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TSX Edges Up As RIM Recovers Friday Morning- Canadian Commentary

Paring their smart early trading gains, Canadian stocks were hovering just above the unchanged line Friday morning amid selling in energy and base-metals stocks. Traders were reluctant to add position in the last trading day of this quarter.

Meanwhile, euro zone finance ministers decided to raise the combined size of the region's bailout funds to prevent the possible spillover of the debt crisis in some member states. The ceiling for lending by the European Stability Mechanism and European Financial Stability Facility will be increased to EUR 700 billion, the Eurogroup, which represents euro area finance ministers, said in a statement today.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index added 32.22 points or 0.26 percent to 12,371.58, after losing nearly 250 points or 2 percent in the past three sessions.

Smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM.TO) reported fourth quarter GAAP net loss of $125 million or $0.24 per share sharply down from net income of $934 million or $1.78 per share in the same quarter of fiscal 2011. Adjusted net income for the latest quarter came in at $418 million or $0.80 per share, missing consensus estimates for an earnings of $0.81 per share for the quarter. Escalating investors' anxiety, RIM said that it expects continued pressure on revenue and earnings throughout fiscal 2013 and company noted that it will no longer provide specific quantitative guidance. The stock was up nearly 2 percent.

The price of crude oil was rebounding from its 6-week low Friday morning amid a weak dollar Crude for May gained $0.47 to $103.25 a barrel.

In the oil patch, Niko Resources (NKO.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) were down around 1 percent each.

C&C Energia Ltd. (CZE.TO) dived over 8 percent after providing operational update on Tardigrado-1 Well, Andaquies Block, Colombia.

Oil and gas company Stream Oil & Gas (SKO.V) swung to profit in fourth quarter, reporting net income of $2.0 million or $0.03 per share compared to a net loss of $2.3 million or $0.04 per share in the previous year quarter. The stock slipped over 2 percent

Meanwhile, oil and natural gas explorer Corridor Resources (CDH.TO) moved up 5 percent despite reporting a fourth quarter net loss of C$71.4 million or C$0.807 per share wider than last year's net loss of C$3.0 million or C$0.034 per share.

Oil field services company New West Energy Services (NWE.V) reported third-quarter net income of $3.5 million, compared to $0.3 million last year. The stock extended its previous session's 9 percent gain, adding 8 percent.

Financial stocks were mixed. TD Bank (TD.TO) gained.50 percent, while Scotiabank (BNS.TO) was slipping 1 percent.

Kingsway Financial Services (KFS.TO) dived 7 percent even after reporting a narrower fourth quarter net loss of $10.6 million or a loss of $0.20 per share compared to a loss of $50.8 million or $0.91 per share last year. Loss from continuing operations of $10.6 million was narrower than $47.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

The price of gold was moving higher as the US dollar was paring recent gains, with gold for June adding $9.60 to $1,664.50 an ounce.

In the gold space, Goldcorp. (G.TO) and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) rose nearly 1 percent each.

Information communications company Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) gained nearly 5 percent after reporting improved fiscal 2011 net income of C$25.73 million or C$0.29 per share compared to C$13.58 million or C$0.15 per share last year.

In economic news, Statistics Canada said real gross domestic product edged up 0.1 percent in January after increasing 0.5 percent in December 2011. The modest rise in economic activity defied analysts expectations for a zero-growth month.

From the U.S., the Commerce Department said that personal spending rose by 0.8 percent in February following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in January. Economists had expected spending to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent growth that had been reported for the previous month. Meanwhile, personal income edged up by 0.2 percent in February, matching the downwardly revised increase seen in the previous month. Personal income had been expected to increase by 0.4 percent.

Elsewhere, euro zone inflation slowed less than expected in March, flash estimate published by Eurostat showed. Annual inflation fell to 2.6 percent in March from 2.7 percent in February. Economists were expecting the rate to ease to 2.5 percent. Inflation continues to stay above the European Central Bank's 'below, but close to 2 percent' target.

Meanwhile, Germany's retail trade turnover declined unexpectedly in February, data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed. Retail sales fell 1.1 percent month-on-month in real terms in February, following a 1.2 percent drop in January. Economists expected 1.2 percent increase in sales for February.

by RTT Staff Writer

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