Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 28, 2013 5:25 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,749.90 up 50.25 points):Tuscany International Drilling Inc. (TSX:TID). Oil and gas. Down one cent, or 7.14 per cent, at 13 cents on 19.7 million shares. The energy sector shed 0.21 of point, or 0.08 per cent, to 253.18.BlackBerry (TSX:BB). Wireless technology. Up 29 cents, or 1.96 per cent, at $15.09 on 12.3 million shares. The smartphone pioneer booked a fourth-quarter profit of US$98 million or 19 cents per share, reversing a loss of $125 million or 24 cents from the same period last year. It also announced that co-founder Mike Lazaridis will retire as vice chairman and director on May 1.Mood Media Corp. (TSX:MM). Advertising and marketing services. Down 36 cents, or 25.90 per cent, at $1.03 on 7.5 million shares. The Toronto-based company’s fourth-quarter loss almost quadrupled to $27.1 million from the same period a year ago while revenue jumped 51 per cent due to acquisitions, improved growth and higher recurring revenue.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Down eight cents, or 2.52 per cent, at $3.09 on 4.9 million shares. The Vancouver-based company’s net income cut almost in half in the fourth quarter amid higher taxes and operating and other costs that more than offset improved revenue from gold sales.Suncor Energy (TSX:SU). Oil and gas. Up four cents, or 0.13 per cent, at $30.44 on 4.4 million shares. It announced Wednesday it was not going ahead with its troubled Voyageur oilsands upgrader project, citing market conditions which have changed significantly. Suncor took a $1.49-billion writedown on Voyageur in the fourth-quarter of 2012.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurer. Up 16 cents, or 1.08 per cent, at $14.96 on 4.3 million shares. The financials sector was up 0.97 of a point, or 0.49 per cent, to 197.59 points.Toronto Venture Exchange (1,099 up 1.21 points):Longford Energy Inc. (TSXV:LFD.H). Oil and gas. Down half-a-cent , or 4.55 per cent, at 10.5 cents on 3.5 million shares.Pangolin Diamonds Corp. (TSVX:PAN). Up two cents, or 8.70 per cent, at 25 cents on 2.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:CVTech Group Inc. (TSX:CVT). Up six cents, or 5.26 per cent, at $1.20 on 272,092 shares. The company, which provides maintenance services for power transmission and distribution lines, said it earned $3.8 million in its latest quarter as revenue, boosted by the clean up work in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.Rogers (TSX:RCI.B). Telecommunications. Up 36 cents, or 0.70 per cent, at $51.89 on one million shares. The company says it is considering selling digital streaming of Toronto Blue Jays games and its Sportsnet channels to non-TV subscribers. read more

