Toronto's main market declined Wednesday as investors sorted through a heap of quarterly earnings reports, while also taking in a weaker than expected GDP growth rate for Canada during the month of May. This was ahead of the announcement of the FOMC meeting outcome this afternoon.
On the corporate front, investors have their eyes peeled on upcoming earnings between tonight and tomorrow morning from Yamana Gold (TSE:YRI), Centerra Gold (TSE:CG), Kinross Gold (TSE:K) and Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX).
On Wednesday, Talisman Energy (TSE:TLM), the Canadian oil and natural gas producer focused on the Americas and Southeast Asia, retreated as much as 3.6% to C$11:51. The Calgary, Alberta-based company posted an operating loss of $27 million, or 3 cents a share, from a profit of $71 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. That missed the 2 cents a share profit estimated by 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Talisman also anticipated full-year production to fall into the lower part of its guidance range.
Torstar (TSE:TS.B),publisher of the Toronto Star newspaper, tumbled as much as 12% to C$5.20, but was lately down less than 5% after the company said second-quarter earnings slumped to 23 Canadian cents a share from 41 Canadian cents. Adjusted earnings also dropped, to 29 Canadian cents from 43 Canadian cents, as revenue fell. The company warned that print revenue would remain under pressure in the second half of the year.
Maple Leaf (TSE:MFI), the Canadian producer of foods from hamburgers to frozen pasta, lost 7.3% to C$14.36 after the Toronto, Ontario-based company reported a second-quarter loss of 2 Canadian cents a share from a profit of 17 Canadian cents a year earlier. Adjusted earnings-per-share were 2 Canadian cents, below the 15 Canadian cents average estimate of 6 analysts.
CGI Group Inc. (TSE:GIB.A), a Canadian supplier of technology to retailers and banks, surged as much as 9.4% to a lifetime intraday high of C$36.36 after beating profit and revenue expectations. The Montreal, Quebec-based company said third-quarter earnings rose to 56 Canadian cents a share from 33 Canadian cents. Stripping out unusual items, the IT services company earned 63 Canadian cents a share, above analysts' average expectation of 58 Canadian cents a share. Revenue climbed to $2.57 billion from $1.06 billion, beating the $2.53 billion average estimate.
Sherritt International (TSE:S) shares declined Wednesday after the company said it swung to a net loss in the second quarter as the natural resource giant experienced downward pricing pressure on all of its commodities, deciding to reduce spending this year by about 13 per cent.
Also in materials, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (TSE:POT) and Agrium Inc. (TSE:AGU) stretched losses for a second day after Russia's Uralkali said it was splitting from a joint venture with Belaruskali, based on accusations that Belaruskali violated the terms of their agreement, on Tuesday. Potash (TSE:POT), Canada’s largest maker of the fertilizer, dropped 4.5% to C$31.19. Agrium (TSE:AGU), North America’s third-largest potash producer slipped 2.8% to C$86.70. The breakup of a Russian-Belarusian potash joint venture on Tuesday raised concern the price of the soil nutrient might fall by 25 percent to below $300 a ton.
In the oil and gas sector, Calfrac Well Services (TSE:CFW) reported a bigger second quarter loss Wednesday, but results still topped market views, as the company executed several large multi-well pad projects in the Montney in Canada, which more than offset lower industry activity in the quarter.
Canadian Oil Sands Limited (TSE:COS) posted a doubling of both net profit and earnings per share in its results for the second quarter of the year, released after the bell Tuesday, falling short of expectations nonetheless. The company also announced the planned retirement of president and CEO Marcel Coutu, which is scheduled to come into effect on the first day of 2014.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSE:CNQ), Canada’s second-largest energy company by market value, advanced 1% C$32. The Calgary, Alberta-based company said about 6,300 barrels of bitumen has now been collected from an oil spill at its Primrose development area in the Canadian oil-rich province. It said the rate of seepage has dropped to less than 20 barrels a day.
In financials, Manulife Financial Corp. (TSE:MFC), Canada's largest insurer, snapped a four-day losing streak, rallying 1.5% to C$18.46. The Toronto, Ontario-based company said it has agreed to sell its insurance business in Taiwan to CTBC Life Insurance Co., a unit of CTBC Financial Holding Co. (TPE:2891). CTBC said it will buy the life-insurance operation for around $24 million.
Meanwhile, severe flooding in Alberta in the spring eroded Intact Financial's (TSE:IFC) second quarter net income, but the results came in ahead of the Street, after analysts made adjustments to their estimates. The stock surged more than 5% out of the gate this morning, and was lately up about 4.3%.
Moving to junior markets in Canada, TransEuro Energy (CVE:TSU) announced that its partner Aleator Energy (ASX:AWD) had secured a drill rig for the Pov-105 well in Crimea, Ukraine. Aleator has signed a letter of intent with Ukranian firm Ukrburservis, it said.
Canamex Resources Corp. (CVE:CSQ) (OTCQX:CNMXF) has appointed Dr. Dean McDonald, currently silver miner Hecla Mining's (NYSE:HL) senior vice president of exploration, to its board of directors. Late last year, the company announced a strategic investment from Hecla of $2.52 million, taking up 14 million shares for a 14.84 per cent stake in the junior explorer at closing.
Avrupa Minerals (CVE:AVU) says it has acquired a new license in the northern Pyrite Belt of Portugal, which is located just 40 kilometres north of its Alvalade joint venture project with Antofagasta Minerals. The new Marateca 742 square km license was issued by the Mining Bureau of Portugal. Avrupa said it previously held an exploration license, also called Marateca, covering some of the same area as the new license.
Canadian mining junior Donner Metals (CVE:DON) has extended the sulphide mineralization at the McLeod Deep zone of the Bracemac-McLeod zinc-copper mine in Quebec. Two drill holes revealed the extension, intersecting “well-developed pipe alteration below the sulphide mineralization suggesting the hydrothermal system is robust in the area”, the company said in a statement.
Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (CVE:NEE)(OTCQX:NHVCF) has filed amended third quarter interim financial statements to reflect a reversal of US$2.9 million in deferred cash payments tied to the sale of its majority stake in the Lemhi property earlier this year, citing industry-wide reductions in property expenditures. In February of this year, Northern Vertex closed the sale of its 51 per cent interest in the Lemhi gold joint venture to Idaho State Gold company for US$7.65 million, allowing it to focus exclusively on its Moss gold-silver mine in Arizona.
On the CNSX Exchange, RESAAS Services (CNSX:RSS) has added yet another real estate agency to its ever-growing social networking platform designed for real estate professionals. This time, the company has signed on California-based brokerage Excellence Real Estate.
The Covina, California-based full service agency serves southern California and beyond, and provides information for residential, commercial, investment, foreclosed and short sale properties.