Nattel raised her Loblaw Companies Ltd. (L-T) target to $112 from $104 with an “outperform” rating and her target for Metro Inc. (MRU-T, “sector perform”) rose to $70 from $68. The averages is $94.27 and $66, respectively..
“In our view, accelerating food inflation is likely to offset moderating tonnage as food outside the home recovers. Forecasts for FQ3 incorporate stable gross margin relative to H1 in the range of 30.5 per cent and higher year-over-year underpinned by normalizing contribution from the pharmacy segment, reopening of high margin prepared foods counters, and some of the narrowest pricing gaps historically between its discount and market divisions,” she said.
* Ms. Nattel also raised her target for George Weston Ltd. (WN-T, “outperform”) to $154 from $150. The average is $147.14.
“Investor focus is and should be on current sale process for the remaining 25 per cent of the WN Foods business and future use/magnitude of proceeds,” she said. “Moderating Q3 expectations for WN Foods due to the impact of higher input, labour and distribution costs. Our constructive outlook on WN is predicated on our favourable outlook for more than 50-per-cent owned Loblaw (TSX: L) augmented by the application of a portion of proceeds from the sale of WN Foods to an SIB.”
* CIBC World Markets analyst Kevin Chiang lowered his Airboss of America Corp. (BOS-T) target to $54 from $55 with an “outperformer” rating, while TD Securities’ Tim James raised his target to $49 from $47 with a “buy” rating. The average on the Street is $53.08.
“On the back of BOS’s Q3 results, our thesis is unchanged. With the company reaffirming its 2021 guidance, it sets BOS up for a record Q4. Despite the inflationary pressures facing BOS today, the company continues to benefit from a robust pipeline of organic and inorganic growth opportunities, past investments in innovation and capacity, and margin improvement initiatives. We continue to see this as a company with structurally higher earnings versus pre-pandemic levels,” said Mr. Chiang.
* Desjardins Securities analyst Gary Ho increased his target for Alaris Equity Partners Income Trust (AD.UN-T) to $23 from $21, exceeding the $22.81 average, with a “buy” rating, while RBC’s Geoffrey Kwan raised his target to $24 from $22 with an “outperform” rating.
* ATB Capital Markets analyst Chris Murray raised his AutoCanada Inc. (ACQ-T) target to $80 from $75 with an “outperform” rating, while CIBC’s Krista Friesen cut her target $46 from $50 with a “neutral” rating and Scotia’s Michael Doumet lowered his target to $55 from $65 with a “sector outperform” rating. The current average is $63.39.
“A comment we often hear is that once the supply chain and the chip shortage rectify, ACQ will not be able to enjoy the strong margins it has been. While we agree that it will be difficult for the company to maintain these margins indefinitely, we don’t think the party is over just yet for ACQ,” said Ms. Friesen.
* CIBC’s Robert Bek lowered his BBTV Holdings Inc. (BBTV-T) target to $13 from $15.50, below the $18 average, with an “outperformer” rating.
“Valuation sentiment in the space has decreased further over the past month,” he said. “With respect to Q3, the company’s Base Solutions were weak in the quarter, but tone for Plus Solutions continues to improve, with solid traction in Direct Advertising Sales. In our view, the stock remains attractive relative to its material opportunity to drive profitable growth over the next few years, as the company is well-positioned to add value to video creators across multiple platforms and content type. We continue to expect the shares to appreciate as the company executes on its Plus Solutions strategy over the next 12-18 months.”
* National Bank Financial analyst Maxim Sytchev raised his Bird Construction Inc. (BDT-T) target to $12 from $11.50 with an “outperform” rating, while CIBC’s Jacob Bout bumped his target to $13 from $12 with an “outperformer” rating and Stifel’s Ian Gillies moved his target to $14.25 from $13 with a “buy” recommendation. The average is $12.58.
* CIBC’s Hamir Patel increased his target for Conifex Timber Inc. (CFF-T) to $2.50 from $2.25, below the $2.92 average, with a “neutral” rating.
