RSS Feed en-us Copyright (c) 2018 Inc. All rights reserved. 4/24/2018 4:53:57 AM <![CDATA[Knight Therapeutics "OUTPERFORM"]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:59:00 EST<![CDATA[Oil Prices Fall As Russia Reconsiders Production Cuts]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:39:00 EST, April 23, 2018

Oil Prices Fall As Russia Reconsiders Production Cuts

OPEC and non-OPEC producers could reconsider the size of the production cuts they agreed in December 2016 and "ease the cuts," Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told TASS during today’s meeting of the partners in Jeddah.

"We will monitor the market situation over the next two months, Novak said, "and we will assess it when we meet again in June. The deal will continue until the end of the year but in June we might discuss the question of reducing the cut quotas over that period."

Once again, the Russian Energy Minister is providing some counter-pressure to its partner Saudi Arabia’s upbeat attitude about the future of the cut deal by hinting that not everything is set in stone, and that the cuts might not continue indefinitely regardless of how much Riyadh wants higher oil prices.

For Russia, higher oil prices would be a double-edged sword: on the one hand, they would boost revenues, but on the other, they would dampen demand and hurt exports and market share. His latest comments could dent oil’s latest gains although the general mood continues to be positive, with Novak saying that the global inventory overhang had shrunk to 12 million barrels as of the end of March.

As for the extension of the cuts, Novak said that the partners in the deal were discussing the future format of their partnership, making a point of noting that this format will not necessarily include an extension of the cuts. "It [the partnership] could come down to monitoring the situation in the form of two meetings every year."

Meanwhile, the UAE’s oil minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, said the deal needed more participants both from OPEC and outside the cartel. In an interview with German Handelsblatt, Al-Mazrouei said, "OPEC members and non-OPEC producers over-delivered on the supply cuts they promised... But we must include further countries in the pact."

By Irina Slav for

<![CDATA[Netflix To Raise US$1.5 Billion In Debt To Finance Original Content Production]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:54:00 EST, April 23, 2018

Netflix To Raise US$1.5 Billion In Debt To Finance Original Content Production

Netflix Inc. said it plans to raise US$1.5 billion in debt to help finance its rapid expansion of original television and movie content.

It is the second time in a year that Netflix has raised debt to finance its growth. The video streaming service, which raised US$1.6 billion of debt last October, has been spending aggressively on original content to drive subscriber growth around the world.

Netflix beat Wall Street’s estimates for subscriber additions earlier this month, driven by hit original shows such as “Altered Carbon” and “Jessica Jones”, and said it looks to spend nearly US$8 billion on content in 2018. The company also reported long-term debt of US$6.5 billion at the end of first quarter and said it expects free cash flow to be negative in the second half of 2018.

Netflix had around US$2.6 billion in cash, according to the company’s latest quarterly report. The company said on Monday that it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions and production.

Netflix has been adding subscribers in Canada in recent months as growing numbers of households cancel their traditional cable TV subscriptions in favour of streaming content.

<![CDATA[Economic Calendar]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 04:53:57 EST 2018


Monday, April 02, 2018 Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI: 9:30am Mar The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index registered 55.7 in March, little changed from 55.6 in February and above the neutral 50.0 threshold for the 25th consecutive month. The Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, declined to a seasonally adjusted 55.6 last month from 55.9 in January.
Thursday, April 05, 2018 Canadian International Merchandise Trade: 8:30am Feb Canada's merchandise trade deficit totaled $2.7 billion in February, widening from a $1.9-billion deficit in January. Imports rose 1.9% and exports increased 0.4%. Canada's merchandise trade deficit totalled $1.9 billion in January, narrowing from a $3.1-billion deficit in December. Imports decreased 4.3% and exports fell 2.1%.
Friday, April 06, 2018 Labour Force Survey: 8:30am Mar. Employment increased by 32,000 in March, driven by full-time gains. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8%. Employment gained only 15,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 5.8%.
Friday, April 06, 2018 IVEY Purchasing Managers Index: 10:00am Mar The index measured 59.8 in March, in contrast to a reading of 59.6 in February, and 61.1 in March 2017. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity. The seasonally-adjusted index increased to 59.6 in February from 55.2 in January and 55 in February 2017. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in the pace of activity.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Housing Starts: 8:15am Mar Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's seasonally-adjusted annual rate of starts declined to 225,213 in March from February’s upwardly revised 231,026. Economists had forecast starts would decline to 218,000 homes. The trend in housing starts was 225,276 units in February, compared to 224,572 units in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Building Permits: 8:30am Feb Canadian municipalities issued $8.2 billion in building permits in February (-2.6%), following a 5.2% gain in January. Single-family homes as well as the commercial and institutional components saw lower levels of construction intentions in February. Canadian municipalities issued $8.4 billion in building permits in January, up 5.6% following a 2.5% rise in December. The January increase mainly stemmed from higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Ontario.
Thursday, April 12, 2018 New Housing Price Index: 8:30am Feb Lower prices for new homes in Toronto were the main reason for a national price decline in February. Following two consecutive months of no change, new home prices were down 0.2% nationally. Nationally, new house prices were unchanged for a second consecutive month.
Monday, April 16, 2018 CREAstats - MLS Sales: 8:30am Mar Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 1.3 % from February to March 2018. Despite having improved marginally in March, national sales activity in the first quarter slid to the lowest quarterly level since the first quarter of 2014. Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association show national home sales declined further in February 2018. National home sales declined by 6.5% from January to February. Actual (not seasonally-adjusted) activity was down 16.9% year-over-year in February.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Canada's International Transactions in Securities: 8:30am Feb Foreign investment in Canadian securities totaled $4.0 billion in February, down from $5.6 billion in January. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities slowed to $6.3 billion, following two months of strong acquisitions. Foreign investors resumed their investment in Canadian securities by adding $5.7 billion to their holdings in January. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities totaled $13.3 billion, a second consecutive month of strong acquisitions.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Monthly Survey of Manufacturing: 8:30am Feb Manufacturing sales increased 1.9% to $55.8 billion in February, following two consecutive monthly decreases. Manufacturing sales decreased 1.0% to $54.9 billion in January.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 BoC Rate Announcement: 10am Apr The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.25% The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit rate is 1%. The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.25%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit rate is 1%.
Thursday, April 19, 2018 Employment Insurance: 8:30am Feb The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreased by 11,300 or 2.3% in February to 480,200, the lowest level since comparable data became available in 1997. The number of regular Employment Insurance beneficiaries fell by 5,800 or 1.2% in January to 494,200, continuing a downward trend that began in October 2016.
Friday, April 20, 2018 Consumer Price Index: 8:30am Mar The Consumer Price Index rose 2.3% on a year-over-year basis in March, following a 2.2% increase in February. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.1% in March, after increasing 0.2% in February. CPI rose 2.2% on a year-over-year basis in February, following a 1.7% increase in January. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index was up 0.2% in February after increasing 0.5% in January.
Friday, April 20, 2018 Retail Trade: 8:30am Feb Retail sales increased 0.4% in February to $49.8 billion. Higher sales at new car dealers and general merchandise stores were the main contributors to the gain. Retail sales increased 0.3% in January to $49.9 billion. General merchandise stores were the largest contributors to the increase
Monday, April 23, 2018 Wholesale Trade: 8:30am Feb Wholesale sales declined 0.8% to $62.8 billion in February, the largest downward movement and the second monthly drop since September 2017. Wholesale sales edged up 0.1% to $63.3 billion in January. Sales were up in four of seven sub-sectors, accounting for 66% of total wholesale sales.
Thursday, April 26, 2018 Average Weekly Earnings Feb --- Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $996 in January, little changed from the previous month. Earnings were up 3.2% compared with January 2017, largely the result of gains in the second half of 2017
Monday, April 30, 2018 Industrial Product Price Index: 8:30am Mar --- The Industrial Product Price Index edged up 0.1% in February
Monday, April 30, 2018 Raw Materials Price Index: 8:30am Mar --- The Raw Materials Price Index fell 0.3% due to lower prices for crude energy products.
Tuesday, May 01, 2018 GDP: 8:30am Feb --- GDP edged down 0.1% in January, offsetting part of the 0.2% growth in December.
<![CDATA[Surprise Dip for Wholesale Trade ]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:50:00 EST Dip for Wholesale Trade