Jana claims two nominees have votes to be elected to Agrium board

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Jana Partners says it looks like it has received enough votes to get two of its five nominees elected to the board of fertilizer giant Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) at the company’s annual meeting Tuesday.The New York hedge fund, which has been in a bitter proxy fight with Agrium management for months, said in a statement Monday that it believes both managing partner Barry Rosenstein and another of its nominees, David Bullock, had received enough votes as of the deadline Friday.“While only Agrium knows the vote results for both sides, based on the number of votes received by these nominees and the typical turnout for contested Canadian elections, and leaving aside the potential impact of Agrium’s offer to pay financial advisers and brokers for favourable votes, it appears that both will be elected,” Jana said.However, Jana complained some shareholders who supported its nominees tell of having been contacted after the deadline and being asked to switch their votes.Agrium’s meeting rules permit it to extend the voting deadline without public notice if doing so would help the current board win re-election, Jana said.Jana has previously criticized Agrium for paying brokers and financial advisers 25 cents for each vote their clients cast in favour of existing board directors, between a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1,500 per shareholder.Agrium quickly issued a brief statement of its own, saying it remained “very confident” it would prevail in the proxy contest and accused Jana of speculation and “spreading misinformation.”The company said Jana had itself been in contact with shareholders over the weekend and urged shareholders to contact Agrium or its proxy solicitors if they had any questions.Jana, which has spent more than $1 billion for a 7.5 per cent stake in Agrium, has made a number of proposals for change at the company.The one that has garnered the most attention has been to break off Agrium’s retail business into a separate company.Jana says it merely wants Agrium to thoroughly and independently review that option, as well as manage capital better, improve governance and cut costs. Agrium contends that a split remains Jana’s primary aim, and has accused it of using “Trojan horse tactics” to break up the company.Rosenstein said Monday that Agrium’s opposition to adding a minority of new voices to the board had been “based on its claim that an overwhelming number of shareholders did not favour such change.”“Now that this has been disproven, it is time to accept that result rather than continuing to fight behind the scenes,” he said.“There is no good reason why the full board cannot work with a small number of new directors, particularly given the many areas of mutual agreement.”Rosenstein and Bullock — previously with UAP, the U.S. farm products retailer Agrium acquired in 2008 — were the two Jana director nominees backed by influential proxy advisory firm ISS.Its recommendation did not, however, include Jana’s three other candidates: former Liberal agriculture minister Lyle Vanclief, ex-Brenntag CEO Stephen Clark and ex-MSC Industrial CEO Mitchell Jacobson.ISS said Jana made a “compelling” case for change.“The gnawing question is not whether the company should spin off its distribution business, but whether a board still loudly repudiating the very changes it has begun to implement, changes which have encouraged many shareholders and analysts, is a board with a burgeoning credibility problem,” ISS said.“Shareholders may well wonder if, once the bright lights of this proxy contest are turned off, the progress will fade as well.”Other proxy advisory firms — Glass, Lewis, Pensions Investment Research Consultants and Egan-Jones — have endorsed Agrium’s existing board.In a recent research note, Scotia Capital analyst Ben Isaacson warned that using Jana’s proxy, even to vote for one or two of its nominees, would be a “mistake.”“In our view, this would inevitably lead to a split and toxic board, where competing visions and infighting destroy shareholder value rather than create it.”So far, four shareholders have said publicly they intend to side with Agrium: Alberta fund manager AIMCo, B.C. fund manager bcIMC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Letko, Brosseau and Associates. Together, those shareholders account for just a small fraction of Agrium’s stock.Agrium shares rose $1.37, or 1.4 per cent, to $99.11 in mid-day trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. Jana claims two nominees have votes to be elected to Agrium board by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 8, 2013 10:10 am MDT read more

