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