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Inside the Market TransCanada, Cameco set for big moves Friday; Amazon poised for record high

Thursday’s after-market earnings calendar was dominated by good news from big U.S. tech names, with Canadian miners playing a secondary role. But with the sun rising Friday, several significant Canadian corporate citizens will add their numbers to the pile.

Let’s start with them:

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TransCanada Corp. has bounced of its 52-week low set earlier this month, but the Canadian pipeline space still needs to give investors more good news than bad. It’s quite possible TransCanada will deliver Friday morning, as analysts have been increasing their earnings estimates in the last 30 days, with the mean markup almost 5 per cent. On average, they expect EPS of 84 cents on revenue of just over $3.23 billion.

RBC Dominion Securities analyst Robert Kwan says “we see the potential for solid [first-quarter] results, and we also believe that the conference call for TransCanada will feature funding updates that will be well-received by the market.”

Cameco Corp. is, to be polite, a long-term story, given the funk uranium prices are in. That also has made the stock volatile; despite the pessimism, the shares are up 30 per cent from the 52-week low. Analysts expect, on average, a loss of a penny on revenue of just over $336 million, and they’ve been cutting that EPS estimate in the past 30 days. And yet, the shares have gained nearly 12 per cent in the past month.

Analyst Andrew D. Wong of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. expects “an uneventful quarter” and seasonally slower sales due to timing of contracts — but management commentary about mine usage and international uranium trade may provide news.

Electronics manufacturer/services company Celestica Inc. is expected, on average, to report EPS of 24 cents (U.S.) on just over $1.47 billion in revenue. The company has missed earnings expectations in three straight quarters, with the gap between actual and consensus growing each time, to 11.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, according to Eikon.

Analysts have cooled on the shares, with just one of six offering a “buy” rating, and at Thursday’s close of $13.90, the stock trades closer to its 52-week low than its high. An earnings beat, rather than another miss, could turn investors’ perceptions around; however, RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Treiber says expect first-quarter results and 2018 guidance to be in line with expectations.

Integrated energy company Imperial Oil Ltd., controlled by international giant Exxon Mobil Corp., reports Friday morning. Analysts expect, on average, 42 cents of EPS on nearly $8.7 billion in revenue. The company, struggling with its Kearl oil-sands project, has missed earnings expectations six out of the last eight quarters, including the last four in a row, often by sizable margins.

Meanwhile, First Quantum late Thursday reported EPS of 7 U.S. cents per share on revenue of $885 million, below expectations of 14 cents and $951 million, according to Eikon. The company reported a $121 million loss under its copper-hedge program.

Agnico-Eagle reported 19 U.S. cents EPS, topping the I/B/E/S consensus of 17 cents. The company reiterated its production and cost guidance for 2018 and said it was conducting a strategic review, looking for opportunities to sell non-core assets.

Major U.S. names reporting Friday morning include Colgate-Palmolive Corp.; Chevron Corp.; Moodys Corp.; and Weyerhaeuser Co.

Friday’s traders will have had plenty of time to absorb the good Thursday-evening news from Amazon.com Inc., which jumped more than 6 per cent after hours, adding to a gain of nearly 4 per cent during Thursday’s trading. The stock, already up 25 per cent this year, will open at a record high Friday if the gains hold.

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Amazon’s results bucked expectations that it would plow more profit into investments, as it has done in the past. The world’s largest online retailer said net income rose to $1.6 billion, or $3.27 per share in the quarter ended March 31. Analysts on average were expecting $1.26 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Sales rose 43 percent to $51.0 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of $49.8 billion.

Intel Corp. gained 5 per cent in after-market trading as the company raised its full-year outlook and reported EPS of 87 cents and revenue of $16.1 billion, which topped consensus of 72 cents and $15.08 billion, per I/B/E/S.

Microsoft, too, beat expectations, but investors may have expected even more, as shares fell slightly in after-market trading. EPS of 95 cents, a 36 percent year-over-year gain, topped consensus of 85 cents, per I/B/E/S. Revenue of $26.8 billion (a 16 per cent gain) beat the $25.77 billion consensus.

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Starbucks shares dropped 2 per cent in after-market trading as it reported flat customer traffic at established U.S. cafes for the second quarter in a row amid intense competition from upscale coffee houses as well as fast-food chains and convenience stores. Increased spending per visit drove same-store sales gain of 2 per cent for the U.S.-dominated Americas region, more than the 1.8 percent gain analysts expected. EPS of 53 cents met expectations.

A host of Canadian miners were expected to report results Thursday evening, with investor calls to follow by Friday morning: Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Eldorado Gold Corp., Equinox Gold Corp. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd..

With files from Reuters

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