Figures released Monday by Statistics Canada revealed that wholesale trade fell unexpectedly in February as declines in the motor vehicle and parts and miscellaneous sectors offset increases in personal and household goods.

The 0.8% drop in the value of wholesale trade bucked economists' forecasts for a 0.5% increase. January was upwardly revised to show an increase of 0.3% from the initially reported 0.1% increase.

The agency went on to say sales were down in four out of seven sectors in February, accounting for 64% of wholesale trade. Removing the effects of price changes, sales volumes were down 0.9%.

<![CDATA[Asia Slips as U.S. Yields Hike ]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:03:00 EST, April 23, 2018

Asia Slips as U.S. Yields Hike

Asian stocks closed mostly lower on Monday, as investors kept an eye on rising U.S. Treasury yields and digested declines in technology stocks seen stateside.

The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 74.2 points, or 0.3%, to end Monday at 22,088.04. Among sectors, insurers, banks and shippers led gains, while technology was a mixed bag.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index plummeted 163.93 points, or 0.5%, to 30,254.40, as slight gains in financials were erased by losses in the technology sector.

Elsewhere, the Kospi closed lower ahead of an inter-Korea summit due to take place at the end of the week. Automakers and retailers declined as steelmakers climbed. Shinwon Corporation, a company that has exposure to North Korea, jumped 15.9%

Australian markets were up slightly, with the financials sub-index and gold producers leading gains.

Also of note was the move higher in U.S. Treasury yields, which has in turn supported the dollar. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stood at 2.9789% in afternoon Asian trade after rising as high as 2.981% earlier, its highest level since January 2014.

Asian stocks had ended the last session with moderate losses after technology shares in the region took a hit on the back of weak guidance from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) on Thursday.

Meanwhile, U.S.-China trade tensions that had spooked markets earlier in the month also weren't far from investors' minds after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday said a trip to China was "under consideration."

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 eked up 5.48 points, or 0.2%, to 3,766.33

In Korea, the Kospi Index settled 2.22 points, or 0.1%, to 2,474.11

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index poked ahead 5.48 points, or 0.2%, to 3,579.54

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index faltered 82.25 points, or 0.8%, to 10,679.13

In New Zealand, the NZD 50 Index dipped 19.11 points, or 0.4%, to 8,303.62

In Australia, the ASX 200 Index regained 17.24 points, or 0.3%, to 5,886.01

<![CDATA[Home Sales Hike Stateside ]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:17:00 EST home sales increased for a second straight month in March amid a rebound in activity in the Northeast and Midwest regions, but a dearth of houses on the market and higher prices remain headwinds as the spring selling season kicks off.

Experts say the supply squeeze is expected to ease somewhat later this year as data last week showed the stock of housing under construction rising in March to levels last seen in July 2007.

The National Association of Realtors in the United States said on Monday that existing home sales rose 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million units last month. The market for previously owned homes accounts for about 90% of U.S. home sales. Sales fell 1.2% year-on-year in March.

Sales surged in the Northeast and Midwest, after being weighed down by bad weather in February, but fell in the South and the West.

The NAR says further, that there is an acute shortage of homes, especially at the lower end of the market, with sales of houses priced below $100,000 dropping 21% in March from a year ago.

The resulting higher house prices and rising mortgage rates are a constraint for first-time buyers, who have been largely priced out of the market. First-time home buyers accounted for 30% of transactions last month, up from 29% in February, but down from 32% year ago.

<![CDATA[IPO Center - TSX-V]]>Fri, 05 Jan 2018 08:59:00 EST Company Name Ticker Date Clarmin Explorations Inc. CX 05-01-2018 Imperial Mining Group IPG 16-01-2018 Neptune Dash Technologies Corp. DASH 19-01-2018 First Legacy Mining Corp. FLM 19-01-2018 Savanna Capital Corp. SAC.P 22-01-2018 Darien Resource Development Corp. DRR 25-01-2018 AAJ Capital 1 Corp. AAJ.P 30-01-2018 Allegiant Gold Ltd. AUAU 30-01-2018 Gabriel Resources Ltd. GBU 01-02-2018 Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. MTA 02-02-2018 Baetis Ventures Ltd. BATS.P 07-02-2018 POCML 4 Inc. POCM.P 09-02-2018 Platform Eight Capital Corp. PEC.P 12-02-2018 AIM2 Ventures Inc. AIMV.P 14-02-2018 Ridgestone Mining Inc. RMI 16-02-2018 Meridius Resources Limited MRI 22-02-2018 Anquiro Ventures Ltd. AQR.P 23-02-2018 Spirit Banner Capital Corp. SBCC.P 26-02-2018 Skyscape Capital Inc. SKY.P 06-03-2018 Blue Bay Capital Inc. BLUE.P 12-03-2018 Apolo III Acquisition Corp. APII.P 12-03-2018 Ring the Bell Capital Corp. RTB.P 12-03-2018 Aumento Capital VII Corporation AUOC.P 13-03-2018 Mobi724 Global Solutions Inc. MOS 14-03-2018 RMR Science Technologies Inc. RMS.P 15-03-2018 Pacific Empire Minerals Corp. PEMC 20-03-2018 Murchison Minerals Ltd. MUR 20-03-2018 Mira X Acquisition Corp. MIRA.P 21-03-2018 Two Owls Ventures Corp. OWL.P 26-03-2018 Predator Blockchain Capital Corp. PRED.P 02-04-2018 Apolo III Acquisition Corp. AIII.P 04-04-2018 Apolo III Acquisition Corp. AIII.P 04-04-2018 Resaas Services Inc. RSS 04-04-2018 ECC Ventures 2 Corp. ETWO.P 18-04-2018 ECC Ventures 1 Corp. EONE.P 18-04-2018 Pine Trail Capital Trust PINE.P 20-04-2018]]><![CDATA[Stocks Stronger to Close Monday]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:31:00 EST, April 23, 2018

16:31 PM EST
Stocks Stronger to Close Monday

Energy, Staples Prove Champs

Stocks in Canada’s largest market were solidly in the green Monday, following remarks by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slid off its highs of the day, but gained 56.69 points to conclude Monday at 15,541.01

The Canadian dollar backtracked 1.08 cents to 77.88 cents U.S.

The energy sector was boosted by Cenovus Energy trading seven cents higher to $12.35, while Suncor Energy was up 10 cents to $48.90.

