Declines for Financials Keeping Canadian Market Submerged; Blackberry Rallies After Surprise Profit
Canadian stocks are narrowly lower today, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index slipping about a dozen, extending yesterday's 6-point decline for the market gauge. However, it has recovered ground after opening nearly 40 points below the previous close and then losing another 10 after just over an hour.
Information technology stocks are the day's best performers, rising 1% as a group, including a 2%-plus rise for Blackberry Inc. (BB.TO, BBRY) after the smartphone-maker reported a surprise Q4 adjusted profit of $0.22 per share, easily beating analyst estimates looking for a $0.31 loss. Revenue, however, fell 36% from year ago levels to $2.7 bln, trailing the consensus by $100 mln. And it lost some subscribers in the quarter too, making the result mixed.
Shares of financial companies are lower, providing the biggest drag on the overall market.
In economic news, real gross domestic product rose 0.2% in Canada during January, reversing a 0.2% decrease in December, according to Statisticscanada. Manufacturing was the largest contributor to January's rise.
Also, Canada's Industrial Product Price Index rose 1.4% during February, led by higher prices for petroleum and coal products. The Raw Materials Price Index climbed 2.2%, largely because of higher prices for crude oil.
In other company news, Suncor Energy (SU.TO,SU) is now up about 0.7% at $30.62 a share, turning around a small dip earlier today after the Canadian oil and gas company said it is not proceeding with the Voyageur upgrader project in Alberta oilsands after purchasing its partner's 49% stake in the joint venture for $515 mln. The cancelation is going to result in SU taking a $140-mln charge against its Q1 earnings with quarterly cash flow reduced by around $180 mln.
The company said the decision follows a strategic and economic review it began late last year with Total SA ( TOT ), its joint venture partner in the project. Separately, TOT last night said it will book a $1.65-bln loss from the cancelled project.