Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (WFT-T) announced that it’s taking additional steps to respond to changing operating and market conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective March 30, lumber production at all British Columbia sawmills will be curtailed for one week, the company said and plywood production at its Alberta Plywood and Slave Lake Veneer facilities will be temporarily suspended until at least April 6.
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (HARV-C) announced the “mutual termination” of its merger agreement with Verano Holdings LLC dated April 22, 2019.
"Prolonged obstacles in meeting requirements for state and local regulatory authorities needed to transfer ownership and operational licenses, adverse capital market conditions, a challenging environment for asset sales, all contributed significantly to the decision not to move forward with the pending acquisition," the company stated.
It said no breakup fees or other considerations are owed by either party as a result of the termination.
Stella-Jones Inc. (SJ-T) said the company falls within the exemptions for essential workplaces, businesses that provide priority services and activities and workforces that carry out critical manufacturing. As a result, the company said it plans to continue operations at all of its North America treating facilities and supporting distribution networks “while being mindful of potential impacts in light of the current context.”
McEwen Mining Inc. (MUX-N; MUX-T) announced that it will scale down both the Black Fox and Gold Bar mines beginning today for a period of 14 days due to coronavirus. “Certain production and exploration activities will continue at Gold Bar in areas where social distancing can be observed, including ore crushing, irrigation of the heap leach pad, and operation of the process plant,” the company stated. “At Black Fox, we expect to continue development activities related to the Froome access ramp. Both sites will continue to be minimally staffed to ensure safety, security and environmental compliance.” The company said its projects in Mexico are continuing to operate normally.
Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (FSM-N; FVI-T) announced that the “illegal blockade” of the roads in the municipality of San José del Progreso which prevented access to the San Jose Mine has been lifted. The company said operations at the mine will resume today, starting with the night shift.
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TGOD-T) announced it has postponed the start up of its Valleyfield facility in order to centralize cultivation operations at Ancaster. It has temporarily laid off the majority of its Valleyfield employees and said that it intends to restart operations there later in the year. “Ancaster is not impacted and continues to grow and harvest premium organic cannabis for the recreational and medical markets,” the company stated. This company said the change does not impact its timeline for the launch of its remaining Cannabis 2.0 products.
TGOD also said it has undertaken another series of measures to "aggressively" reduce costs, including temporary salary reductions of 20 per cent for salaried employees and 30 per cent for certain executives. It's also freezing all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work and working with suppliers to identify further cost savings and efficiencies
Norbord Inc. (OSB-T; OSB-N) announced that effective March 30 it will start reducing production across its portfolio of North American oriented strand board (OSB) mills in response to the demand impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said its adjusted operating configuration will initially result in a 25-per-cent reduction to Norbord's currently operating North American mill capacity. "The OSB demand situation is changing day-by-day, and the company's ability to continue to operate any of its mills could be influenced by factors outside Norbord's control, including government-imposed restrictions, therefore additional operating adjustments may be necessary," it stated in a release.
Norbord said its European business is prepared to take similar action and will adjust mill operating schedules as needed to match production with demand.
The company is also deferring non-critical capital projects and further reducing its 2020 capital expenditures budget by 25 per cent to US$75-million to preserve cash and balance sheet flexibility.
"These are extraordinary times and difficult decisions, but they reflect the uncertainties facing businesses around the globe," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's CEO.
Melcor Developments Ltd. (MRD-T) and Melcor Real Estate Investment Trust (MR.UN-T) announced measures taken in response to economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the drastic drop in the price of Alberta oil.
To respond to this pressure, Melcor and the REIT announced initiatives including a 47-per-cent reduction to the REIT’s April distribution, announced Mar 20, a 17-per-cent reduction to Melcor’s dividend announced Mar. 11, a reduction in board remuneration for both companies, a wage roll-back for named executive officers and management committee members, temporary lay-off notices given to approximately 25 per cent of full-time staff, a reduction in remuneration for all remaining staff and the deferral of all capital spending.
Savaria Corp. (SIS-T) reported fourth-quarter revenue of $96.4-million up from $93.1-million a year ago. Analysts were expecting revenue of $100.2-million.
Profit was $34.1-million versus $29.1-million a year ago.Adjusted EBITDA was $15.2-million up from $12.4-million a year earlier.
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (WPRT-T; WPRT-N) announced measures to improve liquidity given the impact of COVID-19 on global operations.
The company said it has amended terms of a secured loan agreement with Export Development Canada (EDC) announced on Dec. 21, 2017 to defer $6-million in principal payments in 2020 and to extend the term of the loan until Sept. 30, 2022.
SSR Mining Inc. (SSRM-Q; SSRM-T) announced that its Seabee Gold operation in Saskatchewan is undertaking a voluntary suspension of operations due to the threat of the COVID-19 virus. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the Seabee workforce, the company stated.
Seabee will be placed into temporary care and maintenance until April 30.
SSR Mining is also withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance across all operations until further notice “due to the uncertainty with respect to future developments of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the duration, severity and scope of the outbreak, the actions taken to contain or treat the COVID-19 outbreak and potential impacts on mining operations.”