Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.
Leisure airline Transat AT (TRZ-T) says a slump in holiday bookings that began in late February amid the Covid-19 outbreak has become much worse in recent days.
Montreal-based Transat said it has consolidated flights and taken other measures to cut costs and preserve cash flow but cannot provide a financial outlook for the second quarter or summer travel season.
Airlines around the world have cancelled routes and parked planes as governments order quarantines and tell people to avoid large gatherings and travel to stricken regions as they wrestle to contain Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the current situation, it is impossible to predict the effect on future bookings,” Transat said in a statement on Thursday morning accompanying its first-quarter financial results.
Transat’s loss narrowed to $33-million, or 90 cents a share, in the three months ending Jan. 31, compared with $53-million ($1.41) in the same period a year ago. Revenues were $690-million, up by 7 per cent.
“We’re satisfied with the improvement in results for the first quarter, even though the coronavirus epidemic makes the rest of the year difficult to predict,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, chief executive officer of Transat. “But Transat has already faced several epidemiological threats in the past, including SARS and H1N1, and I firmly believe that the resilience of our teams and our solid balance sheet will enable us to deal with risks and difficulties once again. We’re taking all the necessary measures to allow our clients to travel with peace of mind.”
The company also reported fourth-quarter revenue of $162.7-million, down 9 per cent from the same period in 2018. Net profit for the fourth quarter was $15.9 million or 45 cents per share compared to $23.5-million or 63 cents per share in the prior year comparative quarter. Analysts were expecting revenue of $171-million and earnings of 39 cents per share.
Badger also said it has made no changes to its 2020 financial outlook and "is closely monitoring the global spread of the coronavirus and the impact it may have on the global and North American economies, and consequently the impact on Badger’s operations."
The company added that it's unclear what the short or long-term impact might be on its operations. "In the event of an economic downturn in Badger’s markets, Badger will proactively reallocate hydrovacs across its branch network in response to regional activity levels, and consistent with historical past practice, will continue to prudently manage capital expenditures to support hydrovac truck growth and manage retirements."
Its net loss was $74.5-million or 45 cents per share versus a profit of $1.4-million or a penny per share a year earlier. Its net loss before an impairment charge was $6.1-million.
Melcor Developments Ltd. (MRD-T) cut its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, down from 12 cents, saying the move is “consistent with the company’s desire to preserve cash in these uncertain economic times.”
The company also reported fourth-quarter revenue of $78.1-million down from about $120-million a year earlier. Net income was $17-million or 51 cents per share down from $36.5-million or $1.09 a year earlier. Funds from operations came in at $13.9-million or 45 cents versus $30.7-million or 92 cents a year earlier.
Pollard Banknote Limited (PBL-T) reported fourth-quarter sales of $100-million up from $70.2-million a year earlier. Net income was $4.6-million or 18 cents per share versus a loss of $1.9-million or 8 cents a year earlier.
Analysts were expecting revenue of $101.5-million and earnings of 19 cents.
Its net loss was US$3.1-million or 6 US cents per share versus a loss of US$1.8-million or 3 US cents per share a year earlier. Adjusted earnings came in at 3 US cents, below expectations of 7 US cents and compared to 11 US cents a year earlier.
Adjusted funds from operations came in at US$9.6-million of 18 US cents versus US$10.3-million or 19 US cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting adjusted FFO of 15 US cents.
Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIR-T) announced that it’s “immediately deferring approximately $65-million of capital expenditures,” or about 19 per cent of its previously announced capital budget, “as a result of weakening and volatile oil prices.” Birchcliff said its board has approved a reduced capital budget of $275-million to $295-million for 2020, as compared to the previous budget of $340-million to $360-million.
"By immediately deferring these capital expenditures, Birchcliff is bringing its anticipated 2020 capital expenditures more in-line with its targeted annual adjusted funds flow, which may vary materially from the corporation’s expectations as a result of world events and other factors," the company stated.
It also reduced its 2020 guidance and commodity price assumptions.
CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (CWX-T) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $3.4-million up from $370,000 a year earlier. Revenues increased by 11 per cent to $293.4-million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $290.1-million.
"Given the current uncertainty in the global economy and reduced visibility into the future, Chemtrade believes that it is prudent to reduce its monthly distributions by 50 per cent," the company stated. "To date, the current economic conditions have not had a material impact on Chemtrade’s business, nor on the assumptions underpinning Chemtrade’s 2020 earnings guidance, which was issued in January 2020. However, the longer these circumstances persist the higher is the risk to our underlying assumptions."
Alcanna Inc. (CLIQ-T) reported fourth-quarter sales of $232-million up from $190.9-million a year earlier. Its net loss from continuing operations was $14.3-million or 35 cents versus a loss of $151.3-million or $4.08 a year ago.
KP Tissue Inc. (KPT-T) said its fourth-quarter revenue decreased by $11.2-million or 3.1 per cent to $348.1-million compared to $359.3-million a year ago. Analysts were expecting revenue of $376.1-million. Its net loss was $6.1-million versus a profit of $38-million a year ago.
“The decrease was primarily due to a change in other expense resulting primarily from a swing in the change in amortized cost of partnership units liability, higher income tax expense and consulting costs related to operational transformation initiatives, partially offset by higher Adjusted EBITDA and a decrease in interest expense,” the company stated.