Most actively traded companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange

TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:

Toronto Stock Exchange (19,852.18, up 77.77 points.)

BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Technology. Up 22 cents, or 1.85 per cent, to $ 12.14 on 19 million shares.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX:XLY). Health care. Down 2.5 cents, or 5.88 per cent, to 40 cents on 13.6 million shares.

Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX:ZENA). Health care. Up half a cent, or 3.57 per cent, to 14.5 cents on 13 million shares.

Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO). Financials. Up 47 cents, or 1.28 per cent, to $ 37.14 on 12.4 million shares.

Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX:TGOD). Health care. Up four cents, or 9.2 per cent, to 47.5 cents on 9.2 million shares.

Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up eight cents, or 0.29 per cent, to $ 27.90 on 8.3 million shares.

Companies in the news:

Hexo Corp. (TSX:HEXO). Up 75 cents or 9.5 per cent to $ 8.65. Hexo Corp. has announced a deal to buy cannabis producer Redecan for $ 925 million as the pot company continues its hunt for market share. Ottawa-based Hexo said Friday that it has agreed to pay $ 400 million in cash and $ 525 million in Hexo shares at $ 7.53 per share. The deal for Toronto-based Redecan, which is privately held, will increase Hexo’s share in the competitive cannabis market and build on its long-standing plan to become a top-three cannabis player in the Canadian adult-use market. Prior to the Redecan announcement, Hexo said it was third-largest in the adult-use market. The company now says Redecan will make Hexo the volume leader in dried flower across premium, mainstream and value price points and give it the No. 1 position in Alberta, B.C., Quebec and Ontario. The Redecan deal will give Hexo a 17 per cent market share, followed by Tilray Inc. with 15.5 per cent, 14 per cent for Canopy Growth Corp. and 6.5 per cent for Aurora Cannabis Inc., Desjardins Securities analyst John Chu said in a note to investors. The agreement will also introduce Redecan’s oils, capsules, pre-rolls and vapes to Hexo’s growing portfolio of vapes, flowers, edibles and expanding line of cannabis beverages it produces with Molson Coors Canada under the Truss Beverage Co. banner.

National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA). Down $ 2.69 or 2.8 per cent to $ 94.28. The head of National Bank of Canada has a rosy outlook on his company’s future as COVID-19 begins to subside, but chief executive Louis Vachon is still worried about variants that may emerge and the possibility of an overheating economy. Vachon said a new mutation of the virus could put a damper on his optimism and the economy and he also has an eye on a scenario where inflationary pressures start developing more in the economy. If assets like cryptocurrencies heat up, Vachon said he’s not worried because they aren’t tied to the banking system, but if a wider spectrum of assets with links to the system are involved, the bank would need to be a lot more careful because it creates a “greater concern.” Vachon made the comments as Montreal-based National Bank continued a trend set by the country’s other big banks earlier this week and beat expectations as it reported a second-quarter profit of $ 801 million, more than double compared with a year ago at the start of the pandemic. The profit amounted to $ 2.25 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, up from a profit of $ 379 million or $ 1.01 per share in the same quarter last year. Provisions for credit losses — money the bank puts aside to account for bad loans — in the quarter fell to $ 5 million compared with $ 504 million in the same quarter last year, when the pandemic hit.

CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (TSX:CWX). Down eight cents to $ 8.66. Vancouver-based CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. says it will change its name to Doman Building Materials Group Ltd. effective Monday. In a brief news release, the company says its shareholders approved a special resolution to change the name at its annual meeting held earlier this month. It says its shares, which trade under the symbol CWX, are to be switched to the new ticker symbol DBM on the Toronto Stock Exchange. CanWel chairman and CEO Amar Doman is quoted as saying the change is being made to reflect the company’s growth and evolution and “better reflect our corporate structure,” while highlighting brands it represents. The company did not respond to a request for an explanation of how the new name does that. According to a regulatory filing dated March 31, Amar Doman owned about 16.4 million CanWel shares, about 21 per cent of the total. The company reported first-quarter net earnings of $ 34.2 million on revenue of $ 520 million from its integrated forest product production and distribution operations in Canada and the United States.

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Interfor Corp. (TSX:IFP). Down 18 cents to $ 31.17. Interfor Corp. is forging ahead with a strategy fuelled by record high prices to grow its lumber production in the United States as the U.S. moves to increase softwood lumber duties on Canadian imports to protect its domestic producers. The Burnaby, B.C.-headquartered company says it will buy four sawmills for US$ 375 million, including working capital, in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Oregon from Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC and GP Wood Products LLC. In March, it closed a deal to buy a sawmill in South Carolina from WestRock Co. for US$ 59 million. The acquisitions have been paid for with cash on hand. The Georgia-Pacific deal is expected to boost Interfor’s annual lumber production capacity by 720 million board feet to 3.9 billion board feet, of which 77 per cent will be based in the U.S. and not subject to softwood lumber duties. Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department recommended higher duties that, if finalized later this year, would more than double the “all others’’ countervailing and anti-dumping rate to 18.32 per cent from 8.99 per cent. In a research report, CIBC analyst Hamir Patel points out that the acquisition is being made near the top of the market, but that the price is reasonable.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.

TORONTO STAR