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

The first-quarter financial results from Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI.B-T) confirm an ongoing industry recovery, according to RBC Dominion Securities analyst Drew McReynolds, who also sees its proposed $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. “approaching the finish line.”

Shares of the Toronto-based media company jumped 3.1 per cent on Wednesday after the premarket earnings release, which included underlying results for both cable and wireless that exceeded Mr. McReynolds’s expectations.

Rogers posts 9 per cent increase in profit as economy improves, number of wireless customers rises

“At 8.5 times FTM [forward 12-month] EV/EBITDA, Rogers trades at a discount to large cap peers (9.6–10.2 times), which we attribute to a variety of factors including relative under-performance through COVID-19, execution risk on Shaw remedies and integration synergies, higher proforma leverage at 5 times, and the strengthening competitive positions of telco peers,” he said in a research note. “While following the run-up in the shares we remain patient for more attractive entry points, we continue to see potential for multi-year upside in the shares driven by: (i) a forecast more than 10 er cent NAV CAGR [net asset value compound annual growth rate] through 2024 boosted by exposure to a recovery in roaming revenue, improved Rogers Media performance, and the realization of Shaw integration synergies; and (ii) a potential narrowing of the discount to large cap peers as integration execution and the balance sheet are derisked and with Rogers on a firmer 5G competitive footing with Shaw.”

Mr. McReynolds thinks raises to Rogers’ 2022 guidance, including for total service revenue growth (to 6-8 per cent from 4-6 per cent previously) and adjusted EBITDA growth (to 8-10 per cent from 6-8 per cent), are “indicative of continuing positive operating momentum,” noting management pointed to ongoing travel/ economic recovery as well as execution.

“While our adjusted EBITDA growth forecast was already within the revised 8–10-per-cent range for 2022 (now 10.2 per cent), we view the guidance revision as directionally positive for both Rogers and the industry,” he said.

Maintaining a “sector perform” rating for Rogers shares, Mr. McReynolds raised his target to $77 from $75. The average target on the Street is $76.50, according to Refinitiv data.

Other analysts making target changes include:

* Desjardins Securities’ Jerome Dubreuil to $83 from $72 with a “buy” rating.

“With initial signs of improved visibility, execution and expectations management, RCI has looked increasingly attractive since the beginning of the year. While the significant year-to-date outperformance leaves less room for outsized gains going forward, we maintain our Buy recommendation on the stock since we believe the share price does not yet fully reflect the upside we expect from the SJR transaction,” said Mr. Dubreuil.

* Canaccord Genuity’s Aravinda Galappatthige to $75 from $69 with a “hold” rating.

“At a high level, we believe these results serve to drive confidence back into the stock, following the volatility of 2021,” he said.

* Scotia Capital’s Jeff Fan to $89 from $87 with a “sector outperform” rating.

“With recent strong execution and results in the last two quarters since Tony Staffieri assumed the CEO role, we think the market is finally pricing in the Shaw synergies in RCI’s share price,” said Mr. Fan.

* National Bank’s Adam Shine to $83 from $77 with an “outperform” rating.

* BMO’s Tim Casey to $80 from $76 with an “outperform” rating.

* TD Securities’ Vince Valentini to $87 from $75 with a “buy” rating.

* JP Morgan’s Sebastiano Petti to $90 from $78 with an “overweight” rating.

* CIBC’s Robert Bek to $80 from $68 with an “outperformer” rating.

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RBC Dominion Securities analyst Andrew Wong expects “very constructive” agricultural and fertilizer fundamentals to persist, seeing the potential for an extended cycle that supports strong cash flows for Nutrien Ltd. (NTR-N, NTR-T) over multiple years.

While he also thinks the Saskatoon-based company possesses upside from its potash volume optionality in a very tight market,” Mr. Wong did warn of the potential of slowing momentum in the near-term “as fertilizer prices may be bumping up against affordability and limits further immediate upside.”

“We think the ag/ferts environment remains positive, which should support continued strong fertilizer demand intentions and relatively high fertilizer prices,” he said. “However, fertilizer price momentum has slowed as we may now be bumping up against affordability with fertilizer prices up 30-40 per cent since early-March. Near-term price upside may also be capped by inflation-related ag/crop demand headwinds plus some regions may experience macro-related challenges that could impact fertilizer demand (weak India finances, stronger Brazil Real lowers farm incomes, China Covid-related disruptions). Longer-term, we remain positive and see an extended ag cycle as global crop production is hit by reduced yield/acreage in Ukraine and potential global crop yield impact from lower fertilizer applications.

