Canadian stocks are mostly lower today with the S&P/TSX
composite index down 0.34%, giving back early gains for mining and
energy stocks. The S&P/TSX Venture Composite index also is
lower, down 0.15%.
In company news, shares of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) are
higher for a second day after the chief executive of the
engineering and construction company was forced to quit after an
internal probe found he breached company policies by approving
payments deemed inappropriate and as much as $53 million in company
funds went missing. SNC shares are battling back from near year
Pierre Duhaime, who ascended to the top rung at SNC in 2009,
left abruptly after an independent board committee determined that
he overruled his own chief financial officer and approved payments
to an agent whose identity and function remains a mystery. Today's
gains for the stock also are helped by an reported upgrade to Buy
from Hold at TD Securities.
In other news, U.S.-listed shares of Canadian Pacific (
) are down slightly less than 1% today despite management comments
today at the rail carrier's yearly Investor Day that CP is
committed to maintaining its investment gain credit rating. The
company also again dismissed recent criticism from Pershing Square,
including demands by the activist fund the company replace its CEO
with a chief executive of Pershing Square's choosing.
CP officials also said today that pension costs remain an
ongoing headwind, estimating $41 milion in pension expense this
year and about $125 million in 2013 before topping out between $125
million to $135 million in following year. They added Pershing
Square analysis of CP finances were "incomplete and dated,"
explaining the fund's proposal is "exactly the wrong thing at the
wrong time," according to a theflyonthewall.com report.