Among consumer staples, Metro Inc. added 32 cents to $42.45, while Loblaw gained 78 cents, or 1.2%, to $66.23

In the consumer discretionary category, Gildan Activewear took on 58 cents, or 1.6%, to $37.73, while Magna International soared $1.18, or 1.6%, to $76.39.

One of the largest percentage gainers on the TSX was The Stars Group, which rose $5.61, or 15%, to $42.97. The Canadian gaming company on Saturday had agreed to buy Sky Betting and Gaming from owners CVC Capital Partners and Sky Plc, in a deal worth $4.7 billion.

In the health-care sector, Aurora Cannabis shed 60 cents, or 7%, to $8.01, while Canopy Growth dropped $1.92, or 6.4%, to $28.09.

The largest decliner was Tahoe Resources, down 41 cents, or 6%, to $6.46, after the company on Saturday reported a labour strike at its La Arena mine in Peru. Agnico Eagle Mines toppled 38 cents to $55.90.

For his part, Poloz said he expects the inflation rate to be above 2% in 2018, but he is comfortable with that as long as the long-term trend is steady, according to reports on Sunday.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported that wholesale trade in Canada backtracked 0.8% to $62.8 billion in February, the largest downward movement and the second monthly drop since September 2017.


The TSX Venture Exchange docked 8.06 points, or 1%, to 796.30

Seven of the 12 TSX subgroups were positive on the day, as energy gushed 1.3%, consumer discretionary and consumer staples each climbed 1%.

The five laggards were weighed most by health-care, ailing 2.1%, materials, faltering 1.2%, and gold, sagging 0.8%.


Stocks fell on Monday as tech shares declined, while investors fretted over higher interest rates. Wall Street also zeroed in on the busiest week of the earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 14.25 points to 24,448.69, notching its first four-day losing streak since March — with Goldman Sachs as the worst-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 inched up 0.15 points to 2,670.29, as a 0.4% decline in tech offset a 1.1% gain in telecommunications.

The NASDAQ Composite index slid 17.52 points to 7,128.60, its third straight decline, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet all closed lower.

Wall Street also braced for the busiest week of the earnings season. More than 170 companies are expected to have released their quarterly results by the end of the week, including Alphabet, 3M, Amazon and Chevron.

Hasbro, Halliburton and Alaska Air all posted quarterly results before the bell Monday. Shares of Hasbro regained 3%, after its earnings and sales fell short of estimates. Halliburton's quarterly profit matched analyst expectations, while its revenue missed. Alaska Air reported a stronger-than-expected profit but disappointing revenue.

Overall, this earnings season has been strong thus far. More than 82% of S&P 500 companies that have reported through Monday morning have topped earnings estimates

Elsewhere in corporate news, shares of Merck rose 2.4%, after an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. Analysts at the investment bank said the Dow member's sales could boom because of Keytruda, a blockbuster drug used to treat lung cancer.

Caterpillar climbed 0.5% after Citi raised its rating on the Dow component, citing a construction rebound in China. Citi also points to positive estimate revisions and increased capital returns as reasons for the upgrade.

Meanwhile, Alcoa shares plummeted 13.5% after the U.S. government said it would not impose previously announced sanctions against Rusal until October.

The 10-year Treasury note yield hit a high of 2.99%, threatening once again to reach 3%. The benchmark rate last traded at 3% or higher in January 2014. Investors have been selling Treasurys this month — pushing yields higher — amid expectations of rising inflation, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy at a faster pace.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped, raising yields to 2.98% from Friday’s 2.96%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices regained 49 cents a barrel to $68.89 U.S.

Gold prices fell $12.30 to $1,326.00 U.S. an ounce.

<![CDATA[Stocks in Play: Desert Lion Energy Inc.]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:36:37 EST, April 23, 2018

10:36 AM EST - Desert Lion Energy Inc. : Has concluded a capital markets site visit to Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co. Limited's lithium conversion facility in Yichun, China. The site visit provided investors and analysts the opportunity to meet with Jinhui management and tour Jinhui's conversion facility, which is currently undergoing a staged expansion with an ultimate production capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year of battery grade lithium carbonate. Desert Lion Energy Inc. (V.DLI) shares were up $0.01 at 1.18.

<![CDATA[Goldman Sachs Stumbles After Earnings Beat]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:35:09 EST, April 23, 2018

Goldman Sachs Stumbles After Earnings Beat

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) was down 1.48% in early afternoon trading on April 23. U.S. stocks lurched out of the gate on Monday as NAFTA negotiations have entered a key phase and slowing growth has some investors worried. Goldman Sachs released its first quarter results early last week, beating analyst expectations in what has been a stellar earnings season for U.S. banks thus far.

Revenue from equities trading rose 38% year over year to $2.31 billion as Goldman’s traders were able to log solid performances amidst increased volatility. Investing and lending revenue climbed 43% to $2.09 billion, also beating projections. Total revenues hit $10.04 billion in the first quarter and earnings per share were $6.95.

Goldman said that central bank policy and the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act served as a boost in the first quarter. The bank has reiterated its optimism going forward even in the midst of a trade spat between the U.S. and China. CEO Lloyd Blankfein is reportedly close to stepping down but it is not clear when this will take place.

Shares of Goldman Sachs are now down 1.1% in 2018 thus far. The stock has climbed 16.2% year over year. U.S. tax reform should continue to be a boon for earnings going forward, and a resolution on NAFTA will likely ease investor anxieties in North America. Bank stocks are trading at a discount in the U.S. and Canada considering strong recent earnings, and investors should keep them on their radar going forward.

<![CDATA[USD/CAD - Dollar Gains on Crosses as BoC Chief Testifies ]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:26:11 EST
Last week, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canadian, Mexican and U.S. ministers seeking to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had made good progress on the key question of autos. Asked about a report that the United States wanted a deal in the next three weeks, she said, "Our commitment is to get a really good win-win-win outcome as quickly as possible and... we’ll work as long as it takes to get a great deal". Speaking at the Canadian High Commission in London, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters, "So we’ve seen an opportunity to make significant progress on the NAFTA file… We’re making sure that we’re engaging in a way that is as fulsome and comprehensive as possible."

The Bank of Canada Statement last week concluded that, "higher interest rates will be warranted over time… but the Governing Council will remain cautious with respect to future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data." The first of that new data came on Friday and was softer than consensus expectations. Core retail sales were unchanged in March against forecasts of a +0.3% increase whilst headline inflation edged up only to 2.3% versus the 2.4% which had been expected. Governor Stephen Poloz will today appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. He will be accompanied by Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins and is sure to be questioned on progress and risks around NAFTA talks, as well as last week’s interest rate decision. The Canadian dollar opened in North America at USD/CAD $1.2790, AUD/CAD $0.9780 and GBP/CAD $1.7860.

USD/CAD: Expected Range $1.2725 -- $1.282

The U.S. dollar opens after a very good week, finishing top of the major currency league table. It wasn’t a linear performance, however. Its index against a basket of major currencies opened on Monday at 89.35 and dipped as low as 88.80 by Tuesday morning in Europe. From then on, a combination of soft economic data in the U.K. and euro-zone and much higher US bond yields pushed the U.S. dollar index up to a high of 90.0 before closing in New York on Friday at 89.90. This morning in Europe, it has reached 90.25, its best level since back on February 28.

