Canada Stocks Fall Amid Weak Earnings From Commodity ProducersEric Lam
Canadian stocks fell for a third day as investors weighed earnings from commodity producers including Teck Resources Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc.
Goldcorp, the biggest gold producer by market value, dropped 1.2 percent after taking a $1.96 billion writedown due to falling gold prices. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. slumped 2.1 percent as it lowered its 2013 profit forecast. Teck Resources rose 3 percent as its profit beat estimates. Encana Corp. gained 1.7 percent after an analyst with TD Securities Inc. raised his rating for the stock.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 3.16 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 12,669.14 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. Trading volume was in line with the 30-day average.
“The Canadian numbers have been less than inspiring,” said Michael O’Brien, a fund manager with TD Asset Management Inc. in Toronto. The firm manages C$216 billion ($210 billion). “Expectations for these companies were pretty low coming into the quarter. Everybody knew it was going to be a horrendous quarter so people wanted to see just how bad it is and then pick at the pieces.”
Five of 10 industries in the benchmark index fell, led by a 0.8 percent decline in shares of utilities. Atco Ltd. lost 2 percent to C$44.11 as the electric power distributor fell for the fourth time in five days.
Industrial stocks rose the most, adding 0.4 percent as a group, as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. advanced 3 percent to C$131.26 to snap four days of losses.
Fifteen companies in the S&P/TSX report earnings today and tomorrow, including TransCanada Corp. and Canadian Utilities Ltd.
Potash Corp., the world’s largest fertilizer producer, sank 2.1 percent to C$38.35, the lowest close since November. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company said it expects profit of $2.45 to $2.70 a share this year, compared with an April forecast of $2.75 to $3.25 and the $2.84 average of 30 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Potash Corp. reported second-quarter profit of 73 cents a share, short of the 80 cent analysts’ average. Prices for potash are down because of plentiful producer inventories and historically low import volumes in India.
Goldcorp fell 1.2 percent to C$28.88 after writing down the value of its assets and announcing it will slow down some project spending due to lower gold prices. The Vancouver-based company reported adjusted earnings of 14 cents a share, trailing the 23-cent average of 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Gold-mining companies have announced at least $13 billion of writedowns in the past two months after the precious metal’s steepest quarterly drop in London trading in more than nine decades.
Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified miner, climbed 3 percent to C$24.41 after reporting adjusted earnings of 34 cents a share, topping analysts’ average forecast of 32 cents.
Teck said output at its Quintette coal mine in British Columbia won’t begin until a recovery in the market for metallurgical coal, and development of its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 copper project has also been slowed.
Encana added 1.7 percent to C$18.09 after Menno Hulshof, analyst with TD Securities, raised his rating for the company to buy from hold on a positive operations outlook as well as cost-cutting plans. The stock has four buys, 16 holds and 6 sells, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Encana yesterday reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 34 cents a share, topping estimates for 17 cents.