Business News as of noon ET
(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FRIDAY, MARCH 22, NOON ET
BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY
Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of noon. 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
Cabinet begins sales pitch on federal budget
OTTAWA _ Coming to a chamber of commerce or board of trade near you _ a Conservative cabinet minister hawking the 2013 federal budget. The customary, post-budget day sales pitch begins in earnest today, including a lunchtime speech by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in Vancouver. PHOTO. Moves Business and National
Stella-Jones ups dividend on strong earnings
MONTREAL _ Stella-Jones slightly missed analyst expectations in the fourth quarter but the Quebec-based wood products manufacturer is increasing its dividend 25 per cent following record annual sales and profits last year and the prospects of benefiting from a North American recovery in 2013. "In the year ahead, we believe Stella-Jones will continue to experience solid demand for its core products and that revenues should continue to grow," president and CEO Brian McManus said Friday during a conference call.
New BlackBerry Z10 available in U.S. market
TORONTO _ After a delayed launch of the new BlackBerry Z10 in the United States, the touchscreen smartphone now is being sold by major wireless carrier AT&T. Today's U.S. launch comes about six weeks after the new BlackBerry went on sale in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Cyprus to vote on new plan, Europe skeptical
NICOSIA _ Cypriot lawmakers are due to vote Friday on a raft of new measures they hope will qualify the country for a bailout package and avoid financial ruin next week. But officials in Brussels and Berlin gave no indication it would be enough. Cyprus needs to find a way to raise the 5.8 billion euros to qualify for 10 billion euros in rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund. PHOTO.
Tiffany 4Q net income rises less than 1 pct
NEW YORK _ Tiffany says its fourth-quarter net income edged up less than 1 per cent, but still beat Wall Street predictions as strong customer demand in Asia for its pricey baubles offset weakness in the U.S. The upscale jewelry company also offered an annual sales outlook that topped analysts' estimates, and its shares rose more than 4 per cent in premarket trading Friday. PHOTO.
CNOOC posts 9.3 pct profit drop on higher costs
HONG KONG _ State-owned CNOOC, which made China's biggest-ever overseas energy acquisition last year, said Friday that annual profit fell 9.3 per cent because of higher costs for exploration and for operating in Canada's oil sands. CNOOC Ltd.'s $15.1 billion purchase of Canadian energy producer Nexen was part of a broader trend of Chinese resources companies making foreign acquisitions to get better access to key commodities as well as become global competitors.
Oil nearly unchanged as Cyprus uncertainty lingers
BANGKOK _ The price of oil rose was nearly unchanged Friday after a big dip the day before as the financial crisis in Cyprus kept traders on edge. Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 2 cents to US$92.47 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 1 per cent on Thursday, falling $1.05 to finish at $92.45.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
TSX faces US earnings, Cyprus deadline
TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market was higher near midday Friday as strength from U.S. earnings provided some motivation against the fast approaching deadline for Cyprus to deal with its debt troubles. The S&P/TSX composite gained 31.44 points at 12,779.31, while the TSX Venture Exchange dipped 2.92 points to 1,100.06.
Loonie hovers on Cyprus developments
TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar was slightly higher Friday as Cypriot lawmakers prepare to vote on a raft of new measures they hope will qualify the country for a bailout package. The Canadian dollar rose 0.06 of a cent to 97.71 cents US near midday.
Stella-Jones ups dividend on strong earnings
MONTREAL _ Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is increasing its dividend 25 per cent after closing out a record year in terms of sales and net income. The Quebec-based maker of pressure-treated wood products, mainly railway ties and utility poles, said Friday that it will boost its quarterly dividend by four cents to 20 cents per share, effective with the April 30 payout.
Boyd Group posts Q4 profit, higher sales
WINNIPEG _ Boyd Group Income Fund (TSX:BYD.UN) had $2.4 million or 19 cents per unit of net income in the fourth quarter, reversing a year-earlier loss even as fewer road accidents as a result of warm and dry weather reduced demand for auto body repairs. The Winnipeg based income fund, which had 221 locations across the United States and Canada at the end of 2012, says its adjusted net earnings grew to $5 million or 38.6 cents per unit _ up $1.2 million from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Petrowest ends 2012 in the black
CALGARY _ Petrowest Corp. (TSX:PRW) had a $5.2-million loss in the fourth quarter but the construction and oilfield services provider ended 2012 in the black. Revenue fell to $41.9 million in the fourth quarter from $53.3 million a year earlier.
First Quantum gets majority of Inmet stock
VANCOUVER _ First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) says 85.5 per cent of Inmet Mining's common stock was tendered to its $5.1-billion takeover offer by this week's deadline and the offer will remain open to the remaining shareholders until April 1. Inmet shareholders had a choice of three options: $36 in cash and 1.6484 First Quantum common shares, or $40.60 cash and 1.4376 First Quantum common shares or 3.2967 common shares per Inmet share (TSX:IMN).
Canlan earnings flat at $1.8M in Q4
BURNABY, B.C. _ Arena operator Canlan Ice Sports Corp. (TSX:ICE) says fourth-quarter net earnings were relatively flat amid a slight, one per cent decline in revenue. Canlan, which operates ice rinks and recreation facilities across North America, says net profits in the three months ended Dec. 31 were $1.8 million or 14 cents per share.
(c) 2013 The Canadian Press
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