“We are most constructive on potash, due to significant restrictions on Russia/Belarus exports (40-per-cent global supply) - raise Brazil potash price forecast for 2022/2023/2024 to $950/$750/$640 per ton, up from $870/ $700/$525. In nitrogen, we see high cost curve support and ongoing Chinese/Russia export restrictions, but note North American nat gas costs have also risen - raise US NOLA urea 2022/2023/2024 to $672/$550/$475, from $606/$450/$325, due to higher natural gas price expectations.”

Mr. Wong expects Nutrien to display a “strong” start to fiscal 2022 when it releases its first-quarter results on May 3. Benefitting from “sharply” higher fertilizer and crop prices due to the Russia/Ukraine war, he’s projecting EBITDA of US$2.6-billion, in line with the US$2.7-billion consensus on the Street.

“We expect a combination of relatively strong fertilizer prices and increased potash volumes to support elevated cash generation from 2022-2024 at 15-per-cent FCF yield,” he added. “We believe management will focus on a combination of share buybacks, debt reduction, and ongoing growth investments in Retail.”

Maintaining an “outperform” rating, Mr. Wong hiked his target for Nutrien shares to US$135 from US$120. The average is $109.58.

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After a strong start to 2022 for gold, mining equity analysts at Canaccord Genuity are maintaining their bullish view heading into first-quarter earnings season.

“Gold rallied alongside other commodities; however, the strength in gold was somewhat atypical given 1) a stronger USD (DXY index up 3 per cent in the quarter and 5 per cent year-to-date); 2) sharply higher U.S. nominal and real treasury yields (the 10-year real yield increased 100 basis points and is currently trading near zero and the inverse gold/real rate relationship has diverged year-to-date); and 3) an increasingly hawkish Fed (tightening expectations have increased 50 basis points since the March liftoff to an 3-per-cent expected fed funds rate by mid-2023,” they said in a research note.

“So where does gold go from here? We remain constructive on gold for the following reasons: 1) gold has historically performed well during rate hike cycles; 2) macro uncertainty (persistent inflation and war in Ukraine) has the Fed walking a tightrope of trying to rein in inflation without causing a recession or broader market crash; 3) steep tightening expectations are already likely priced in and yield curve flattening/inversion could precede slower growth resulting in the Fed to delivering less than expected and 4) debt levels are at post WW2 highs and expected to climb further with trillion-dollar deficits forecast going forward.”

Analyst Dalton Baretto sees the first quarter as “an inflection point” for New Gold Inc. (NGD-T), pointing to an “improving consolidated production profile and declining AISC profile on a go-forward basis.”

Also citing the firm’s higher gold and copper price forecasts, he upgraded its shares to “buy” from “hold” and raised his target for $3 from $2.25. The average is $2.53.

“We forecast a better year in 2022 compared to 2021,” he said. “We forecast Au production of 306koz, an 7-per-cent increase over the prior year. We note that production in 2021 was lower than what was originally expected based on the 2020 technical reports, given the grade reconciliation issues at Rainy River and the delay to the B3 zone at New Afton following the mud rush incident early in 2021. Given higher production levels as well as a higher realized copper by-product, we forecast consolidated cash costs of $915/oz, vs. $991/oz in 2021. We forecast total capex of $354 million in 2022, in line with company guidance, but higher compared to 2021 capex of $247 million. As a result, we expect full year AISC of $1,490/oz, slightly higher than 2021 AISC of $1,463/oz.”

The firm made these target changes for senior producers:

  • Newmont Corp. (NEM-N/NGT-T, “hold”) to US$87 from US$65. Average: US$78.28.
  • Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX-T, “buy”) to $38 from $31. Average: $35.
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM-T, “buy”) to $96 from $84. Average: $89.87.
  • Kinross Gold Corp. (K-T, “buy”) to $12 from $9.50. Average: $10.74.
  • Endeavour Mining PLC (EDV-T, “buy”) to $52 from $48. Average: $44.27.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS-Q/PAAS-T, “hold”) to US$30 from US$25. Average: US$32.03.
  • Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI-T, “buy”) to $10.50 from $9. Average: $7.05.
  • B2Gold Corp. (BTO-T, “buy”) to $9 from $8. Average: $7.68.

