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North West Company - Q1-2020 Earnings, Price Target Forecast

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The North West Company (NWC) is a leading retailer to rural communities and urban neighborhood markets in Northern Canada, Western Canada, rural Alaska, the South Pacific islands and the Caribbean. Its stores offer a broad range of products and services with an emphasis on food. Operations commenced in 1987 when the Company's predecessor purchased 178 stores comprising the Northern Stores Division of the Hudson's Bay Company. Revenues from food generate approximately 70% of sales with the balance from general merchandise. By region 60% of sales are from Canada and the balance from international operations. The history of The North West Company dates back to 1668, when the Hudson's Bay Company received its Royal Charter and began establishing fur-trading outlets throughout what is now northern Canada. Their vision is to be a leading community retailer within underserved and less developed markets. North West Company Ltd. operates 213 stores (after the sale of 36 Giant Tiger stores in fiscal Q1-2020) across Canada, the United States (mainly in Alaska), in certain United States Territories, and in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Canadian operations are comprised of 162 stores, 2 commercial air services, This includes Northwest Fur Marketing and Northwest Motor Sports. International operations include 52 stores in rural Alaska, South Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. Historically, first quarter sales are the lowest and fourth quarter sales are the highest, reflecting consumer buying patterns. Due to the remote location of many of the stores, weather conditions are often more extreme compared to other retailers and can affect sales in any quarter.

Operating Segments

Canadian operations include 162 Northern stores, offering a combination of food, financial services and general merchandise to remote northern Canadian communities; with an emphasis on an expanded selection of fresh foods, apparel and health products and services that includes 24 Quickstop convenience stores, offering extended hours, ready-to-eat foods, fuel and related services in northern Canadian markets; 10 Giant Tiger junior discount stores, (after the sale of 36 stores in fiscal 2020) offering family fashion, household products and food to urban neighbourhoods and larger rural centers in western Canada; 2 Pharmacy and Convenience stores, stand-alone northern pharmacy and convenience store; 1 North West Company Fur Marketing outlet, trading in furs and offering Indigenous handicrafts and authentic Canadian heritage products; Crescent Multi Foods, a distributor of produce and fresh meats to independent grocery stores in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario; North West Telepharmacy Solutions, the leading provider of contract tele-pharmacist services to rural hospitals and health centres across Canada; Transport Nanuk Inc. and North Star Air Ltd., water and air-based transportation businesses, respectively, serving northern Canada.

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