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Canadian Tire avoids talk of acquisitions

The topic of growth by acquisition was "noticeable by its absence" at Canadian Tire Corp.'s investor day presentations on Wednesday, Desjardins analyst Keith Howlett points out. "Canadian Tire gave no indication ... that growth will be derived from anything but organic revenue growth and improved productivity," he writes. Nevertheless, Mr. Howlett continues to ascribe "some probability" to Canadian Tire acquiring Forzani Group Ltd., saying the retailer has turned around its operations, is back on an earnings growth track and isn't "too expensively valued to be of interest." Otherwise, he gives high marks to new CEO Tom Gauld's plans to hone the existing strengths of Canadian Tire to drive top line performance and improve productivity through better alignment with dealers. He has a "buy" rating and $90 price target on the stock, which has gained $1.42 to $79.63 on the TSX Thursday afternoon.

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