For U.S. equity market markets, this is the week when the first quarter earnings season really gets into full swing. So far, 17% of the companies in the S&P 500 index have reported their numbers but this week 179 are scheduled to give earnings releases, 12 of which are also in the 30-member DJIA). It is fair to say that with investor attention on trade, tariffs, China, Russia and Syria, earnings haven’t so far grabbed investors’ collective attention. According to data from FactSet, the market is rewarding upside U.S. earnings surprises less than average (+0.1% compared to 5-yr average of +1.1%) and punishing downside earnings surprises less than usual (-0.9% vs. 5-yr average -2.4%). Today’s big corporate names to report include Google and Halliburton.

U.S. bond yields rose sharply last week with 10-year Treasuries hitting a closing high of 2.96% on Friday, the highest since January 10, 2014 after reaching an intra-day high of 2.98%. The two-year yield, meantime, hit 2.461%, its highest level since September 8, 2008. Fresh worries about inflation were the main driver of this move and although Markit’s version of the Purchasing Managers' Index surveys is usually ignored by investors who prefer to focus on the Institute for Supply Management number, the 'flash estimate of the PMI today will be watched closely for any clues it may offer about price pressures. The U.S. dollar index opened this morning in North America around 90.20.

CAD/EUR: Expected Range $0.6375 -- $0.643

The euro began this Monday morning after a mixed week in which it fell against a quite buoyant U.S. dollar but rose against all the other major currencies to take silver medal spot on the league table. On Friday afternoon, it tumbled on Friday after comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi sent EUR/USD down to a low of $1.2265, its weakest since April 9. Overnight in Asia and this morning in Europe, the euro failed to bounce in any meaningful way and from a technical perspective, the break through last week’s low opened up a swift move down to $1.2230. If no support is found at current levels, the next downside target will be the March 1 low around $1.2170.

In yet another relatively disappointing piece of economic news, the 'flash estimate' of Markit’s Composite euro-zone PMI held steady at 55.2 in April, according survey data based on approximately 80% of final responses. The unchanged reading indicated the joint-weakest expansion of business output since the start of 2017, but remained well above the average of 53.8 seen over the past five years. Manufacturing again led the upturn, albeit with the rate of factory output growth slowing to a 17-month low. Service sector activity meanwhile rose at a rate only marginally faster than March’s seven-month low.

Markit’s downbeat Press Release titled "Euro-zone economy stays in lower gear" noted, "Output growth across the two sectors has fallen sharply since an 11½-year peak at the start of the year, in line with a slowdown in order book growth. Inflows of new orders rose at the weakest rate for 15 months in April. Factories reported the smallest gains in both total goods orders and export orders for a year-and-a half during April, the latter in part dampened by the recent strength of the euro, notably against the U.S. dollar. New business inflows in the service sector meanwhile slipped to an eight-month low, adding to signs of a broad-based waning of demand growth both at home and in export markets."

On Friday afternoon, Draghi acknowledged the euro-zone slowdown in a statement at the International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington, but maintained his optimism that the expansion will continue. "Notwithstanding the latest economic indicators, which suggest that the growth cycle may have peaked, the growth momentum is expected to continue." There is an ECB Council meeting on Thursday this week, which explains why Draghi’s comments on Friday were limited to the economy and made no mention of monetary policy. The euro opened in North America today at USD $1.2235 and EUR/CAD $1.5645.

CAD/GBP: Expected Range $0.559 -- $0.5635

The British Pound began this Monday morning on a positive note after a very disappointing week in which it was kept off bottom spot in our league table only by the New Zealand Dollar, with GBP/USD ending down at $1.3995, its first time in a fortnight below $1.40. Overnight in Asia and this morning in Europe, the so-called 'cable' rate initially clawed back on to $1.40 and the GBP gained on all its crosses from its very depressed levels on Friday evening. Subsequently, GBP/USD has fallen victim to more general strength and has been down to $1.3960 even though it has held its gains against most of the other major currencies we follow closely here.

With the Easter holidays and parliamentary recess, we haven’t much on Brexit for several weeks, even as the clock ticks down to Britain’s formal withdrawal from the E.U. on March 29 next year. The House of Lords last week voted in favour of staying in the customs union post-Brexit though a Downing Street spokesperson this morning said, "The position remains very clear: we don’t think staying in a customs union is the right thing to do and it isn’t government policy to do so." On Thursday this week, there will be a non-binding vote in the House of Commons on a motion which urges the Government to remain in a customs union. According to a report in The Times this morning, " (Prime Minister) Theresa May will face calls from senior Brexit-supporting ministers to ditch her favoured option for a customs deal with the E.U. at a meeting this week… as fears grow that she is paving the way for a compromise on the issue.”

In terms of economic numbers, this last full week of the month will develop very slowly indeed until the first quarter Gross Domestic Product numbers are released on Friday. There are the comprehensive housing loan data from trade association U.K. finance on Thursday and other private sector surveys will be published during the week but the GDP data and the market reaction to it could be crucial for expectations of the May 10 Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting. Ten days ago, the well-respected and often very accurate NIESR model said that GDP rose just 0.2% in Q1, largely due to severe weather in March which disrupted activity in all major sectors. The big question is whether this is a permanent loss of output or whether it will rebound in Q2. The British Pound opened in North America this morning at USD $1.3960, GBP/EUR $1.1420 and GBP/CAD $1.7860.

CAD/AUD: Expected Range $1.0205 -- $1.0285

After the big technical signal we highlighted here on Friday morning (a 'key reversal day with a higher high, lower low and lower close than the previous day), AUD/USD has continued to come under pressure. Friday’s intra-day low of $0.7655 wasn’t quite the lowest of the year (that came around $0.7645 on March 28) but the pair has fallen further in Europe this morning to a low of 0.7635; the weakest since December 15. AUD/CAD is down slightly to $0.9775 though the AUD is steady against both the EUR and NZD.

Given the strength of the US Dollar over the last few days, the commodity price rally which had supported the Australian dollar last week may be running out of steam, although the picture is quite mixed. Gold is down almost $30 from Thursday’s high of $1,354 whilst nickel has tumbled from $16,617 to just $14,371, an 8% decline in just three trading days. Australia’s largest export commodity is still holding up, however, with both rebar and iron ore futures at one-month highs after news that Chinese rebar and iron ore inventories continued to decline last week. According to Thomson Reuters, citing data from Mysteel Consultancy, rebar inventories held by Chinese traders fell to 8.252 million tonnes, well below the 8.68-million-tonne level reported a week earlier. Other steelmaking raw materials also rose on the Shanghai market. Coke jumped 3.4% to 1,922 yuan a tonne, having touched a five-month peak of 1,930 yuan initially, and coking coal increased 1.7% to 1,170.50 yuan.

The highlight for financial markets in Australia this week will be the publication of quarterly Consumer Price Index numbers on Tuesday. The consensus is for an increase of between 0.4% and 0.5% in Q1 which would take the annual rate of inflation to between 1.8 and 1.9%. It is very frustrating for investors who have no monthly CPI numbers to find there are four different quarterly measures produced: headline, core, trimmed mean and weighted mean. The Reserve Bank of Australia target is for core inflation (excluding volatile items) between 2-3% but the Q1 numbers are likely to show only slow and gradual progress towards this goal, with consensus expectations centering on 1.9%. The Australian dollar opened in North America this morning at USD $0.7640, with AUD/NZD at $1.0650 and AUD/CAD $0.9775.