“While we are bullish on gold in 2022, given the overall macro volatility and risks inherent in mining, we generally prefer companies with sound financial and operational outlooks with positive company-specific catalysts and relatively attractive valuations. Our top picks are Kinross Gold and Endeavour Mining among the senior producers; SSR Mining and Equinox Gold among the intermediate producers; Calibre Mining among the junior producers; and Osisko Gold Royalties and Nomad Royalty Company among the royalty and streaming companies,” they said.

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The focus of first-quarter earnings season for precious metals producers is likely to centre on operation expense inflation, according to Desjardins Securities analysts John Sclodnick and Jonathan Egilo.

“In our discussions with investors, the most frequent topic is inflationary pressure on margins,” they said. “We have gone through our coverage names and identified those that can best shield investors from margin compression. Every company will feel the impact, but it will certainly be to different degrees depending on several factors. Obviously, surging energy prices will affect opex, but those with grid connections and higher-grade and lower-tonnage operations will be far less impacted than a remote open pit operation. Certain countries, including Mexico (where many mines under coverage are located), will temporarily benefit from the state-owned energy provider (PEMEX in Mexico’s case) shielding energy consumers from dramatic price increases. We understand that in Mexico, prices are loosely based on a rolling three-year average and thus are up only 4–5 per cent. This is a material benefit when energy prices surge, but obviously will become a detriment when energy prices fall. We also note that cyanide prices have increased significantly (20–30 per cent) as a cyanide production plant in the Czech Republic shut down due to high energy prices. Even with domestic supply available to our coverage universe, those cyanide producers are capitalizing on elevated global prices and increasing their pricing as well. Effectively, the price of every input to a mining operation is increasing, from energy, cyanide, lime, explosives to labour. Every company will be impacted, and we expect this will be the dominant theme in 1Q earnings results.”

After increases to the firm’s metal price forecasts for both the short and long term, the analysts increased their target prices for companies in their coverage universe.

Mr. Sclodnick downgraded Karora Resources Inc. (KRR-T), one of his top producer picks for 2022, to “hold” from “buy” in response to a 74-per-cent jump in share price year-to-date.

“We believe investors can find a more attractive entry point,” he said.

His target rose to $7.50, above the $7.07 average from $6.76.

The analysts said K92 Mining Inc. (KNT-T) remains a “top producer pick due to its 2022 step-out drilling programs at Kora and Judd, with the first two surface holes delivering impressive results and a new discovery.”

Mr. Egilo raised his target to $12.50 from $12 with a “buy” rating. The average is $11.96.

They added: “SKE remains our top developer pick and a prime takeout candidate, particularly with the scarcity of top-quality assets remaining in Canada. We continue to highlight AYA as our favourite silver producer and PRYM as our favourite exploration story.”

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Ahead of first-quarter earnings season in the energyinfrastructure and power and utilities sectors, CIBC World Markets energy analysts Robert Catellier and Mark Jarvi raised their target prices for a group of stocks in his coverage universe.

Mr. Catellier’s changes include:

  • AltaGas Ltd. (ALA-T, “outperformer”) to $34 from $33. Average: $32.30.
  • Enbridge Inc. (ENB-T, “outperformer”) to $61 from $58. Average: $58.47.
  • Pembina Pipeline Corp. (PPL-T, “outperformer”) to $53 from $48. Average: $49.17.
  • TC Energy Corp. (TRP-T, “neutral”) to $73 from $69. Average: $70.83..

“Sentiment and valuations for Midstream/Pipeline companies continue to improve driven by: 1) solid commodity prices (drive positive estimate revisions); 2) the potential for stronger upstream industry trends (better drilling/volume outlook); and, 3) potential opportunities around energy security, notably around LNG (ENB and TRP are best exposed to this trend),” he said.

Mr. Jarvi made these adjustments:

  • Atco Ltd. (ACO.X-T, “outperformer”) to $52 from $50. Average: $48.07.
  • Boralex Inc. (BLX-T, “outperformer”) to $46 from $45. Average: $46.19.
  • Canadian Utilities Ltd. (CU-T, “neutral”) to $40 from $38. Average: $37.97.
  • Capital Power Corp. (CPX-T, “neutral”) to $44 from $43. Average: $45.46.
  • Emera Inc. (EMA-T, “neutral”) to $66 from $64. Average: $63.50.
  • Fortis Inc. (FTS-T, “neutral”) to $63 from $60. Average: $60.54.
  • Hydro One Ltd. (H-T, “outperformer”) to $36 from $35. Average: $33.75.
  • Northland Power Inc. (NPI-T, “outperformer”) to $44 from $43. Average: $46.25.

