Bombardier launches new jet amid robust demand for private travel
Shares of Bombardier Inc. sank for a second day on Tuesday as the company announced a US$350 million offer to buy back some of its debt ahead of schedule using cash on hand.
The tender offer came on the heels of the Canadian jet manufacturer announcing it completed a reverse stock split on Monday. The company consolidated its Class A and Class B shares at a 25-to-one ratio after it obtained approval from the board and investors.
The stock closed down by 18.21 per cent at $21.97 on Tuesday, finishing the trading day as the worst-performing stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Kevin Chiang, analyst at CIBC Capital Markets, said he lowered his 12-month price target for the stock despite seeing a favourable near-to-medium environment for business jets.
“We continue to see [Bombardier] track ahead of its targets while benefiting from healthy industry trends. That said, growing concerns over a recession limit [Bombardier’s] re-rate opportunity,” Chiang wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.
“We maintain our Neutral rating, and our price target goes from $45 (post-consolidation) to $36.”
But other analysts are optimistic that the share consolidation could help attract more long-term investors.
“While some investors were concerned that consolidation was intended to keep the stock from falling below $1.00 (was trading at $1.50 at the time of disclosing intention), we reiterate that the primary reason was to reduce stock’s volatility, which may help attract long-term investors,” Konark Gupta, an analyst at Scotia Capital Inc., wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
Gupta maintained a sector outperform rating (the equivalent of a buy) as Bombardier “offers the highest potential return in our coverage.”
The stock currently has 12 buys, three holds and two sells.
UNION TALKS CONTINUE
Bombardier is also navigating negotiations with a union representing 1,800 workers at the company’s Quebec plants in Saint-Laurent and Dorval after employees went on a one-day strike Monday.
The Association internationale des machinistes et des travailleurs de l'aérospatiale (AIMTA) union returned to the bargaining table on Tuesday after rejecting Bombardier’s final offer for the workers’ collective agreement renewal.
“This result confirms that Bombardier has a long way to go to rebuild a sense of belonging with the workers,” AIMTA Business Representative Eric Rancourt, who is responsible for the Bombardier unit, said in a press release.
“It's simple, what the members want in this collective agreement is the recognition of the sacrifices they made during the last years to help the company. Add to that the rising cost of living."
The two main issues taking centre stage in these negotiations are wages and pension indexation.