US Patent Office finds Redskins name offensive moves to strip it of

by Joseph White, The Associated Press Posted Jun 18, 2014 8:52 am MDT US Patent Office finds Redskins’ name offensive, moves to strip it of trademark protection WASHINGTON – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins’ name is “disparaging of Native Americans” and should be stripped of trademark protection — a decision that puts powerful new financial and political pressure on the NFL team to rename itself.By a vote of 2-1, the agency’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sided with five Native Americans in a dispute that has been working its way through legal channels for more than two decades.The ruling doesn’t directly force the team to abandon the name, but it adds momentum to the campaign at a time of increasing criticism of Redskins owner Dan Snyder from political, religious and sports figures who say it’s time for a change.“If the most basic sense of morality, decency and civility has not yet convinced the Washington team and the NFL to stop using this hateful slur, then hopefully today’s patent ruling will, if only because it imperils the ability of the team’s billionaire owner to keep profiting off the denigration and dehumanization of Native Americans,” Oneida Indian representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata, two of the leading forces in the campaign to change the name, said in a statement.The Redskins quickly announced they will appeal, and the team’s name will continue to have trademark protection while the matter makes its way through the courts — a process that could take years.A similar ruling by the board in 1999 was overturned on a technicality in 2003.“We’ve seen this story before,” Redskins attorney Bob Raskopf said. “And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo. We are confident we will prevail once again.”Snyder and others associated with the team have long argued that the Redskins name is used with respect and honour and is a source of pride among many American Indians.The ruling involves six uses of the Redskins name trademarked by the team from 1967 to 1990. It does not apply to the team’s American Indian head logo.If it stands, the team will still be free to use the name but will lose a lot of its ability to protect its financial interests. It will be more difficult for the team to go after others who print the Redskins name on sweatshirts, jerseys or other gear without permission.“Joe in Peoria is going to have a pretty good argument that he could put the ‘Redskins’ name on some T-shirt,” said Brad Newberg, a copyright law expert in Virginia.Newberg estimated that the ruling, if upheld, could cost the team tens of millions of dollars per year. Forbes magazine puts the value of the Redskins franchise at $1.7 billion and says $145 million of that is attributable to the team’s brand.The board exercised its authority under a section of the Trademark Act of 1946 that disallows trademarks that may disparage others or bring them into contempt or disrepute. Over the years, the courts have rejected arguments that the First Amendment guarantees the right to register any name as a trademark.In reaching its decision, the board drew on the testimony of three experts in linguistics and lexicography and combed through old dictionaries, books, newspapers, magazines and even vintage movie quotes to examine the history of “redskin,” looking specifically at whether it was considered disparaging at the time the trademarks were issued.The board concluded that today’s dictionaries “uniformly label the term ‘offensive’ or ‘disparaging’” — a change that took place between the late 1960s and the 1990s — and that its derogatory nature is further demonstrated by “the near complete drop-off in usage of ‘redskins’” as a term for Native Americans beginning in the 1960s.Also, the board said a “substantial” number of Native Americans — at least about 30 per cent — have found the team’s use of the term to be offensive.The ruling follows decisions earlier this year that rejected trademark requests for “Redskins Hog Rinds” and “Washington Redskin Potatoes.”Courts overturned the board’s 1999 ruling in part because the plaintiffs waited too long to voice their objections after the original trademarks were issued. The case was relaunched in 2006 by a younger group of Native Americans who only recently became adults and would not have been able to file a case earlier.The chorus of critics against the use of the name has grown over the past year.President Barack Obama himself said last year that he would think about changing the name if he owned the team.On Saturday, a major sector of the United Church of Christ voted to urge its 40,000 members to boycott the Redskins. On Capitol Hill, half the Senate recently wrote letters to the NFL urging a change because “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.”Washington Mayor Vincent Gray suggested Wednesday that the name will almost certainly have to change if the team ever wants to build a new stadium in the city.Snyder, who has vowed repeatedly never to abandon the name, declined to comment as he walked off the field after a practice Wednesday.Redskins players have mostly avoided the topic.“Our job as players is to focus on what we can on this field day-in and day-out and let the legal people take care of that stuff,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “And when it’s the right time, then we can voice whatever it is we know about the situation.”The Redskins have responded to critics by creating a foundation to give financial support to Indian tribes. Suzan Shown Harjo, a leading figure in the trademark case, called the foundation “somewhere between a PR assault and bribery.”Supporters of a name change hailed the decision.“Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor, “but it is just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing.”___AP National Writer Eddie Pells in Denver and Associated Press writer Sam Hananel contributed to this report.___AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Loonie advances ahead of employment data traders look to dismal eurozone growth

Loonie advances ahead of employment data, traders look to dismal eurozone growth AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday as markets awaited the arrival of revised jobs data for July.The loonie was up 0.12 of a cent to 91.72 cents US, a day before Statistics Canada releases the data. The agency said earlier this week that there was an error in the jobs data originally released last Friday.Economists expect the new data will show about 20,000 jobs were created last month. Last Friday, Statistics Canada reported that only 200 jobs were created in July.The agency will also release the June reading on manufacturing shipments on Friday.Meanwhile, there was grim news from the eurozone as Germany’s economy, the region’s biggest, shrank by a quarterly rate of 0.2 per cent, held back by weaker investment by business and by fears over the crisis in Ukraine.France, the region’s second-largest economy, showed zero growth for the second straight quarter. Third-ranked Italy shrank.Ukraine fears have only grown since the end of the quarter on June 30, particularly after a Malaysian airliner was shot down in mid-July by a missile from territory held by pro-Russian separatists, according to the U.S. and Ukraine.Meanwhile, a large Russian aid convoy resumed its journey toward Ukraine on Thursday, taking a road leading directly toward a border crossing controlled by pro-Russian rebels.Moscow has insisted it co-ordinated the dispatch of the goods with the International Red Cross, but the Red Cross was unable to confirm where the convoy was headed.On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of possibly planning a “direct invasion of Ukrainian territory under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid.”On the commodity markets, September crude in New York tumbled $2.01 to US$95.58 a barrel, reflecting Wednesday’s data showing a surprise hike in U.S. inventories last week and the weak European growth data.September copper was two cents lower at US$3.09 a pound, while December gold was $1.20 higher at US$1,315.70 an ounce. by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 14, 2014 6:46 am MDT read more

