Air Transat’s best case scenario for survival is government support: Analyst
Tech earnings will remain in the spotlight today after Apple and Facebook posted quarterly results that easily topped analyst expectations. Consumers stuck at home during the pandemic stocked up on electronic devices, which boosted sales of Apple Macs and iPads, but the main driver remained the iPhone with sales up 66 per cent from a year ago. The tech giant said it will also repurchase an additional $90 billion of its own stock and increase its dividend by 7 per cent. Meanwhile, shares of Facebook are trading more than 7 per cent higher in the pre-market after the company said first-quarter sales jumped 48 per cent and monthly active users improved 10 per cent.
TRANSAT SECURES FUNDING FROM THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
Transat AT, the company behind Air Transat, has secured $700 million in funding from the federal government. The money will come from Ottawa’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility. Transat said it needed at least half a billion dollars in the wake of Air Canada’s takeover of the company fell apart earlier this month. It plans to use some of the money to reimburse customers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic.
LOONIE TRADES AT THREE-YEAR HIGH
The Canadian dollar is trading above the 81 U.S. cent mark, its highest level since February 2018. The loonie has been on the rise since the Bank of Canada announced its revised timeline for raising interest rates, less dovish in tone than the U.S. Federal Reserve. A broad-based rally in commodity prices has also contributed to pushing the Canadian dollar higher. It is now up 3.1 per cent against the U.S. dollar this year.
U.S. PRESIDENT BIDEN MARKS 100TH DAY IN OFFICE
Today marks Joe Biden’s 100th day as U.S. president and the S&P 500 index is up almost 9 per cent since inauguration day. In his first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, Biden said the U.S.’s emergence from the pandemic is key to rebuilding the country’s economy and to reassert its leadership in the world. He spoke of his plan for US$1.8 trillion in spending for families and promised tax increases on the wealthy to help pay for his plans. This in addition to his previously announced proposal for $2.3 trillion in infrastructure spending.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
- BCE has topped first-quarter expectations and says it is on track to hit its full-year financial targets
- AltaGas boosted its outlook for the year after topping Q1 profit expectations
- Samsung Q1 profit rose, but the company warns it could see a significant impact on the rest of 2021 due to the global chip shortage
- Notable data: U.S. initial jobless claims, U.S. GDP (Q1)
- Notable earnings: BCE, Fairfax Financial, Agnico Eagle Mines, Whitecap Resources, Baytex Energy, AltaGas, Choice Properties REIT, Amazon.com Inc., Caterpillar, Merck, McDonald's, Kraft Heinz, Molson Coors, Twitter, Mastercard, U.S. Steel, Royal Dutch Shell
- 8 a.m. ET: BCE Q1 earnings conference call, AGM via webcast from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
- Lundin Mining Q1 conference call
- 10 a.m.: Transat A.T. holds annual shareholders meeting. Media briefing at 11:30 a.m.
- 12 p.m.: Calgary Chamber of Commerce virtual conference "100 Days Since the U.S. Inauguration: What it Means for Alberta"