TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:
Toronto Stock Exchange (21,342.13, up 77.03 points.)
Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up nine cents, or 0.17 per cent, to $52.32 on 29.7 million shares.
Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Down 96 cents, or 3.84 per cent, to $24.04 on 13.5 million shares.
Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Energy. Up 23 cents, or 1.53 per cent, to $15.26 on 10.9 million shares.
Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up 84 cents, or 2.67 per cent, to $32.28 on 10.3 million shares.
Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 12 cents, or 2.85 per cent, to $4.33 on 6.4 million shares.
Denison Mines Corp. (TSX:DML). Materials. Up one cent, or 0.42 per cent, to $2.39 on 6.2 million shares.
Companies in the news:
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI). Up $3.18 or 11.6 per cent to $30.62. A significant slowdown in sales of plant-based food products is prompting Maple Leaf Foods to reassess its strategy of investing in the category. The Ontario-based company said Thursday it has seen a marked decline in performance in the plant-based protein category, which it believes may suggest "systemic change" in the extremely high growth rates once expected by the industry. Maple Leaf — once known primarily as a packaged meats company specializing in products like bacon and cold cuts — has worked hard in the last four years to rebrand itself as a "protein company." While Maple Leaf reported a third-quarter profit of $44.5 million or 36 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, that was down from $66 million or 54 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Sales totalled $1.18 billion, up from $1.06 billion in the same quarter last year. However, while meat protein group sales grew by 13 per cent year-over-year to $1.15 billion, Maple Leaf's plant protein group sales fell by six per cent, to $48 million.
Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE). Down five cents to $11.73. Martinrea International Inc. says it swung to a loss of $17.1 million in the third quarter compared with earnings of $45.6 million last year as supply chain issues and inflating costs cut into revenue. The autoparts manufacturer says the net loss worked out to 21 cents per share for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with earnings of 57 cents per share for the same quarter last year. Sales for the quarter came in at $848.5 million, down 12.6 per cent from $971.1 million last year. Company chief executive Pat D'Eramo says the quarter was a challenge as the combination of supply chain disruptions and inflating costs of labour, materials and energy are "wreaking havoc on the automotive supply base." He says that the company has been hit by work stoppages at auto assemblers and that the low visibility on schedules means it's been difficult to adjust labour costs, especially given the tight labour market. The company says that it expects production volumes to improve next year, and remains confident in meeting its 2023 objective of reaching total sales of between $4.6 billion and $4.8 billion.
Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP). Down 37 cents to 1.23 per cent to $29.72. Dairy giant Saputo Inc. struggled in its second quarter with sinking profit despite stable revenue as a perfect storm of COVID-19 disruptions, labour shortages and supply chain turmoil weighed on the company's bottom line. Saputo earned $98 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, plummeting 42.7 per cent from $171 million a year earlier. The results underscore the challenges of operating with supply chain bottlenecks and labour issues, which the company said has put pressure on its ability to meet demand. The dairy processor also indicated it could take at least another 12 months before the availability of labour, particularly in the United States, normalizes. Meanwhile, Saputo has ushered in price increases to cope with inflation, yet those higher prices are failing to keep up with rising costs. The company said higher costs, including overtime wages, transportation, fuel, consumables and packaging, are expected to remain at elevated levels. Meanwhile, Saputo's adjusted profits dropped 37 per cent to $116 million, from $184 million in the second quarter of 2020. Revenues remained stable at $3.7 billion as an increase in food service sales was offset by lower grocery sales.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Up three cents to $52.61. The chief executive of oil and gas giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. says Canada's oil and gas sector is banking on technology and innovation to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint over time, but won't be able to do it without the support of federal and provincial governments. On Thursday, CNRL chief executive Tim McKay said the company "will require collaboration" from government in order to meet its goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In an interview, McKay said the goal is achievable, but CNRL — as well as the other five companies that are part of the Oil Sands Pathway to Net Zero alliance — need certainty around future government policies and expectations. McKay's comments come the same week Canada has committed to a federal cap on greenhouse gas emissions produced by Canada's oil and gas industry. Like all Canadian oil and gas producers, the company benefited from surging commodity prices — posting a third-quarter profit of $2.2 billion. CNRL also announced Thursday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 25 per cent, to 58.75 cents per share. The company reported revenue of $7.71 billion, up from $4.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020. It also decreased its net debt to approximately $15.9 billion, down from $18.2 billion in the second quarter.
BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE). Up 50 cents to $64.43. BCE Inc. boosted its year-over-year earnings by 10 per cent last quarter, matching analyst expectations amid more mobile and internet subscribers and heftier ad spending across its platforms. The parent company of Bell Canada and media companies that include CTV, TSN and radio stations saw revenue from its wireless network jump five per cent year over year in its third quarter to $1.65 billion, benefiting from a 14 per cent leap in net new mobile phone subscribers. Media operating revenue rose 14.5 per cent to $719 million, riding a higher wave of advertiser spending on television, radio and digital media platforms. Bell Media subscriber revenue also increased more than 12 per cent, driven by a five per cent bump in viewers signing up for the Crave streaming platform. BCE reported net earnings of $813 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with $740 million in the same period a year earlier. Profit attributable to common shareholders totalled $757 million or 83 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company said. The result compared with a profit of $692 million or 77 cents per share a year ago. Operating revenue totalled $5.84 billion, up from $5.79 billion in the same quarter last year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2021.
The Canadian Press