The Big Three: CN resumes operations: Freeland heads to D.C.; U.S. prosecutors probe drug firms
It’s supposed to be back to (normal) business at CN Rail today after yesterday’s tentative agreement that put an end to the week-long strike by 3,200 conductors and yard workers that elicited countless warnings from industry associations and corporate leaders. What was clear in yesterday’s immediate reaction is that there’ll be no quick fix to the backlog that built up during the walkout. We’ll continue gathering insight on the economic damage and what it’ll take to rebuild goodwill with customers.
RIVAL BID FOR HBC
Catalyst Capital has tabled a rival offer to acquire Hudson’s Bay Co. for $11 per share in cash. The offer leapfrogs the $10.30/share offer from a group led by the retailer’s chairman that was accepted by HBC. Catalyst says it has also filed a complaint with the Ontario Securities Commission relating to the Baker-led bid. We’re chasing reaction.
NEXT STEPS FOR NAFTA
The Globe and Mail is reporting Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is heading to Washington, D.C. today to help push the stalled trade deal forward by crafting a side letter that would be meant to appease Democrats. A Canadian government official isn’t confirming the trip, instead pointing out the government was in “frequent” contact with its NAFTA counterparts yesterday and that Freeland spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer “several times this week.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH BRIAN PORTER
Amanda Lang is sitting down today with Bank of Nova Scotia’s CEO to discuss year-end earnings that failed to impress investors yesterday. Watch for the conversation about Scotia’s outlook and some of the macro themes that steal our attention this afternoon on Bloomberg Markets.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
-TMX Group disclosed late yesterday it’s “aware of allegations made regarding the past conduct” of CEO Lou Eccleston and its board is looking into the matter. No details were provided and TMX says Eccleston is supporting “this course of action.”
-CannTrust says it has been informed the TSX is assessing whether the beleaguered cannabis producer, whose licences were suspended in September after illegal production came to light, is fit to be listed on the exchange after falling behind on its filings. CannTrust says those filings should be completed by March 25.
-BRP, whose shares have surged 51 per cent over the last year, is on our radar today after reporting third-quarter revenue rose 18 per cent and nudging up some of its full-year forecasts. We have CEO Jose Boisjoli for an interview today in The Real Economy.
-In additional to the U.S. criminal probe tied to the opioid crisis that came to light yesterday, there’s a domestic development as well, with Saskatchewan announcing it will join B.C. in a class action against the drug’s manufacturers and distributors.
-Lundin Mining could be a stock to watch after announcing it will raise its quarterly dividend 33 per cent alongside the release of updated production and capex forecasts.
-Deere & Co. is slipping in pre-market trading after the farm-equipment maker forecast full-year profit that lags the average analyst estimate. CEO John May warned of continuing caution among Deere’s customers due to “lingering trade tensions coupled with a year of difficult growing and harvesting conditions.”
-Shares of Dell Technologies are slipping after the company trimmed its full-year revenue forecast and warned of “softness” in demand from large enterprise customers.
-Notable earnings: BRP, Deere & Co.
-Notable data: U.S. GDP, U.S. durable goods orders
-8:00 a.m ET: Couche-Tard conference call on earnings (watching for comments re. Caltex)
-8:30 a.m. ET: Canada 2020 hosts Indigenous Economic Development Forum in Ottawa (speakers include ex-Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick and Paul Martin. See agenda here.)
-2:00 p.m. ET: U.S. Federal Reserve releases Beige Book
Every morning BNN Bloomberg's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN Bloomberg's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnnbloomberg.ca/subscribe.