Pfizer will ask FDA to remove black box suicide warning from its

by Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press Posted Sep 24, 2014 9:53 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Pfizer will ask FDA to remove “black box” suicide warning from its anti-smoking medication WASHINGTON – New government-approved labeling on Pfizer’s drug Chantix suggests that the anti-smoking medication may not carry the risks of suicidal behaviour that first earned it the Food and Drug Administration’s strongest warning more than five years ago.The FDA updated the drug’s label Monday to include data from a number of recent studies that found little to no evidence of psychiatric problems or suicidal tendencies in patients taking the twice-a-day tablet.The new labeling represents a victory for Pfizer Inc., which requested the update. Company executives say they will now ask the FDA to completely remove the drug’s so-called “black box” label — the strongest type — which warns prescribers of links to hostility, agitation, depression and suicidal behaviour.“Based on all this new information, a boxed warning is not supported,” said Pfizer senior vice-president, Steve Romano, in an interview with The Associated Press. “The bottom line is that the label needs to reflect the most current understanding of the product’s benefits and risks.”The FDA is convening a panel of its outside experts next month to review the latest data on Chantix’s safety — prompted by Pfizer’s request to update the label. The meeting comes more than a year after New York-based Pfizer paid $275 million to settle some 2,000 lawsuits alleging Chantix caused various psychiatric problems, injuries and suicides.The FDA originally added the boxed warning about suicide in 2009, after receiving dozens of reports of suicide and hundreds of reports of suicidal behaviour among patients taking the smoking-cessation drug.At that time, the FDA also required Pfizer to conduct additional studies to determine the extent of the drug’s psychiatric side effects.The new drug labeling includes results of five Pfizer studies enrolling nearly 2,000 patients which showed no increase in suicidal tendencies based on a medical questionnaire. The FDA also updated the label with results from four large independent studies of between 10,000 and 30,000 Chantix users. Those studies found no difference in self-injury, hospitalization and other serious adverse events between people taking Chantix and those using other quit-smoking aids, including nicotine patches and the medication bupropion.There were several limitations to these larger studies. First, they only recorded problems that resulted in hospitalization, meaning many issues likely went unreported. Additionally, the studies were conducted after news of Chantix’s side effects had been widely reported, which means doctors may have steered patients with a history of psychiatric issues toward the alternate therapies.The new FDA label isn’t all positive. It also contains new information about risks of seizure and interactions with alcohol among Chantix patients.Pfizer’s drug works by binding to the same spots in the brain that are activated by nicotine when people smoke. The drug, known chemically as varenicline, blocks nicotine from binding to those spots and prevents the release of “feel-good” brain chemicals that make smoking so addictive.The FDA first began investigating potential side effects with Chantix in 2007, the year after it hit the market.The drug’s labeling tells patients to stop taking Chantix immediately if they experience agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thinking and other behavioural changes. Doctors are advised to weigh the drug’s risks against its potential benefit of helping patients quit smoking.Chantix had global sales of $648 million last year. That was down about 26 per cent from the drug’s peak sales of $883 million in 2007.Pfizer shares rose 26 cents to $30.31. It shares had slipped almost 2 per cent through Tuesday’s close since the start of the year. read more

US productivity grew at 23 per cent rate in third quarter while

In this Sept. 4, 2014 photo, Family Dollar assistant manager Robin Swint arranges merchandise at her store in Wilmington, N.C. The Commerce Department revises its estimate of U.S. company productivity and costs for the July-September quarter on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Matt Born) by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Dec 3, 2014 6:53 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US productivity grew at 2.3 per cent rate in third quarter while labour costs fell WASHINGTON – U.S. workers’ productivity increased in the July-September quarter at a slightly faster pace than previously estimated while labour costs declined for a second straight quarter.Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, increased at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the third quarter while labour costs fell at a rate of 1 per cent, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.In its first estimate, the government had put productivity growth at a slightly slower 2 per cent and said labour costs had risen a tiny 0.2 per cent. The strengthening of productivity growth combined with a faster drop in labour costs should reassure the Federal Reserve that there is little threat of unwanted inflation pressures harming economic growth any time soon.Greater productivity is the key factor determining rising living standards. It enables companies to pay their workers more without having to increase prices.The slightly faster productivity growth compared to an initial estimate one month ago reflected revisions the government made to the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services.Last week, the government revised GDP for the third quarter up from its first estimate of 3.5 per cent to a stronger 3.9 per cent. Greater growth in output translated into stronger growth in productivity and lower labour pressures.In the five-and-a-half years since the recession, when millions of workers lost their jobs and found it difficult to secure new ones, labour costs have remained well contained.Over the past year, labour costs have risen 1.2 per cent, a modest increase that is well below the long-run average of 2.8 per cent in annual gains. That suggests that wages and salaries are not rising fast enough to spur inflation.The Federal Reserve keeps a close watch on productivity and labour costs for any signs that inflation may be accelerating.Productivity over the past year has increased by a modest 1 per cent, well below the long-run average of 2.2 per cent.In the two years after the recession, productivity surged. Companies cut jobs faster than their output was falling, driving productivity higher as fewer workers did more. Productivity grew 3.2 per cent in 2009 and 3.3 per cent in 2010.But in the past three years, productivity growth has averaged just 1 per cent per year as hiring has picked up. Economists at JPMorgan, however, are looking for a slight improvement in productivity growth next year, forecasting a gain of 1.5 per cent in 2015. read more

