VANCOUVER, BC (May 26, 2011) Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease Reports The financial sector helped send the Toronto stock market lower Thursday May 26, 2011 after two of the big Canadian banks delivered quarterly results that narrowly missed analysts’ forecasts.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index approached noon down 48.41 points to 13,703.06
The Canadian dollar fell 0.29 cents to 102 cents U.S.
TD Bank’s profits grew to $1.33 billion in the second quarter from $1.18 billion. However, the results missed analyst expectations, with TD posting adjusted earnings per share of $1.59, missing forecasts by a penny. TD shares shed $1.95 to $83.34.
CIBC shares fell $3.14 to $81.31 as it reported net income of $678 million or $1.60 per share for the second quarter, compared with net earnings of $660 million or $1.59 a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the earnings were $1.75, about five cents below expectations.
National Bank of Canada reported second-quarter net income of $295 million or $1.48 per diluted share, compared with $261 million or $1.50 in the same 2010 period. The bank is also raising its common share dividend for the quarter ending July 31 to 71 cents from 66 cents but its shares fell 81 cents to $80.06 even as it beat earnings and revenue expectations.
The base metals sector was down as the July copper contract was off two cents at $4.09 U.S. First Quantum gave back $3.91 to $128.09.
Lundin Mining Corp. shares tumbled $1.67 or 19.5% to $6.89 after it said Wednesday that it will remain an independent company, after its board of directors and financial advisors wrapped up a strategic review without finding a compelling deal to pursue. The strategic review was launched after a proposed friendly tie-up with Inmet Mining Corp. was abandoned in March.
In the gold sector, Barrick Gold Corp. slipped 13 cents to $45.99 while Kinross Gold Corp. faded 11 cents to $14.88.
Suncor Energy gained 18 cents to $40.55 and Cenovus Energy was up 31 cents at $35.33.
The Maple Group Acquisition Corp., a consortium of Canadian pension funds and banks, is taking its hostile $3.6-billion bid for TMX Group directly to its shareholders. The move late Wednesday came after the stock exchange operator accelerated a shareholder vote on its favoured plan to merge with the London Stock Exchange. TMX shares gained 45 cents to $45.02.
In other earnings news, media company Quebecor Inc. said first-quarter profits slipped to $34.3 million, as its revenues grew 4.5%. On an adjusted basis, earnings were 56 cents per share, two cents below expectations and its shares gained $1.23 cents to $34.28.
On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported this morning that Canadians who worked made slightly more from what they did in March than the month before.
The nation’s number-crunchers reported that from February to March 2011, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased 0.5% to $876.53. On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings were 4.1% higher compared with March 2010
The TSX Venture Exchange gained 5.52 points to 2,054.53 while the Nasdaq Canada index regained 1.64 points to 662.65
In Toronto, nine of the 14 subgroups were off midday. Metals and mining stocks withered 1.9%, financials lost 1.1% and materials backslid 0.6%.
The five gainers were led by health-care stocks, up 1%, information technology stocks, ahead 0.6%, and energy, 0.2% stronger.
In New York, stocks were under pressure Thursday, following disappointing reports on economic growth and the labour market
The Dow Jones industrial average remained down 24.83 points by the lunch break to 12,369.80.
The S&P 500 erased 0.06 points to 1,320.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 11.09 points to 2,772.47.
The blue chips were led lower by shares of Travelers, Merck and Caterpillar which were all down roughly 1%.
Technology shares helped offset broader market losses, with Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard all up more than 1%.
Stocks have been struggling this month, as optimism over upbeat corporate earnings has been tempered by signs the economy could be in for a slowdown this summer.
And there was more evidence in economic reports released Thursday morning.
Shares of Tiffany & Co. rose more than 9%, making it the best performer on the S&P 500, after the luxury jeweler reported a 12% jump in sales. The company also hiked its quarterly dividend payment to 29 cents U.S. per share from 25 cents U.S.
Signet Jewelers also fared well, with its stock rising nearly 7% in early trading. The retailer, which operates Kay Jewelers, Jared, The Galleria Of Jewelry and chains in the U.K., got a big boost from U.S. sales in its latest quarter.
NetApp shares rose 7% after the data storage company reported strong quarterly results late Wednesday and issued an upbeat outlook for the current quarter.
Freescale Semiconductor priced its initial public offering at $18 U.S. a share, below its estimated range of between $22 and $24 U.S. per share. Shares were up 6% following its IPO.
Discount retailer Big Lots said earnings rose in the most recent quarter, but issued a dour sales outlook for the current quarter, saying it expects revenue to be flat or down 3%. Big Lots shares fell 2%.
Sony reported a $3.1-billion-U.S. loss for its fiscal year, which ended in March. The company said the loss was due to deferred tax assets, and that it expects to report a profit in the current fiscal year. Shares slid 1%.
Economically speaking, the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to 424,000 in the most recent week, the U.S. Labor Department said.
Economists were expecting 400,000 initial claims, according to consensus estimates from Briefing.com.
Separately, the government’s revised reading on first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product was unchanged from the initial report. The Commerce Department said GDP, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew 1.8% over the same quarter a year ago.
Economists had expected the figure to be revised up to 2%.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained ground, pushing the yield down to 3.08% from 3.13% late Wednesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions
Oil prices dropped $1.19 to $100.13 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices backtracked $7.20 to $1,519.50 U.S. an ounce
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