Market movers: Stocks seeing action on Thursday – and why

A round-up of some of North American stocks moving in both directions today

Ascending

The Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (GC-T) was higher after Globe and Mail reported that CI Financial Corp. unsupported a $ 2.1 billion takeover offer and will vote against the deal, putting the proposed private equity buyout pending its proposed shareholder vote a week before its proposed shareholder vote.

CI is a major shareholder in Great Canadian with a 14.1 percent interest. In a statement late Wednesday, the money manager said he supported the proposed plan of agreement between private equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc. and Great non-Canadian.

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Moderna Inc. (MRNA-Q) rose with expectations that a panel of external advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will endorse the emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine during a meeting Thursday.

The panel’s vote on whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks is expected to come some time after 3 p.m. ET. FDA approval is expected on Friday.

This is the same committee of expert advisors that last week endorsed the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE and paved the way for FDA Emergency Approval (EUA) a day later.

This vaccine is being distributed across the country. A massive vaccination program began in US hospitals on Monday.

The Moderna vaccine uses similar messenger RNA technology, but has less onerous cold storage requirements than the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, making it a better option for remote and rural areas. Both vaccines were about 95 percent effective at preventing disease in critical clinical trials.

The Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (BPF-UN-T) rose with the announcement of a special distribution of 20 cents per share.

“The special distribution is a departure from the historical distribution practices of BPF.UN and is not expected to become a regular practice in the coming years,” Nick Corcoran, analyst at Acumen Capital, said in a research note.

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He added, “We continue to believe that the network is well positioned to weather the storm and that distribution has been adjusted to sustainable levels.”

Consulting and outsourcing service provider Accenture Plc (ACN-N) rose as its full-year revenue forecast increased and exceeded quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday as digital, cloud, and security services benefited from extended work-from-home Phase have been improved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to accelerate their move to the cloud, benefiting large IT consulting firms like Accenture that operate across industries, including healthcare and financial services.

The company forecast sales growth of between 4 and 6 percent for fiscal 2021, up from its previous growth estimate of between 2 and 5 percent.

Accenture expects second-quarter revenue to be between $ 11.55 billion and $ 11.95 billion, up from Wall Street’s estimates of $ 11.35 billion.

Total revenue rose to $ 11.76 billion for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 from $ 11.36 billion a year ago, beating analysts’ estimate of $ 11.36 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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General Mills Inc. (GIS-N) gained after beating second-quarter earnings estimates on Thursday, boosted by sales of its pet food and baked goods, and expects the demand trend to continue at levels that has seen it before the last few months.

“Third-quarter demand trends should generally be in line with recent months due to ongoing virus concerns in many global markets,” the company said, adding that this would lead to another strong quarter of revenue and earnings growth.

The Minneapolis-based company expects organic sales to increase approximately 7 percent in the third quarter, similar to growth in the second quarter. An increase in home cooking boosted sales of many products, including Betty Crocker cake mixes and Old El Paso sauces, in North America during the last quarter.

People also spent more on their pets, increasing General Mills’ pet segment sales 18 percent in the quarter, in part due to increased sales and media investments at brands like BLUE.

The Asian and Latin American markets are also robust, the company said. Organic net sales increased 10 percent due to strong demand for Wanchai Ferry dumplings in China and Häagen-Dazs retail ice cream. In Latin America, yoki dishes and kitano spices were top performing brands.

Excluding items, General Mills earned $ 1.06 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 97 cents.

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The company also anticipates that adjusted operating margins for full year 2021 will be in line with or better than last year’s levels.

Maryland-based MacroGenics Inc. (MGNX-Q) rose sharply after the drug developer announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drug Margenza in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of an advanced type of breast cancer in patients, who had previously failed two or more therapies.

The cancer drug maker said it expects to launch the first drug approved from its pipeline in March.

The approval is based on the results of a late-stage study that showed that a combination of Margenza and chemotherapy significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death compared to Herceptin plus chemotherapy from Roche Holding AG.

There is an FDA warning on the label for Margenza indicating the risk of harm to the embryo and fetus during pregnancy.

The FDA also warns of the risk of left ventricular dysfunction, which can lead to heart failure.

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Lennar Corp. (LEN-N) outperformed quarterly earnings and sales estimates as it constrained construction costs and benefited from a strong US housing market.

Lennar’s shares rose after the first-quarter home delivery forecast also beat Wall Street estimates.

While the COVID-19 health crisis has devastated the U.S. economy, record low mortgage rates and demand for suburban housing fueled the housing market as city dwellers look for spacious homes away from crowded spaces.

“The confluence of millennials raising families and households, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing construction, has significantly increased demand,” said chairman Stuart Miller.

According to IBES data from Refinitiv, the company forecast delivery of 12,200 to 12,500 homes in the first quarter, which is above analysts’ estimates of 11,592.

Revenue declined to $ 6.83 billion in the fourth quarter ended November 30, from $ 6.97 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting sales of 6.65 billion US dollars.

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Net income attributable to the company increased from $ 674.3 million, or $ 2.13 per share, to $ 882.8 million, or $ 2.82 per share.

Analysts had expected earnings of $ 2.37 per share.

On the retreat

Magna Intermational Inc. (MG-T) was lower after electric car maker Fisker Inc. announced Thursday it would initially manufacture its Ocean SUV in Europe and sign a deal with the Canadian auto supplier in October.

The agreement marks Magna’s first entry into contract manufacturing for an electric vehicle startup.

As part of the deal, Magna will receive warrants to purchase a stake of up to 6 percent in the electric car maker, Fisker told Reuters in October.

Magna’s stake in Fisker is subject to the achievement of three technical and production milestones with the model’s scheduled start of production in November 2022.

Fiskers Ocean SUV will have a starting price of $ 37,499.

Sylogist Ltd. (SYZ-X), a Calgary-based IT service management company, was marginally lower after fourth quarter 2020 results released before the bell fell short of roadside guidance.

In a research note, Acumen Capital equity analyst Jim Byrne said, “While fourth quarter results were below our expectations, we believe most investors should look beyond these financials when SYZ deals with new CEO Bill Wood Road to higher growth in 2021 and beyond is at the helm. Mr. Wood joined the company a little over a month ago, long after the fourth quarter ended in September. “

With files from employees and wires

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