Divergent sequel Insurgent seizes top spot Sean Penns The Gunman misfires

‘Divergent’ sequel ‘Insurgent’ seizes top spot; Sean Penn’s ‘The Gunman’ misfires This photo provided by Lionsgate shows, Kate Winslet, left, as Jeanine, and Ansel Elgort, as Caleb, in a scene from the film, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.” The movie opens in U.S. theaters Friday, March 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Andrew Cooper) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted Mar 22, 2015 11:15 am MDT LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Sean Penn’s “The Gunman” was no match for the rebel kids of “Insurgent.”The second installment in the “Divergent” series easily topped the box office with $54 million from 3,875 theatres, according Rentrak estimates Sunday. Penn’s geopolitical thriller stumbled with only $5 million.While the second films in both the “Hunger Games” and the “Twilight” series boasted opening weekend gains over the first, “Insurgent’s” opening nearly matches that of its predecessor, “Divergent,” which debuted to $54.6 million just last year.Many predicted a bit of growth for this second film, which sees the return of stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet to author Veronica Roth’s dystopian world. But, both distributor Lionsgate and box office analysts see the consistency as a good thing.“We’re extremely pleased with the outcome,” said Lionsgate’s President of Domestic Distribution Richie Fay.“I think this is exactly where we thought we’d be,” he added. “We attracted a few more males this time around, and I think we’re headed in the right direction. The uptick from Friday to Saturday was considerably higher than it was for ‘Divergent.’ That, the A- CinemaScore and what’s coming into the marketplace will allow us to grow very nicely.”According to Lionsgate, 60 per cent of audiences were female.Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian credits Lionsgate’s consistent release date strategy and impressive marketing campaign for the strong repeat performance.“It’s really about driving a very fickle audience, that teen, YA — whatever you want to call them — they’re really tough to get a handle on. Their tastes change like the wind,” he said. “The key is keeping the young adult audience engaged, excited and enthusiastic.”“Insurgent” also performed well overseas, taking in $47 million from 76 markets, bringing its worldwide total to $101 million.Disney’s live-action “Cinderella,” meanwhile, fell 49 per cent in Week 2 to take second place with $34.5 million. The PG-rated film has earned an impressive $122 million domestically to date.Also in its second weekend in theatres, the R-rated Liam Neeson-led action film “Run All Night,” managed a slight edge over Open Road’s “The Gunman.” Neeson’s film, a Warner Bros. release, dropped 54 per cent with its $5.1 million weekend, while Penn’s film debuted in fourth place with only $5 million.“You have a lot of R-rated competition out there right now,” noted Dergarabedian, who also added that Penn’s foray into the action genre has not garnered the best reviews.“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” one of the better performing R-rated releases in recent weeks, rounded out the top five with $4.6 million in its sixth weekend in theatres. The 20th Century Fox film has now earned over $114.6 million domestically.“Over the past couple of weeks, films driven by the female audience have done much better than films driven by the male audience. But that’s all going to change because ‘Furious 7’ is on the way,” Dergarabedian said.“Put on your seatbelt and get ready, because it’s going to be an incredible ride in the coming weeks,” he said.Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.1. “Insurgent,” $54 million ($47 million international).2. “Cinderella,” $34.5 million ($41.1 million international).3. “Run All Night,” $5.1 million ($5 million international).4. “The Gunman,” $5 million ($900,000 international).5. “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” $4.6 million ($8.5 million international).6. “Do You Believe?” $4 million.7. “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” $3.5 million ($3.2 million international).8. “Focus,” $3.3 million ($7.9 million international).9. “Chappie,” $2.7 million ($5.1 million international).10. “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” $2.4 million ($3.2 million international).___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Rentrak:1. “Insurgent,” $47 million.2. “Cinderella,” $41.1 million.3. “Home,” $19.2 million.4. “Taken 3,” $18.6 million.5. “Lost and Love,” $16.2 million.6. “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” $8.5 million.1. “Focus,” $7.9 million.2. “Big Hero 6,” $6.6 million.3. “Chappie,” $5.1 million.4. “Run All Night,” $5 million.___Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 23, 2015 3:05 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,957.21, up 14.80 points):Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX:HNU). Oil and gas. Down 12 cents, or 2.87 per cent, to $4.06 on 4.5 million shares.B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO). Miner. Up nine cents, or 2.87 per cent, to $3.23 on 4.2 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down two cents, or 0.79 per cent, to $2.50 on 3.5 million shares.Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (TSX:COS). Oil and gas. Down 22 cents, or 2.23 per cent to $9.63 on 3.1 million shares.Essential Energy Services Ltd. (TSX:ESN). Oil and gas. Down one cent, or 0.97 per cent, to $1.02 on 3 million shares.Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B). Miner. Up 87 cents, or 4.61 per cent, to $19.75 on 3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Iamgold Corp. (TSX:IMG). Miner. Up three cents, or 1.13 per cent, to $2.69 on one million shares. The company has signed a deal to sell its Diavik Diamond royalty stream to Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (TSX:SSL) for US$56.8 million. Sandstorm shares closed up 13 cents, or 3.23 per cent, at $4.16 on 217,332 shares.WestJet (TSX:WJA). Airline. Down 42 cents, or 1.38 per cent, to $30.08 on 336,575 shares. The company said it had uncovered a scam involving a deeply discounted airfare offer for travellers headed to an upcoming conference in the United States. WestJet says as many as 100 conference-goers have accepted the offer and paid for the airfare only to discover their ticket was invalid because it was actually bought with a stolen credit card. read more