“With its one B.C. sawmill (and associated bioenergy plant), CFF is well positioned to benefit from attractive fundamentals for North American housing,” he said.
* CIBC’s Sumayya Syed raised her Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (CRR.UN-T) target to $19.50 from $19 with an “outperformer” rating. Others changes include: Scotia’s Mario Saric to $20.25 from $20 with a “sector outperform” rating; National Bank’s Tal Woolley to $20 from $19.50 with an “outperform” rating and BMO’s Jenny Ma to $19.50 from $18.50 with a “market perform” rating. The average is $19.36.
* Desjardins’ Michael Markidis raised his CT Real Estate Investment Trust (CRT.UN-T) target to $18.50 from $17.50 with a “hold” rating. The average is $18.61.
“CRT reported 3Q21 results which were in line with expectations. Results continued to highlight the stability inherent in the REIT’s portfolio offering, while its $110-million of new investment activity speaks to the robust acquisition environment for quality retail assets,” he said.
* CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson raised his target for Dream Unlimited Corp. (DRM-T) to $37 from $33, above the $36.33 average, with an “outperformer” rating.
* Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Young cut his Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. (EGLX-T) target to $9 from $11, falling below the $10.84 average, with a “buy” rating.
* Canaccord’s Anthony Petrucci raised his Freehold Royalties Ltd. (FRU-T) target to $15 from $14 with a “buy” rating, while RBC’s Luke Davis increased his target to $16 from $15 with an “outperform” rating and BMO’s Ray Kwan moved his target to $15 from $12 with a “market perform” rating. The average is $15.27.
“Quarterly results were relatively strong, with 2022 guidance being slightly ahead of our expectations. More importantly, the 20-per-cent dividend bump is another nice surprise,” said Mr. Kwan.
* CIBC’s Nik Priebe raised his target for Guardian Capital Group Ltd. (GCG-T) to $47 from $44, matching the consensus, with an “outperformer” rating.
* RBC’s Robert Kwan cut his Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (INE-T) target by $1 to $23 with a “sector perform” recommendation, while CIBC’s Mark Jarvi lowered his target to $22.50 from $23 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $24.78.
* BMO’s Tom MacKinnon raised his Intact Financial Corp. (IFC-T) target to $205 from $200 with an “outperform” rating. Other changes include: Scotia’s Phil Hardie to $196 from $190 with a “sector outperform” rating; CIBC’s Paul Holden to $200 from $197 with an “outperformer” rating; Credit Suisse’s Mike Rizvanovic to $218 from $215 with an “outperform” rating and Desjardins’ Doug Young to $195 from $190 with a “buy” rating The average is $198.77.
“Another quarter of strong underwriting performance which underpinned the operating EPS beat, also helped by better distribution EBITA and better investment income. Topline was modestly better as well. Earnings accretion from RSA ahead of schedule and management remains confident in achieving high-single digit accretion in first 12 months and upper teens within 36 months of closing,” said Mr. MacKinnon.
* CIBC’s Bryce Adams lowered his target for Largo Inc. (LGO-T) to $21.50 from $25, below the $23.70 average, with an “outperformer” rating.
* RBC’s Paul Treiber cut his Lifespeak Inc. (LSPK-T) target to $12 from $13 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $12.25.
“LifeSpeak is seeing strong customer win momentum. However, Q3 revenue and ARR missed our estimates, as new wins are taking longer to ramp. A longer gap has a disproportionate impact on near-term revenue and ARR during periods of customer growth inflection, like what LifeSpeak is experiencing. While we are lowering our estimates, we maintain our Outperform thesis, as we anticipate customer momentum to ultimately translate into revenue growth,” he said.
* CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson raised his Minto Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust (MI.UN-T) target to $27 from $26, keeping an “outperformer” rating, and BMO’s Joanne Chen raised her target to $28.50 from $28 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $27.13.
“Our positive outlook on Minto remains unchanged following Q3/21,” said Ms. Chen. “We remain encouraged by the positive leasing momentum through H2/21 and expect for it to continue given the ongoing reopening and rising immigration. We continue to believe the quality of Minto’s portfolio in Canada’s largest urban markets will attract a good portion of the expected strong immigration growth. Furthermore, as housing supply becomes more of an issue, we believe MI.UN’s track record on development through its relationship with Minto Group will drive long-term NAV growth.”
