2022 has been a lousy year for most investors, and the last trading day of the year didn't look like it would end on a positive note. Futures contracts on major stock market indexes were down across the board on Friday morning, capping the worst annual performance for stocks in a long time.

Even amid the gloomy market environment, though, some companies announced good news that lifted their shares. Shaw Communications (SJR) and Borr Drilling (BORR -3.32%) were both on the rise early Friday, as both companies said that they now appear able to move forward with some promising opportunities in their respective businesses.

Shaw gets the go-ahead

Shaw Communications shares rose nearly 10% in premarket trading on Friday morning. The Canadian telecommunications company has been waiting for word from regulators about a key deal, and Shaw got the news it wanted in order to move forward.

Shaw has been involved in a pending merger with industry peer Rogers Communications (RCI 0.23%), but the combination has been under review by government regulators. Late Thursday, Canada's Competition Tribunal determined that the combination of Rogers with Shaw is unlikely to result in reduced competition, higher prices for consumers, or other substantial anti-competitive effects. The decision incorporated Shaw's intent to sell off its Freedom Mobile wireless telecom unit to privately held Videotron, which some had seen as a potential roadblock to gaining regulatory approval.

Rogers and Shaw aren't quite done yet, despite the favorable ruling. However, the only required approval left is for Canada's Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Industry to authorize the transfer of the wireless spectrum licenses that Freedom Mobile owns to Videotron. Based on past comments from the ministry and on the reaction from shareholders, few seem to see this last required approval as cause for concern that the deal might not get done.

The big question for Canadian consumers is whether Videotron will prove to be strong enough to compete with post-merger Rogers, BCE, and Telus Communications in the key markets of Alberta and British Columbia. For Shaw shareholders, though, the news was welcome after having seen stock-price declines throughout much of 2022.

Borr stock is getting jacked up

Elsewhere, shares of Borr Drilling rose 8% in premarket trading. The shallow-water offshore drilling equipment specialist is seeing continued demand given relatively high energy prices, and that's helping to bolster its business prospects in the years to come.

Borr announced new contracts for two of its premium jack-up drilling rigs. One of the rigs will go to the Middle East, with a five-year duration plus optional extensions. The $282 million contract should begin in the third quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the other rig will work in Southeast Asia, with a 205-day duration starting in June 2023. This contract is worth a more modest $27.5 million. With the deals, Borr now has 21 of its 22 rigs under contract.

Borr investors have had a tough time, as the company came public in the summer of 2019 just before the COVID-19 pandemic sent energy prices plunging. Despite more favorable markets for oil and natural gas since then, offshore drilling remains more costly than working on land, and that has kept prices for offshore equipment lower than when industry conditions were less volatile.

Looking ahead, it's hard to know whether oil prices will rise high enough to sustain long-term demand for Borr and its peers. For now, though, shareholders are pleased to see continued signs of interest from Borr's customers.