CAD/NZD: Expected Range $1.0785 -- $1.095

The New Zealand dollar had a very poor week, finishing down against every one of the major currencies we follow here. It was a story of persistent weakness rather than a single dramatic selloff: for the first four days of this week it finished second from bottom, bottom, third-last and in second-last place on our one-day performance table. At Friday’s close in New York, NZD/USD was struggling to hold on to a U.S. 72-cent 'big figure' but in Europe this morning it has moved down on to 71 cents for the first time since March 29.

Across the Tasman Sea, a growing number of conduct issues are being uncovered by Australia’s Royal Commission into the major banks. In line with his pledge to communicate better with the public, new Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Adrian Orr was on TV on Sunday. He said, "The true problem and challenge going on in Australia is cultural… New Zealand bank culture is infinitely better than some of the activity you’ve seen in Australia." Orr said the RBNZ, which is the nation’s banking regulator, is watching the progress of the inquiry because Australia’s four biggest banks together hold about 90% of deposits in the New Zealand financial system, although he doesn’t see the need for a similar inquiry in New Zealand. Showing a gift for a quotable quote, the RBNZ chief then said, "Boards attesting and signing off on issues comes down to the moral fiber of the institution… Market discipline and self-discipline are critical. That’s sunlight coming in, and hopefully disinfectant." Harsh words, indeed.

The week ahead has the ANZAC day holiday on Wednesday and after the excitement (for economists at least!) of last week’s CPI numbers, it will be split into two halves of second-tier data. We have the always fascinating visitor arrivals figures on Tuesday and the merchandise trade data on Friday but as we have seen on many occasions already this year, the NZD does not need any domestic economic or news catalysts to be propelled either to the top or the bottom of our daily currency performance table. The Kiwi dollar opened in North America at USD $0.7175 and NZD/CAD $0.9180.

<![CDATA[Citigroup Vaults On Beating Quarterly Projections]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:07:02 EST per Share came in for the quarter at $1.42, as opposed to $1.32 expected by experts. Revenue was $18.173 billion versus $17.896 billion expected. Fixed income trading: $2.877 billion versus a projected $2.84 billion

Said CEO Michael Corbat, "We had revenue increases in many of the products we have been investing in, tightly managed our expenses, and again saw loan growth in both our consumer and institutional businesses.”

Citi reported a 3% year-over-year increase in global consumer banking revenue. In North America, retail banking revenue rose 12%, excluding mortgages. Citi cited "continued growth in loans and assets under management," as well as higher interest rates.

The bank's international consumer business saw an 8% revenue increase, driven by higher loans and deposit volumes growth.

Citi's end-of-period loans, meanwhile, rose 2% to $653 billion, while deposits increased by 3% to $964 billion.

Shares of Citigroup have risen 26% this year, easily outperforming the broader market. The S&P 500 has gained 14% in 2017.

Citigroup's stock has also outperformed those of other big banks. Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are up 11.9% and 16.9%,, respectively.

Folks who follow macroeconomic developments are also aware that Citigroup could benefit from tighter monetary policy in the near future. The U.S. Federal Reserve signaled a December rate hike in the summary of its Sept. 20 meeting.
Shares in C opened Thursday took on 31 cents to $75.25. ]]>
<![CDATA[Enterprise Group’s Hart Oilfield Rentals: Custom, Cost-Effective Infrastructure]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:51:46 EST

Simply, if you are building a mining or oil business Hart rents customized equipment for project sites, drilling & completions and facilities that require mobile infrastructure.

It makes zero sense to expend valuable capital to purchase generators, offices, WC’s etc. As well, each project is different so flexibility, customization and ease of transport is key.

“Our large competitive advantage is the ability to what we refer to as ‘combo technology,” states Joel Bardwell, Senior Manager at Hart. “Whether on a skid or one of our proprietary portable trailers, we can deliver not only the equipment required, but customize it to be the most cost effective. Customers appreciate the approach and with our ongoing R&D and patent/patent pending profile, both served us well during the downturn and positions us well for the rapidly increasing business, both from previous and new clients.”

Hart currently has 6 locations that are strategically located throughout west central and northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. These 6 locations have allowed Hart to establish 6 complimentary “service circles” that slightly overlap and allow Hart to deliver oilfield site set-up services and equipment rentals efficiently to its customers as well as respond quickly to requests for service or repairs to its equipment when required.

Early on, Hart realized that the uniqueness of its approach warranted patent filings for equipment as well as industrial designs. With approximately 25 equally divided between Canada and the US, the practice both cements Hart’s reputation as an innovator as well as protect the Company and Enterprise shareholders from interlopers.

There are always interlopers.

It should also be noted that Hart does not sell the custom equipment. Hart is constantly developing equipment to add to its robust and state of the art rental pool: And all with
safety the primary consideration.

Just as with all the Enterprise Group’s subsidiaries, attention to detail is a given. Reactive and proactive to customer needs is what cuts it out of what is already a small herd. Whether resource, municipal needs, pipelines or any other infrastructure pursuit, that word - infrastructure - should be reflected to a greater or lesser degree in every portfolio. US peers are hitting new highs and others, such as Enterprise’s share price is being wrongly assaulted by a volatile oil price.

The bottom line is that over the years Enterprise has made savvy, money making purchases and sales. TC Backhoe sold in 2016 for approximately C$20 million. The Company was purchased in 2007 for C$12 million and under the Enterprise umbrella generated $150 million. The sale was done during the recent downturn, but had been planned previously and drastically lowered and improved the Company’s financials.

Having successfully steered through a blistering downturn, which seems to have unfairly punish a stock that has a breakup of C$0.85 but is trading at C$0.30, it seems a good addition to a junior portfolio.

Investors will also note that as the Company is traded on the TSX that adds to a list of bonafides to Enterprise that investors would be wise to take stock.

Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. No information in this Report should be construed as individualized investment advice. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. We make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accept no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. has been compensated ten thousand dollars for its efforts in distributing the TSX:E profile on its web site and distributing it to its database of subscribers. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report. ]]>
<![CDATA[WADA Lifts CBD Ban for Professional Athletes and their Doctors]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:02:09 EST
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) just removed hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from its 2018 List of Prohibited Substances, freeing up athletes in the largest international athletic associations in the world like the IOC and FIFA as well as major sports leagues like UFC, NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and many more to use CBD-infused products as to treat pain and inflammation based disorders.

As WADA is a global governing body, now athletes around the world can use CBD to treat pain, inflammation and injuries, without the risk of league suspension or a loss of sponsors. Professional athletes around the world can now use Phivida’s CBD infused functional foods and natural health brands, free from WADA restrictions, for the first time in the history of competitive sports.

Cannabinoids have just got mainstream, starting with the major leagues. But it’s investors, and CBD-infused infused functional foods and natural health products brands that stand to benefit the most.

According to Allied Research, the global anti-Inflammatory therapeutics market is projected to top $106 Billion USD by 2020, dominated by OTC drugs like Ibuprofen ($14.2 billion USD by 2022). The US opiate drug as an additional $17.7 billion USD by 2021 dominated by Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. Both the NSAIDs and opiate markets are dominated by pain and inflammation pharmaceutical mogul Bayer (BAYN.DE), with a market capital of over $96 billion.

