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Canadian Stocks Rise as Bondholders Join Greek Debt Swap

Canadian stocks rose for the first time in four days, led by energy companies, as more bondholders joined a Greek debt swap.

Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s biggest oil and gas producer, gained 1.2 percent as crude oil climbed after settling at a two-week low yesterday. First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Canada’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, fell 2.2 percent after missing analysts’ average quarterly earnings estimate. Yoga-wear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. rallied 3.8 percent after an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG boosted his rating on the shares.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 51.53 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,350.16 after falling as much as 0.5 percent earlier, before more investors joined the Greek debt swap.

“There’s a lot of blind optimism and hope on the part of the people that are trading this market,” Danielle Park, a money manager at Venable Park Investment Counsel Inc. in Barrie, Ontario, said in a telephone interview. The firm manages at least C$1 million ($1 million) each for more than 200 clients. “Each leg of news that comes out of the Greek deal, they have a euphoric blast.”

The S&P/TSX slumped 3.3 percent in the previous three days, led by raw-materials and energy companies. Resources stocks fell with the euro on concern not enough owners of Greek bonds would take part in a restructuring meant to avoid a national default. The industries make up 47 percent of Canadian stocks by market value, according to Bloomberg data.

Oil and metals rose today after investors with 58 percent of Greek bonds eligible for the debt swap indicated they would participate. The country has set a minimum participation level of 75 percent for the transaction, which ends tomorrow.

Energy Shares

Suncor gained 1.2 percent to C$33.72. Cenovus Energy Inc., Canada’s fifth largest energy company, climbed 2.2 percent to C$36.64. TransCanada Corp., the developer of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, advanced 1.7 percent to C$43.70.

PetroBakken Energy Ltd., a western Canadian oil and gas producer, surged 9 percent to C$16.40. The company reported cash flow per share that surpassed analysts’ estimates, reports from Bank of Montreal and Canaccord Financial Inc. said. Petrobank Energy & Resources Ltd., which owns a majority stake in PetroBakken, rose 8.8 percent, the most since July, to C$15.37.

Natural gas producer Paramount Resources Ltd. sank 6.3 percent to C$32.81 after saying that lower forecast natural gas prices and well-performance issues restrained the growth of its reserves.

Gold companies gained as the precious metal advanced after settling at a five-week low yesterday. Osisko Mining Corp., which operates in Quebec, increased 3.3 percent to C$12.39. Banro Corp., which explores in Africa, climbed 6.6 percent to C$5.15. San Gold Corp., the developer of a project in Manitoba, soared 14 percent to C$1.66.

Decade Low

Great Basin Gold Ltd., which mines in Nevada and South Africa, rallied 11 percent to 89 Canadian cents after reporting drilling results. The shares closed at a 10-year low yesterday.

First Quantum lost 2.2 percent to C$20.14 to extend its four-day tumble to 14 percent. The company disclosed fourth-quarter earnings that lagged behind the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 21 percent, excluding certain items. First Quantum has missed analysts’ average profit forecast for eight straight quarters.

Lululemon gained 3.8 percent to C$68.55 after Christian Buss, an analyst at Credit Suisse, raised his rating on the stock to outperform from neutral. The firm’s surveys indicate the company should be able to maintain sales growth and increase operating profit margins, Buss wrote in a note to clients.

Medical Isotopes

Nordion Inc., which produces medical sterilization products and isotopes, fell 6.7 percent, the most since January 2011, to C$9.49 after reporting first-quarter earnings that trailed the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 14 percent, excluding certain items.

Propane distributor Superior Plus Corp. surged 5.7 percent to C$7.47 after Jason Granger, an analyst at BMO, raised his 12-month price estimate on the shares to C$7 from C$6. Granger cited the company’s efforts to increase profit margin.

Aecon Group Inc., a Toronto-based construction company, jumped 5.2 percent to C$12.95, the highest since April 2010, after analysts at Toronto-Dominion Bank, Paradigm Capital Inc. and Stonecap Securities Inc. boosted their share-price estimates. Aecon reported fourth-quarter earnings on March 5 that beat the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 33 percent, excluding certain items.

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