“We see limited room for upside surprises relative to consensus from the Renewable IPPs given mixed resource conditions in key regions and some FX headwinds — tone on growth (and managing inflation/supply chain pressures) could dictate sentiment coming out of Q1,” said Mr. Jarvi. “TA and CPX should deliver solid quarters while the outlook for the remainder of 2022 and 2023 is improving given power price trends (still favour TA over CPX). In the Utilities, H should post a strong quarter and announce a dividend increase, and we remain positive on ACO.X (good value) going into the Q1 results.”

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Expecting an “strong” first quarter but trimming his financial projections for 2023, CIBC’s Hamir Patel reduced his targets for paper, forest and building product companies on Thursday.

“Canadian wood products stocks have come under significant pressure over the past two months (off 20-30 per cent from year-to-date peaks vs. 0.5 per cent for the TSX Composite), given the steep rise in U.S. mortgage rates to 5.25 per cent (up 220 basis points since late December), signs of underwhelming R&R demand this spring and rapidly correcting commodity prices (SPF lumber down 30 per cent vs. YTD peak, while SYP lumber and OSB prices are off over 40-50 per cent),” he said.

“While we believe the risk of a further material rise in mortgage rates remains a major risk factor for the housing/building products complex in coming months, mortgage spreads over treasuries are likely to narrow (currently 65 bps wider than historical averages), commodity prices could find a near-term floor over the next few weeks (at still elevated levels) and valuations of wood equities are looking increasingly compelling at these levels. In wood products, we recommend Canfor, Interfor, Resolute and West Fraser. In the building products space, our Outperformer names include Doman, HDI and Stella-Jones. While we have reduced our price targets on most housing-levered names by 10-15 per cent on lower multiples given increased risks of a slowdown in housing, we still see upside of 25-35 per cent across the building products/wood names. In the pulp and packaging sectors, we continue to recommend Mercer (beneficiary of sanctions on Russia) and CCL.

Mr. Patel’s changes include:

  • Canfor Corp. (CFP-T, “outperformer”) to $36 from $44. Average: $43.17.
  • Cascades Inc. (CAS-T, “neutral”) to $14 from $15. Average: $16.36.
  • CCL Industries Inc. (CCL.B-T, “outperformer”) to $71 from $78. Average: $78.50.
  • Conifex Timber Inc. (CFF-T, “neutral”) to $2.25 from $2.50. Average: $2.75.
  • Doman Building Materials Group Ltd. (DBM-T, “outperformer”) to $9 from $10. Average: $10.07.
  • Hardwoods Distribution Inc. (HDI-T, “outperformer”) to $50 from $61. Average: $69.08.
  • Interfor Corp. (IFP-T, “outperformer”) to $42 from $48. Average: $49.67.
  • Stella-Jones Inc. (SJ-T, “outperformer”) to $47 from $50. Average: $52.31.
  • West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFG-T, “outperformer”) to $126 from $150. Average: $156.95.
  • Western Forest Products Inc. (WEF-T, “neutral”) to $2.25 from $2.50. Average: $2.70.
  • Winpak Ltd. (WPK-T, “neutral”) to $44 from $45. Average: $47.50.

Elsewhere, after its Wednesday announcement of a US$1.25-billion substantial issuer bid, Scotia Capital’s Benoit Laprade raised his West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFG-T) target to $157 from $147 with a “sector outperform” rating, while Raymond James’ Daryl Swetlishoff raised his target to $190 from $180 with a “strong buy” recommendation.

“We expect the lower implied share count to more than offset increased capital deployment,” said Mr. Swetlishoff. “While maintaining a balanced capital approach, we note West Fraser has a strong track record of creating shareholder value allocating over US$1.3-billion in cash last year on share buybacks through the NCIB in addition to the prior SIB.”.

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RBC Dominion Securities’ Christopher Carril is taking a “more cautious stance” on North American restaurants ahead of first-quarter earnings season.

In a note released Thursday, the analyst “broadly” lowered his earnings estimates for companies in his coverage universe, including Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR-N, QSR-T), by an average of 5 per cent to account for “higher food costs, regional headwinds (e.g. Russia-Ukraine, China), FX and other idiosyncratic challenges.”