Cannabidiol is widely studied as a powerful anti-inflammatory and was even part of a US Department of Health patent application for anti-oxidant and neuroprotectant properties.


Timing the market is vital for maximizing investment returns. There is no better example of fortunate timing than WADA’s announcement coinciding with the launch of Phivida Holdings Inc.’s CBD-infused functional foods and natural health products, and the filing of prospectus for an initial public offering and an application to list its class A shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE).

As a premiere CBD brand, Phivida is perfectly positioned to capture a leadership market share in this emerging global natural health products market. The Phivida IPO offers investors with exposure to three major growth trends within a global health and wellness $1 Trillion USD in 2017.

Bloomberg predicts US cannabinoid products as a $50 billion USD market by 2020. Within the cannabinoids market, Phivida has created its own unique products category – functional CBD edibles.

High Times magazine produces a top ten edibles list and this year six of them were cannabinoid infused beverages. Phivida specializes in the CBD beverages avoiding a saturated confectionary soft drinks market with functional CBD iced teas, CBD protein shakes and CBD vitamin juices.

Health care practitioners, and now sports medicine professionals, and major nutraceutical distributors cite the paradigm shift from chemical based pharmaceuticals to phytonutraceuticals.

Supplements as a whole market is exploding, having gone from a $37 billion US estimate in 2015, to an expectation of $220 billion globally by 2022.

Nutrition Business Journal cites the two fastest growing categories as; meal replacements (14.8%) and sports nutrition (11.6%), two flagship CBD product lines at Phivida – both infused with a high dose of cannabidiol. Phivida’s nanoencapsulation technology loads CBD into a protective, hydrophilic, liposomal membrane that bonds better with cells. The result is a faster acting longer lasting absorption rates, with up to 400% more bioavailability and a timed release for enhanced duration in the bloodstream, and solubility.

Functional foods have surpassed traditional food topping a $100 billion USD back in 2015. The functional food industry is in the process of a massive consolidation as over $10 billion USD of new M&A deals were completed in 2016 alone.

Major food companies are acquiring new organic and functional food brands at a staggering rate, lead by multi-national conglomerates such as Hains Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS).

It’s no wonder that major retailers in both the grocery sector, and the nutritional supplements space are champing at the bit to grow their selection of products for consumers.

WADA’s prohibition lift may be the catalyst needed for supplement giant GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNC) to get its year back on track. Having fallen from over $20 to just over $8 within the year, the ability to introduce new lines of nutritional supplements with pain relieving qualities could be a shot in the arm for GNC.

Whereas major grocery and pharmacy chains, such as Canadian retail giant Loblaw Companies Inc. (TSX:L)(OTC:LBLCF), which owns the well-established Shoppers Drug Mart chain. Unlike GNC, which to-date has been reluctant to carry CBD products in-store, Shoppers Drug Mart has been very open about its willingness to carry CBD and marijuana-related products on its shelves.

It’s still to be determined when and if that same level of acceptance will be seen on the US side of the border. GNC currently doesn’t carry any CBD-infused products, selling only hemp proteins as a remotely close cousin. Nor is CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS), yet.

Online mega-retailer Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is already selling CBD products. On track to hit the very first $1 trillion valuation, Amazon is ahead of the curve on the blossoming CBD sector.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey stated he would support cannabinoid products sold in Wholefoods “if only the plant was legal to use and the local community approved.”

Not only is CBD-Hemp Oil extract legal under the Farm Bill, but WADA’s new rules has the potential for a massive demand from professional athletes, sports medicine practitioners and alternative health care practitioners and the everyday active health conscious consumer. It looks like John might get his wish.

Plant-based supplements like CBD are no longer limited to the estimated 17,500 licensed alternative health care practitioners, as majority of supplements are now sold through big box FCMD (food, club, mass and drug) retail locations.

Walgreens, CVS and Walmart combined for a total of 27,087 on-site pharmacists at 15,208 stores across the United States. With Amazon’s acquisition of Wholefoods earlier this year, it’s clear that the majors are looking to capitalize on the health-conscious consumer.

Now it’s a matter of CBD’s true market infiltration to take hold, and for producers to begin stocking only the best CBD infused FFNHP formulations.

Primed and ready to supply these retailers with timely product, Phivida boasts an entire line of CBD functional foods and natural health products, doctor formulated for enhanced athletic performance and everyday preventative health for active families.


Totally legal, and boasting a laundry list of health benefits, cannabidiol (CBD) is making waves through the food and beverage industry in the form of several new products.

So it’s no wonder that any new producer of CBD products will want to seek out the expertise of those already familiar with the food and beverage industry.

Assembling an impressive array of talent, Phivida’s management team is built to master not only its formulation, but also its branding and retail distribution.

Among the names on the company’s deck are Directors Bill Ciprick and James Bailey, who each come with decades of branding and distribution experience for industry heavy-hitters, such as Proctor and Gamble Health Care, and Red Bull Canada.

But for the consumer, the most important aspect to consider beyond retail availability is that of the product’s organic, whole-plant blends and formulations.

Phivida infuses full-spectrum CBD Hemp Oil extracts into special blends of functional foods and natural health products (FFNHP). All nanoencapsulated CBD used in Phivida’s products is hemp-derived from licensed hemp farms and federally legal and eligible for sale in any retail channel.

The company’s CBD-infused functional beverages are nanoencapsulated for enhanced bioavailability, and doctor-formulated for targeted outcomes. Phivida boasts quality-, and safety-tested products that are cGMP manufactured to the highest quality assurance standards.

Phivida CBD Vitamin Drinks use certified organic and plant-based ingredients. Phivida’s CBD infusions are also vegan, gluten- and soy-free with no sugar added and contain at least 35% RDA of Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.

Other key sports performance ingredients include premium electrolyte replacements, glutamine for muscle, bone and joint repair, resveratrol for added anti-oxidants, blended in an all-natural fruit and vegetable puree with no artificial colours or flavours added.

Former President of the BC College of Naturopaths, Dr. Brian Martin, states; “Phivida offers legal, clinical grade, CBD, third-party tested, and safe for practitioners to recommend to athletes and patients.” Marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, but hemp provides a legal option for clinicians. WADA’s new ruling now opens CBD to team physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists and kinesiologists. “Phivida is a high-quality brand for athletes who need healthier, non-addictive treatments for pain and inflammation,” said Dr. Martin.

WADA’s now-positive stance on CBD represents a great opportunity for Phivida. Competitive athletes in high-impact sports like football, hockey and mixed martial arts are often plagued with a lifetime of debilitating physical injuries and mental health conditions.

Phivida’s CBD infusions give athletes, their trainers, and medical staff a whole-plant nutraceutical alternative to highly addictive opiate pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain and inflammation from these injuries and afflictions.


Earlier this year, the New York Times published a neuropathology study that found that 99% of former NFL players tested positive for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL supports the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) study on the use of cannabinoids to treat chronic pain inflammation based disorders, like CTE, according to a Sports Illustrated article published on August 1st, 2017.

The NFLPA was coincided by the launch of the Your Mind Your Body Campaign designed to equip current and former players with the tools needed to achieve a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally and encourages an open dialogue on pressing health and safety issues, including CTE, and mental health.

