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Jun 13, 2020

Bombardier booted from TSX Composite as stock languishes

Bombardier slashes 2,500 aviation jobs

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Bombardier Inc. is being dropped from the S&P/TSX Composite Index in the latest blow for the beleaguered plane and train maker.

S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the decision late Friday afternoon, with Bombardier headlining a list of 14 companies that will be removed from the index as of June 22. Other names on the list include pot producer Hexo Corp., food court giant MTY Food Group Inc., and oil and gas producer Baytex Energy Corp.

Numerous factors determine a stock's eligibility for inclusion in the composite index, including market capitalization and trading liquidity.

Bombardier shares have lost 73.6 per cent of their value this year, and haven't traded above $1 since March 3.

“The TSX’s action doesn’t change either our near-term priorities or long-term goals. Bombardier continues to be listed and traded on the exchange and continues to be very liquid as one of the most active stocks. The exclusion from the index does not change anything from that perspective,” said Bombardier spokesperson Jessica McDonald via email. She also stated index-tracking funds represent a small percentage of the company’s Class B shareholders.

The Montreal-based industrial firm has undergone a multi-year overhaul that saw it hand away control of its CSeries jet program to Airbus SE en route to eventually exiting commercial aerospace activities in favour of its business-jet operations. And earlier this year, it struck a deal to sell its rail business to Alstom SA.

Bombardier has also faced a leadership change recently after Alain Bellemare — who had been spearheading Bombardier's turnaround efforts — abruptly resigned. The company hired former Hydro-Québec CEO Éric Martel as its new chief executive as of April 6.

Earlier this month, Bombardier's aviation business announced plans to slash 2,500 jobs as a result of a sharp downturn in demand for its business jets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Friday afternoon, 15 of 17 analysts who cover Bombardier had Hold recommendations on the stock, with the remaining two split between one Buy and a Sell. The analysts' consensus 12-month price target is 61 cents per share.

In addition to being removed from the composite index, S&P Dow Jones Indices said Bombardier will also join BlackBerry Ltd. in being dropped from its TSX 60 Index on June 22. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and Canadian Apartment Properties REIT will take their positions in the group of 60 large-cap companies.