“Uncertainty around the health of the consumer and elevated operating costs have weighed on restaurant stocks this year (RBC Restaurants down 12 per cent year-to-date, vs. S&P 500 down 6 per cent), and our expectation is that 1Q results will do little to settle key debates,” said Mr. Carril. “So to what degree will 1Q results matter for restaurant stocks? At this point, we generally see limited opportunities for upside from 1Q earnings, as we think restaurant stocks will likely receive little credit for in-line or better-than-expected results, while earnings misses will validate concerns going forward. Given this dynamic, and in looking beyond actual 1Q results, we’ll also be focused on the following key topics this earnings season: 1) guidance for the remainder of the year (or fiscal year), particularly that implied for the second-half of 2022, where we see more debate around top line and margins; 2) any commentary on the health of the consumer, with a focus on those brands that have taken further pricing more recently; and 3) commentary from companies with recently-announced management changes.”

For Restaurant Brands, the parent company of Tim Hortons and Burger King, the analyst is projecting earnings per share of the quarter of 62 US cents, a penny below the consensus on the Street. His full-year 2022 projection fell by 2 per cent to US$3.46 from US$3.61 with his 2023 estimate sliding 1 per cent to US$3.77 from US$3.83.

“Last quarter’s results showed encouraging signs of stability and improvement for both Burger King and Tim Hortons in their respective home markets, and we think this key step forward has driven more interest in QSR as of late,” said Mr. Carril. “For Burger King U.S., we expect investors to be focused on the extent to which operational efficiencies (i.e. two phases of menu simplification executed in December), core product menu innovation (e.g. Whopper Melts) and digital (as customers transition from paper coupons) support top line in 1Q. For Tim Hortons Canada, investors will likely be focused on comp momentum following month-over-month improvement during the 4Q (incl. December up low single digits vs. 2019), and while Omicron and weather did impact trends to begin the 1Q, QSR management did note at a recent conference it expects to still deliver high single-digit 1Q comps. Note that on the same day as earnings, QSR will also host its Tim Hortons Canada Investor Day, where we expect to learn more about the brand’s Back to Basics plan. Lastly, for Popeyes we expect focus on updates related to 4Q staffing challenges and development (with the brand’s plans to open more than 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada, announced on April 19th). We will also be looking for any further indications around 2022 development acceleration for the consolidated business.”

Keeping an “outperform” rating for its shares, he cut his target to US$70 from US$71. The average is US$69.98.

“Our price target equates to approximately 20 times 2023 estimated EPS and a 5.5-per-cent FCF yield,” Mr. Carril. “We believe QSR deserves a higher multiple than the peer group average given its relatively stronger unit, system sales, and revenue growth. Its best-in-class dividend yield also supports our valuation.”

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Following its first investor event since 2019 on Wednesday, a series of equity analysts adjusted their targets for shares of Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU-Q).

They include:

* Cowen’s John Kernan to US$497 from US$507 with an “outperform” rating. The average on the Street is US$435.21.

* Jefferies’ Randy Konick to US$375 from US$340 with a “hold” rating.

* Barclays’ Adrienne Yih to US$450 from US$441 with a “buy” rating.

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While awaiting a conclusion to its ongoing strategic review of its WiLan division, which he sees “as producing a wide range of potential outcomes,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Doug Taylor downgraded Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH-T) to “hold” from “speculative buy.”

“Our [sum-of-the-parts] valuation now assumes a standalone value of $90-million for the WiLAN business, a slight increase based on our view that the recent successful assertion of patents against Apple has increased the perceived value of the patent portfolio,” he said. “The company has indicated only that it is encouraged by the amount of inbound interest. That said, we believe there is a wide range of potential values that could be secured for WiLAN given its lumpy and uncertain cash flow profile. It also remains unclear to us the degree, if any, overhead costs will be eliminated alongside a potential sale or through other cost reductions.”

Reducing his financial expectations “modestly” to account for overhead cost assumptions, Mr. Taylor cut his target for Kitchener, Ont.-based Quarterhill to $2.50 from $2.75. The average is $3.57.

“Using our current assumptions, the current share price suggests a reasonable valuation for the ITS business with current corporate overhead,” he said.

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Seeing a “top-tier free cash flow machine,” Echelon Partners analyst Michael Mueller initiated coverage of Saturn Oil & Gas Inc. (SOIL-X), a light oil-weighted junior E&P with two core assets in Saskatchewan, with a “buy” rating.

