THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2014, 9 a.m. ET
BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY
Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of 9 a.m. All times Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.
Queries should be addressed to the business desk at 416-507-2138. To reach CP Business by email, send messages to business(at)thecanadianpress.com.
TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR
BCE raises dividend, sees continued growth
MONTREAL _ BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) is raising its quarterly dividend and predicting its 2014 adjusted earnings will be up more than three per cent compared with last year, building on growth at its Bell subsidiary. The telecom and media company says its common share dividend will rise by six per cent or 14 cents to $2.47 per year, including a quarterly payment of 61.75 cents per share on April 15.
Housing starts to stabilize: CMHC
OTTAWA _ Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it expects housing starts to stabilize in 2014 and 2015. It says improved economic and demographic fundamentals will be tempered by a combination of a modest and gradual increase in mortgage rates and a slowdown in demand from first-time buyers.
Shoppers Drug reports $169-million Q4 profit
TORONTO _ Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (TSX:SC) reports its fourth-quarter profit slipped to $169 million, or $172 million excluding costs related to its pending takeover by Loblaw _ both down from a year earlier. The pharmacy chain says total revenue was up one per cent to $2.747 billion while its same-store sales were up 1.2 per cent in the quarter and 1.9 per cent for the full 2013 financial year ended Dec. 28. Shoppers Drug's profit amounted to 85 cents per share under standard accounting, or 86 cents per share after adjustments. Analysts has estimated 86 cents per share of earnings under both measures.
GM reports lower-than-expected 4Q earnings
DETROIT _ General Motors' fourth-quarter profit rose 2 per cent from a year ago, but the company fell short of Wall Street expectations. GM rode record North American earnings to make $913 million, or 57 cents per share. That compares with $892 million, or 54 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 3 per cent to $40.5 billion. PHOTO.
Oil, natural gas extend gains on US winter storm
SEOUL _ The prices of oil and natural gas extended gains Thursday in Asia as a winter storm that slammed the U.S. and slower-than-expected supply growth raised expectations for higher energy demand. Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 23 cents to $97.61 a barrel at 0745 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 19 cents to close at $97.38 on Wednesday.
ALSO EXPECTED TODAY
MONTREAL _ Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc. holds a third-quarter conference call.
WINNIPEG _ Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. releases fourth-quarter and year-end results and holds a conference call.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
Toronto stock market to open little changed
TORONTO _ The Toronto market looked set to open little changed Thursday as traders looked to a mixed slate of earnings news from telecom and tech and took in positive U.S. jobs data. The major Canadian earnings report of the morning came from telecom giant BCE, which posted adjusted net earnings of $540 million, an increase of 16.4 per cent from a year earlier, or 70 cents a share, beating estimates by a penny. BCE also upped its dividend six per cent to $2.47 a year and forecast adjusted earnings growth of three per cent during 2014. will be updated
Loonie declines amid widening trade deficit
TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar was slightly lower Thursday as Canada's trade position worsened in December. The loonie was down 0.08 of a cent to 90.15 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that the trade deficit widened to $1.7 billion in December, from $1.5 billion in November. will be updated
Law firm Heenan Blaikie closing down
MONTREAL _ Heenan Blaikie, one of the most prestigious law firms in Canada, is closing down. The firm, whose lawyers have included former prime ministers Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chretien, will go out of business over the next few months. DELETES extra word in para 3
Bombardier to get $1.6-billionU.K. contract
MONTREAL _ Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) is in line to get a US$1.6-billion contract to supply trains and a depot for London's transportation system. The British government announced Thursday that it intends to award a billion-pound contract to Bombardier, after a 10-day waiting period.
Imports, exports and trade deficit up
OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says the country's trade deficit widened to $1.7 billion in December from $1.5 billion in November. The increase came as merchandise imports grew 1.2 per cent and exports increased 0.9 per cent in December.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
(The Canadian Press)