(Bloomberg) — The Covid-19 pandemic has made for a rare moment in Corporate Canada: three companies entered this quarter with over C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) of cash.
Shopify Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. joined Air Canada in reporting a hefty pile of cash and short-term investments at the end of the quarter. It’s the first time that many non-financial companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index have been so flush in the last 25 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The three companies have seen their war chests balloon for different reasons. Barrick and Shopify are prospering, while Air Canada has gone on a mammoth capital-raising spree to secure the funds to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barrick, the world’s second-largest gold producer, has seen its cash position swell amid surging gold prices as investors flocked to haven assets earlier this year.
It spun out $1.3 billion of free cash flow in the third quarter allowing it to boost its dividend for the third time in the past year. Barrick held about $4.7 billion (C$6.1 billion) of cash as of the end of the third quarter.