“Saturn is a standout amongst its peers with an impressive free cash flow profile that will ultimately benefit shareholders in some form, be it through aggressive debt repayment (we forecast Saturn to be debt free in Q323 at the current strip), future dividends, share buybacks, and/or accretive acquisitions around its operating areas,” said Mr. Mueller. “We currently forecast debt-adjusted free cash flow yields of 21.6 per cent in 2022 and 40.8 per cent in 2023 on strip, a remarkable metric given its peer group estimated average of 18.2 per cent in 2022 and 16.4 per cent in 2023. In other words, if Saturn were to trade at a DAFCF [debt-adjusted free cash flow] yield in line with its peers, it would imply a share price of $9.64 per share on 2023 metrics, 194 per cent above the recent close of $3.28 per share.”

He set a target of $7.50 per share, equating to a 129-per-cent return to Wednesday’s close. The average is $10.81.

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In other analyst actions:

* Calling it “a capital optimization story,” CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Holden initiating coverage of Definity Financial Corp. (DFY-T) with an “outperformer” rating and $41.50 target, exceeding the $34.15 average.

“Our investment thesis is premised on the potential valuation uplift associated with capital optimization, whether management is able to execute on that objective itself or a takeout becomes the catalyst for capital optimization,” he said. “The financial arbitrage opportunity is too significant to persist and, hence, the stock should not be valued based purely on organic results without a change in capital structure.”

* TD Securities’ Meaghen Annett raised her Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS-T) target to $49 from $46, keeping a “buy” rating. The average is $46.25.

* Canaccord Genuity’s Tania Armstrong-Whitworth cut her target for Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (EPRX-T) to $6.50 from $8.50, keeping a “speculative buy” recommendation. The average is $7.25.

* Calling the latest drill results from its flagship Filo del Sol deposit “impressive,” Scotia Capital’s Eric Winmill raised his Filo Mining Corp. (FIL-T) target to $25 from $20.50, keeping a “sector outperform” rating. The average is $19.97.

* In a note on the E&C and heavy equipment sectors, CIBC World Markets’ Jacob Bout raised his targets for Finning International Inc. (FTT-T, “outperformer”) to $50 from $47, Toromont Industries Ltd. (TIH-T, “neutral”) to $123 from $118 and Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. (WTE-T, “neutral”) to $35 from $30. The averages are $44.67, $124.22 and $31.20, respectively.

“We have a positive bias towards STN/WSP (pure-play engineers able to pass through higher costs at a time of rising backlog/demand levels) and FTT (historic valuation discount to TIH and a proxy play on elevated crude/copper prices). While we remain constructive on the mid- to longer-term outlook for Canadian construction names (ARE/BDT backlog levels set to rise through H1/22), we expect Q1/22 results (including SNC’s LSTK projects) to be weaker year-over-year due to ongoing supply chain issues/cost inflation and/or the lack of CEWS,” he said.

* RBC’s Walter Spracklin cut his GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL-N, GFL-T) target to US$44, above the US$43.01 average, from US$47 with an “outperform” rating.

* Mr. Spracklin raised his Waste Connections Inc. (WCN-N, WCN-T) target to US$153 from US$148 with an “outperform” rating. The average is US$148.93.

* Credit Suisse’s Fahad Tariq raised his Hudbay Minerals Inc. (HBM-T) target to $14.50 from $13 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $13.53.

* Mr. Tariq increased his target for Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN-T) to $14 from $13, maintaining a “neutral” rating. The average is $13.67.

* Following its acquisition of a solar project in the Dominican Republic, iA Capital Markets’ Naji Baydoun raised his Polaris Infrastructure Inc. (PIF-T) target by $1 to $24 with a “buy” rating, while Raymond James’ David Quezada increased his target to $28 from $26 with a “strong buy” recommendation. The average is $27.50.

“Following the recently announced acquisitions in Ecuador and Panama, this transaction will further accelerate PIF’s diversification and growth efforts over the near-term,” Mr. Baydoun said. “We estimate that the Canoa 1 acquisition could be mid-single digit accretive to FCF/share, with additional upside from a potential expansion project (Canoa 2). As PIF executes on its recently announced initiatives, the Company will materially reduce its portfolio concentration, which should support its equity market valuation. Based on reduced cost of capital assumptions and higher financial estimates, we are increasing our price target.”

* National Bank’s Vishal Shreedhar cut his Premium Brands Holdings Corp. (PBH-T) target to $138 from $155 with an “outperform” rating. The average is $142.60.

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