Use of cannabinoid-based alternatives to opiates is not a new issue for the NFL. Many former players have become advocates for CBD as alternatives to narcotics, including former Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe, Denver Bronco Jake Plummer, Chicago Bear Jim McMahon, and Ricky Williams who publicly stated a belief that “60-70% of all NFL athletes use medicinal marijuana”.

Despite the fact that both the NFLPA and NFL endorse a study of marijuana as a potential pain-management tool, the NFL currently suspends players who test positive for the drug and modified the threshold for a positive test for marijuana (i.e. THC). Finally, WADA’s new adoption of CBD as an approved substance, gives the NFL and its players hope for immediate relief, without controversy.

Phivida’s CBD-infused functional foods and natural health products are formulated with a special blend of nutraceuticals for enhanced athletic performance, and infused with a therapeutic dose of nanoencapsulated cannabidiol from hemp.

"This pain is never going away. My body is damaged," Eugene Monroe, 30, stated in a Washington Post article. "I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me.”

With the lift on the CBD ban, WADA is finally taking sensible action on behalf of the athletes it is tasked to protect.

“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited,” WADA said, maintaining that THC will remain as a banned substance. WADA cited the reason for the removal of cannabidiol from the banned list was because “it is not a cannabimimetic and does not mimic the effects of THC.”

WADA further clarified: “THC is still a prohibited substance.”

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychotropic chemical compound in marijuana that contributes to euphoric effects. Many CBD products on the market are marijuana derived and contain THC.

Purity levels in CBD-infused products will give an industry advantage to those producers that can utilize the most CBD, without delivering any THC.

Phivida’s nanoencapsulated CBD-Hemp Oil extracts, edibles and infusions, are federally legal, derived from Farm-Bill-compliant farms, and are now 100% WADA-compliant sources for cannabidiol. As well, they’re coming to a store near you.

Legal Disclaimer/Disclosure: This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. No information in this Report should be construed as individualized investment advice. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. We make no guarantee, representation or warranty and accept no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. has been compensated eight hundred dollars for its efforts in distributing the Phivida article. Furthermore, we assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information, provided within this Report.
<![CDATA[Valeant (VRX) Cleans Up its Debt]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:40:19 EST
Valeant, on October 3, issued a $1-billion debt offering that lower the total upcoming maturities.

Valeant priced its $1-billion principal amount of 5.5% senior notes due in 2025. It will use the proceeds to roll over existing debt. The issuance is not trivial: the lower interest will save the company money while simultaneously pushing out the maturity date.

The low interest rate offered suggests the market has a healthy appetite for Valeant’s debt, so the fear of any bankruptcy is now off the table. Valeant now has around $26 billion in debt and $24 billion net of cash. In June, the company’s net debt was $26.7 billion. The sale of Dendreon raised $811 million, while iNova brought in $923 million. The net effect is that Valeant will have $3.9 billion maturing in 2020.

Assuming Valeant generates $1 billion in free cash flow, the company’s interest on debt in 2020 are covered. It sets the stage for refinancing for the debt due in 2021 and beyond.
<![CDATA[Athersys Hikes on MultiStem Hookup with Japanese Firm ]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:24:52 EST on the agreement, Athersys and NCLi will engage in technology transfer activities at NCLi’s facility in Japan, and NCLi will begin contract manufacturing support for commercial development of the product in Japan. Athersys’ collaborator, HEALIOS K.K. (Healios), has an exclusive license to develop and market MultiStem in Japan for ischemic stroke, and is currently conducting its registrational clinical study, TREASURE, in Japan.

A news release issued Wednesday claimed therapeutic treatment with MultiStem may extend the stroke treatment window to 36 hours from the current three to four-and-a-half hours with existing standard of care, which would enable many more stroke patients to receive treatment than under the current standard of care and may also meaningfully enhance patient recovery.
Currently, there are nearly 17 million people that suffer a stroke globally and, on average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
Athersys shares gained 11 cents, or 4.9%, midday Wednesday to $2.34, within a 52-week trading range of $1.02 to $2.63.
<![CDATA[Delta Gains Altitude on Q3 Earnings]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:12:22 EST number-two U.S. airline reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.57, beating analysts' expectations of $1.53 a share for a quarter that ended with hurricanes that crippled operations.

Earnings per share were about 8% lower over the year-earlier period.

The airline posted quarterly revenue of $11.06 billion, slightly higher than expectations for $11.03 billion in the three months ended in September.

Delta's passenger revenue per available seat mile — a key income metric — rose 1.9%, in line with the airline's updated forecast earlier last month. It said it expects a 2% to 4% increase in passenger unit revenue in the fourth quarter, but warned that higher fuel costs would likely crimp operating margins for the last three months of the year.

Delta posted higher revenue in domestic and Latin American and trans-Atlantic operations, despite powerful storms in the Southern U.S. in August and September.

Delta executives will likely address the impact from deadly storms that hit carriers' hubs late this summer, as well as a bitter trade dispute between two Delta suppliers, Boeing and Canada's Bombardier.

Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida and Delta's hub in Atlanta, forced the airline to cancel more than 2,000 flights.

Delta shares began Wednesday’s trading up 37 cents to $53.07
<![CDATA[BlackRock Rocks Markets on Q3 Figures ]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:42:55 EST assets under management rose 17% to nearly $6 trillion as net inflows easily beat Wall Street expectations.

Here's how the company's results compare to Wall Street's expectations: EPS came in at $5.92 per share, compared with $5.56 expected. Revenue was $3.233 billion versus $3.096 billion expected.

Total assets under management registered at $5.977 trillion versus experts’ projected $5.94 trillion.
Net inflows were $96 billion versus $71.62 billion expected.
BlackRock also said its iShares exchange-traded funds business saw $52.3 billion in long-term net inflows, led by $33.1 billion in equity inflows. Assets under management for iShares totaled $1.640 trillion, accounting for 27% of BlackRock's total assets.

The company said cash assets rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $425.4 billion.

"One of the greatest problems we still have in the world is how much money is sitting on the sideline," according to CEO Larry Fink. "Even in places like Japan, there's $5 trillion in cash earning negative return. In Germany 72% of savings are in bank accounts. We're seeing some of that unlocked (and), we're seeing people put some of that money to work."

The company's stock has been on fire this year, advancing 21.5%. By comparison, the overall S&P 500 is up about 14% in the period. BlackRock shares have also outperformed the financials sector, which is up 13% in 2017.
BlackRock shares opened Wednesday up $2.80 to $468.29 ]]>
<![CDATA[Emblem Positioned to be Disruptive in the Medical Cannabis Industry]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 08:44:45 EST
First, it has become apparent that for the foreseeable future, a few select Canadian marijuana companies will lead the sector growth, particularly over the US.

Second, the virtually unlimited growth in the space will and is being realized through the pharmaceutical developments, particularly in the pain, sleep and anxiety markets. Pain markets alone are $60 billion and will rise over 30% to $83 billion by 2024. Pain and sleep markets are two of the largest component markets.

Key to this growth at companies such as Emblem (TSXV:EMC) is when society embraces marijuana as what could well be the first line of defense and treatment for many afflictions, including the devastating opiate crisis.