* CIBC’s Todd Coupland lowered his Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH-T) target to $4 from $4.50, remaining above the $3.63 average, with an “outperformer” rating.
“Quarterhill reported Q3 results that came in below expectations,” he said. “While the headline report was lower than forecast, the business is back on track. The third quarter was driven by higher revenue in Intelligent Systems and better Licensing. We remain encouraged by CEO Paul Hill’s strategic direction, in addition to the declining impact of COVID on the company’s litigation and acquisition activities.”
“We believe Quarterhill’s shares are attractive and should be purchased.”
* Canaccord’s Mark Rothschild increased his RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI.UN-T) target to $24.50 from $23 with a “hold” rating. Other changes include: Scotia’s Mario Saric to $25.50 from $25 with a “sector outperform” rating; BMO’s Jenny Ma to $25 from $24 with an “outperform” rating and TD Securities’ Sam Damiani to $26 from $25 with a “buy” recommendation. The average is $24.83.
“RioCan REIT reported solid Q3/21 results that exceeded expectations,” said Ms. Ma. “We are encouraged by the continued improvement in operating and financial metrics which support our view that the retail outlook continues to trend in the right direction. Moreover, RioCan’s portfolio quality continues to incrementally improve with dispositions of non-core assets and continued progress on its development pipeline; there are sizable projects (particularly The Well) slated for completion over our forecast period.”
* CIBC’s Hamir Patel cut his Stella-Jones Inc. (SJ-T) target to $51 from $54 with an “outperformer” rating. The average is $52.06.
* RBC’s Drew McReynolds lowered his Stingray Group Inc. (RAY.A-T) target to $9 from $10 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $8.83.
“Despite a still choppy operating environment, FX headwinds and an uptick in reinvestment, Q2/22 results were in-line with our forecast,” he said
* CIBC’s Christopher Thompson lowered his Storm Resources Ltd. (SRX-T) target to $6.28 from $7 with a “neutral” rating. The average is $7.30.
* CIBC’s Dean Wilkinson raised his Tricon Residential Inc. (TCN-T) target to $21 from $18.50, above the $18.87 average, with an “outperformer” recommendation, while BMO’s Stephen MacLeod increased his target by $1 to $20 with an “outperform” rating.
“We believe Tricon has multi-year growth opportunities for FFO and BVPS, while leveraging third-party capital to drive ROE,” said Mr. MacLeod. “SFR demand remains strong, and Tricon sees a path to doubling the size of its portfolio over three years. Complementing this are value creation opportunities in MFR and development. Tricon is well-positioned for growth following $2-billion year-to-date third-party capital raises, with sufficient liquidity, favourable tailwinds (incl. above-average employment and population growth in Sun Belt markets), and ability to leverage multi-year technology investment.”
* RBC’s Drew McReynolds raised his VerticalScope Holdings Inc. (FORA-T) target by $1 to $35 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $38.84.
“While Q3/21 results were below our forecast, considering supply chain-related softness that is transitionally impacting the digital advertising and ecommerce industry, we believe VerticalScope’s results were better than most, and certainly way better than feared,” he said.
* BMO’s Tim Casey raised his WildBrain Ltd. (WILD-T) target to $4 from $3.50 with a “market perform” rating, while National Bank’s increased his target to $5 from $4 with an “outperform” recommendation and Scotia Capital’s Jeff Fan bumped his target to $4.60 from $4.30 with a “sector perform” rating. The average is $4.31.
“Content revenues were driven by Peanuts activation (consumer products sales) and a recovery of advertising revenues in [WildBrain Spark]. F22 guidance was reaffirmed, and we believe the company is on track to reach these targets. The company communicated from their Investor Day a focus on driving IP from multiple sources and reviving once beloved brands (Caillou, Peanuts, Teletubbies), but growth spending will slow margin expansion in the near term,” said Mr. Casey