Canada Stocks Hit Yet More Record Highs As Gold Stocks Shine and TransForce Steers To New Record Highs; Showing Some Upward Momentum For Next Week Too


Canada's main stock market, the Toronto Stock Exchange, hit record intra-day highs for a fourth straight day, with some gold stocks like B2Gold (BTO.TO, BGT) shining on higher bullion prices. Gold futures put a three day losing streak behind it to close above US$1,300 on Friday.

While the index did close nearly 40 points off the record highs, it was pretty flat over much of the final two hours and even showed some modest late upward momentum, which suggests profit takers aren't ready to pull out of the market in big numbers yet, and investors might have more records to set next week.

TransForce Inc. (TFI.TO) shares touched an all-time high Friday after the company announced it would buy Contrans Group - which was higher too - for about $495 million in a friendly takeover bid. TransForce, Canada's largest trucking company, also posted better-than-expected earnings on Thursday.

Also helping boost sentiment among Canadians, the federal government revealed a $1.1 billion deficit in the April to May period, narrowing from $2.7 billion for the same period in the previous year. Revenues rose 3.8% while program expenses edged 0.6% higher.

Of sectors, most were higher although the influential Energy and Mining ones were lower, capping gains on the resources heavy index.

Among other commodities, brent oil was up and West Texas Intermediate crude traded near US$102 as political concerns in eastern Ukraine raised uncertainties about Russian supply. Bloomberg said zinc prices extended a rally to a 35-month high as speculation mounted that global demand will exceed supplies. Lead rose to the costliest this year, it added.

For its part, TransForce is paying $14.60 a share for Contrans, which provides specialized transportation services. The board of Contrans is supporting the purchase. Under the terms of the deal, Contrans shareholders will receive a special dividend of 40 cents per share, bringing the total price to $15 a share, a premium of nearly 17% to the 52-week volume weighted average trading price of Contrans shares.

And TransForce reported adjusted net income of $49 million, or $0.48 per share, up from $39.2 million or $0.40 per share in the same period last year. The analyst consensus from Capital IQ was $0.42 per share.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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