“Emblem is focused on developing mainstream medical therapies to deliver consistent, 12-hour relief, with reduced side effects.,” states Gordon Fox, CEO Emblem Corp. “Canada is one of the few jurisdictions in the world –including the USA--with a path to regulatory approval of cannabinoid based medication. ACMPR has mechanisms for approval and these mechanisms are currently being expanded. The Canadian medical community can participate in research and clinical trials and share data and results across provincial boundaries.

With our recently announced exclusive arrangement with CanntabTherapeutics, Emblem is executing to plan.”

The Canntab Deal

Very simply, Canntab has the proprietary sustained release formulation: Emblem is licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “ACMPR”) to cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

Canada is one of the few jurisdictions in the world with a path to regulatory approval of cannabinoid based medication.

- The current medical cannabis market in Canada is about $400 million. It is searching for better dosage formats. Simple oils have grown to about 35% of the market in less than a year. More appropriate dosage formats are expected to have comparable effects in the market.

- Currently, Cannabis tends to require re-dosing. A titratable, sustained release formulation would have substantial appeal in the chronic neuropathic pain market. Anecdotally, that segment represents a reasonable percentage of the current$400 million medical cannabis market.

- The Canadian non-cannabis chronic pain pharmaceutical market is over $500 million and dominated by opioids and is expected to reach $42.16 billion worldwide by 2021. A cannabinoid based sustained release product has potential to enter that market.

From Emblem’s October 3rd Press Release:

Canntab Therapeutics Limited is a Canadian cannabis oral dosage formulation company based in Markham Ontario, engaged in the research and development of advanced pharmaceutical grade formulations of cannabinoids. Canntab has developed in-house technology to deliver standardized medical cannabis extract from selective strains in a variety of extended/sustained release pharmaceutical dosages for therapeutic use.

The Agreement grants to Emblem the exclusive right in Canada to Canntab’s patents and know-how for the purpose of developing, commercializing, using, selling, and offering the Sustained Release Product for sale under the Emblem brand. The License does not include the right to import or export the Product. The Sustained Release Products will be manufactured by Emblem or by Canntab, after Canntab receives appropriate licensing allowing such manufacture.

As per other Royalty Agreements in the Pharmaceutical Sector terms weren’t disclosed other than ‘double digit” royalty. To be clear this relationship with Canntab is extremely favorable to Emblem.

It cannot be overstated how important a develop this is for patients. Instead of waiting 5-10 years for a therapy to get to patients, cannabis based products take mere months. There is substantial evidence that cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of a number of conditions including (i) chronic pain (ii) nausea, (iii) anxiety and sleep disorders, and (iv) spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

The Global Opiate Crisis

While therapies will address particular conditions, anecdotally many patients know and have expressed the efficacy, ease of use and lack of side effects in pain management particularly.

Emblem plans to bring products to deal with neurological pain by fall 2018. Once the 12- hour delivery protocol is established, many afflictions can be addressed via the proper strain and titration.

Investors need to embrace the potential of this market and acquire some exposure. Choose carefully as there are many companies who have and will likely fail or price themselves out of the market.

Emblem’s business plan sets three divisions to be profit centres. From ongoing reasonable to maximum growth:

- Dried flower is the commodity space which provides superior, but generic product

- High quality strains (think aged single malt scotch versus JW Black) for the aficionado

- Top quality strains for ongoing therapeutics’ development.

Margins increase exponentially from dried flower to medical strains. Emblem (TSXV:EMC) is focused on the two markets above dried flower, although will be a major force in all three.

Marijuana Market Maturing Slightly. Invest Carefully, but Invest

The Marijuana space has matured somewhat from mining guys seeing a quick turn in fortunes by announcing some hair-brained participation to get their languishing stock prices up.

Then there the companies who conclude that more marijuana is better and are growing as much as they can.

Finally, there are a few companies, such as Emblem that have a solid growth plan and are not afraid to state their corporate intentions. Many comparisons are made to the UK’s GW Pharma as the direction a developing company should travel.

GW’s Sativex is approved for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis in 30 countries outside the United States. The Company has a deep pipeline of additional cannabinoid product candidates which includes compounds in Phase 1 and 2 trials for glioma, schizophrenia and epilepsy. GW’s ADS on NASDAQ in 2013 came at $8.90. Last trade at this writing was $114.07.

Fun Facts

- Some plant biologists got their early weed (60’s, 70’s) experience by serving time for possession, etc.

- Lots of anecdotal evidence that Big Pharma continues to pay doctors to keep their products at the forefront

The five companies that disclosed what they paid doctors over a six-month period (July to December 2016) were:

- AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) : $4,104,000

- Novartis (NYSE:NVS) : $3,645,026

- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) : $2,365,000

- Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) : $1,388,187

- Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) : $539,761

That alone should give Marijuana companies such as Emblem a place in your speculative portfolio.

Oh, yes. 10 percent of patients suffer from Trypanophobia. That fear keeps 20 percent of that number to never seek medical attention. Look it up…

Perhaps with the inevitable insertion of Marijuana based therapies should reduce or eliminate that number.

And how would Big Pharma ‘payola’ doctors for such a readily available and efficacious therapy? Bueller?

Next couple of decades should be interesting; with less pain, more sleep, relief from chronic disease as well as lives saved.

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<![CDATA[AnaptysBio Makes Waves on Trial Data ]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 03:25:01 EST CEO Hamza Suria, “we are very encouraged by the efficacy results to date in this Phase 2a study, which exemplify our strategic focus on developing first-in-class anti-inflammatory antibody therapeutics to help patients suffering from debilitating inflammatory diseases.

“We look forward to further advancing the development of ANB020 for the treatment of patients with atopic diseases.”

The Phase 2a study is currently ongoing and EASI scores will be assessed for each patient up to 140 days post-ANB020 treatment. The company plans to report full data from this trial at a medical conference following study completion.

AnaptysBio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing what it calls “first-in-class antibody product candidates focused on unmet medical needs in inflammation”.

Its shares neared the close Tuesday up in the stratosphere, leaping in price $31.02, or 88.6%, to $66.02.
<![CDATA[Wal-Mart Hikes on Share Buyback Program]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:30:29 EST also unveiled a $20-billion share repurchase program to replace its existing plan. The company says the new authorization will be used over a two-year period.

The big-box retailer explained it will continue to focus on remodeling existing stores and incorporating "digital experiences" in place of building new locations.

Ahead of its annual investor day in Bentonville, Arkansas, Wal-Mart said it expects its U.S. e-commerce business to grow sales by roughly 40% in fiscal 2019. Online transactions surged 60% during the second quarter of this year, the retailer declared in August.

The company still expects adjusted earnings per share for the fiscal year 2018 to fall between $4.30 and $4.40.

For fiscal 2019, Wal-Mart said it expects earnings to increase about 5% year over year. Net sales for fiscal 2019 are expected to grow close to 3%, driven by same-store and e-commerce sales growth, the company added.

In fiscal 2019, across the U.S., Walmart will open fewer than 15 Supercenters and fewer than 10 of its Neighborhood Markets.

For fiscal years 2018 and 2019 combined, Wal-Mart is calling for capital expenditures to be about $11 billion, with e-commerce investments going toward enhancing the retailer's supply chain. Wal-Mart's international business will also invest more in fulfillment capabilities.

Shares in Wal-Mart galloped $3.53, or 4.4%, to $84.06