(Street Life is a regular feature that profiles what's playing in the stock market.)
Act I: Three times, no charm
* The Player: Precision Drilling Trust (TSX:PD.UN)
* Action: Up four per cent in a month (from $26.48 May 30)
* Recent Price: $27.50
* 52-Week High/Low: $28.93/$14.82 In a bidding war for a U.S. drilling company, an Alberta suitor found its third and final bid still wasn't sweet enough to seal the deal.
Houston's Grey Wolf Inc. (AMEX:GW) rejected the most recent bid by Calgary-based Precision Drilling Trust, citing concern for the Canadian markets as one of the reasons. The US$2.2-billion (US$10-per-share) bid included a mixture of Precision units and up to 50 per cent cash. But Grey Wolf's directors responded that not only does that bid undervalue Grey Wolf, but a "negative outlook" for the Canadian drilling and well-service markets might make Precision units lose value.
Precision's previous two bids were US$9-per-share (a mix of Precision units and up to 33.33 per cent cash) followed by US$9.30-per-share (a combo of Precision units and up to 40 per cent cash).
Grey Wolf said it will proceed instead with a merger with a fellow Texas company, Basic Energy Services (NYSE:BAS).
Act II: Feeling no pain
* The Player: Labopharm Inc. (TSX:DDS)
* Action: Up 28 per cent in a day (from $1.33 June 27)
* Recent Price: $1.70
* 52-Week High/Low: $3.07/$0.90 A painkiller made by a Quebec pharmaceutical company may not yet have received U.S. FDA approval, but the company's shareholders aren't feeling any pain. Labopharm Inc. of Laval had appealed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reverse its rejection of tramadol, Labopharm's once-daily painkiller, but heard back recently that the appeal was denied.
Ordinarily that might dampen shareholders' spirits, but the FDA director suggested the company submit a revised statistical analysis as the agency initially suggested. Labopharm CEO James Howard-Tripp interpreted that as "a positive step towards regulatory approval in the U.S.," and shareholders agreed, pushing Labopharm stock up 28 per cent on the news. Tramadol has already been launched in 11 countries, including the five largest markets in Europe and Canada, and is approved in 19 other countries.
Act III: Taking back the HVAC
* The Player: Dectron Internationale Inc. (TSX:DTL)
* Action: Up 80 per cent in a day (from $2.25 June 27
* Recent Price: $4.06
* 52-Week High/Low: $5.25/$1.60 Investors in a Quebec heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company have decided they want it all to themselves, and are taking it off the Toronto Stock Exchange.
CEO Ness Lakdawala, members of his family and shareholder Leonard Schlemm have offered $4.20 per share (a 79-per-cent premium to the company's 20-day average trading price), to take Dectron Internationale Inc. private. (Lakdawala had previously owned about 58 per cent of the shares and Schlemm about 15 per cent.)
Dectron, which makes HVAC products for industrial and commercial use, recently reported revenue of $11.6 million for the three months ended April 30, 2008, down $5.8 million (33.6 per cent) from last year's Q1 revenue of $17.4 million. Net loss for the quarter was $300,000, compared to net earnings of $555,000 in the same quarter last year.
The buyout news sent shares skyward, closing up 80 per cent on the day. Shareholders are expected to vote on the deal in August.
Act IV: Sharing Tiger territory
* The Player: Sherwood Copper Corp. (TSXV:SWC)
* Action: Down three per cent in a month (from $5.40 May 30)
* Recent Price: $5.25
* 52-Week High/Low: $8.26/$4.40 Sherwood Copper, through its wholly owned subsidiary Minto Explorations, has completed a sale of four properties and exploration data for the Yukon Territory to Northern Tiger Resources.
The properties include exploration sites that tested positive for copper-gold mineralization similar to the nearby Minto mine.
Minto and Northern Tiger have also signed an agreement to work together to explore the area, sharing technical expertise and Minto's infrastructure.
To pay for the deal, Northern Tiger has issued 4.3 million class A Northern Tiger shares at $0.30 per share to Minto.
Minto also has the right to acquire a 65-per-cent interest in any of Northern Tiger's projects in a 50-km radius that have mineralization amenable to processing in the existing Minto Mine facilities.
Northern Tiger shares were to be listed and commence trading on the Venture Exchange (TSXV:NTR) on June 30, 2008.
NOTE: The above is not intended as investment advice to buy or sell any mentioned securities.
Investors should do due diligence before investing. Quotes are based on results through June 30, 2008.
(Nicole Strandlund can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)