Canadian stocks notched up 80 points in gains inside the first
30 minutes of trade today and have largely held on to them since,
led by strong gains for telecom stocks on positive sentiment after
they posted encouraging results last week. Info Tech stocks are
also performing well, led by Blackberry (BB.TO) after an investment
firm raised the possibility of it being sold. The Metals &
Mining sector is the sole loser with oil prices fluctuating and
gold lower as investors and traders wait to see what impact
tomorrow's FOMC minutes will have on the U.S. dollar.
In economic news, wholesale sales fell 0.9% in December to $49.0
billion following a 0.7% gain for Canadian economy in November.
StatisticsCanada said the decrease was largely a result of lower
sales in the computer and communications equipment and supplies
industry. The same industry was behind November's increase.
Also, non-residents reduced their holdings of Canadian
securities by $1.9 billion during December, led by large
retirements of bonds and equities. Meanwhile, Canadian investors
added $5.5 billion of foreign securities to their portfolios, the
fourth straight month of investment.
Blackberry (BBRY) is up 3% but off day highs on the Toronto
Stock Exchange although Canaccord Genuity cut its expectations for
February quarter BB10 smartphone shipments from 1.75 million units
to 300,000 units, various Internet sources and BNN TV in Canada
Wrapping up the reports, Canaccord reportedly said Blackberry
may eventually be forced to sell some of its assets, or the whole
company, or at least become a niche supplier. It reportedly said
sum of parts analysis valued BlackBerry at near $4.71 Billon versus
a market cap of near US$7.3 billion on the NASDAQ and C$7.7 Bln on
the Toronto Stock Exchange. Canaccord reportedly reiterated its
sell rating and $9 price target.
In company news, Westport Innovations (WPRT, WPT.TO) are up more
than 1% but $1 off day highs for a second straight day of gains.
Takeover speculation lifted the stock to a 7.9% advance during
Friday's session. Cummins Inc. (
) was identified as the likely suitor, possibly paying as much as
$42 per share, according to reports. The two companies already are
participating in a joint venture combining CMI's expertise with
fuels systems, controls and other components with WPRT's natural
gas-powered drive-trains for large trucks.
But analysts at JPMorgan today reiterated their Neutral rating
for WPRT shares, writing in a new research note that a potential
deal was "highly unlikely," adding the suggested takeover price
makes little sense.