Calgary sees first new home price drop since November 2011 as economy

Aerial views of housing in Calgary on June 22, 2013. Calgary new home prices are down for the first time in more than three years after months of economic pressure from low oil prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward Calgary sees first new home price drop since November 2011 as economy lags by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted May 14, 2015 2:00 pm MDT Last Updated May 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Calgary new home prices are down for the first time in more than three years after months of economic pressure from low oil prices.New home sale prices dropped 0.4 per cent in March, the first retreat since November 2011, according to numbers released Thursday by Statistics Canada.“We’ve obviously had some challenging economic conditions, and it’s starting to put downward pressure on pricing because sales activity is a lot lower than what we’ve had,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board.Calgary had the highest home price drop of major Canadian cities after holding steady in January and February with no price movement, though prices are still up 2.8 per cent compared with March last year.“To put some perspective to it, last year we had price gains over nine per cent,” says Lurie. “It’s really just a matter of how long the cycle will last and what impact it will have moving forward.”The decline is largely coming from the high-end housing market, said Calgary realtor Lowell Martens. He said he’s seen encouraging sales in homes selling below roughly $550,000, but above that he’s noticed prices have been down as much as five per cent.“I think the market is definitely slower than last year’s, and I think it will remain slower,” says Martens. “But at this point it doesn’t look like we’re going to be taking the major hits that some people thought we were going to do.”Continued low interest rates have helped keep the market afloat, said Martens, adding that many people still see buying as a better move than renting.The pullback in demand has caused a fall in new home construction, with new housing starts in April down to 777 homes compared to 1,592 home starts in April of the year before.The Statistics Canada figures were released as oil prices fell back below US$60 a barrel.Follow @ibickis on Twitter. read more

McDonalds US sales jump boosted by allday breakfast

by The Associated Press Posted Apr 22, 2016 6:31 am MDT Last Updated Apr 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, photo shows the sign on the McDonalds on 42nd Street near Times Square in New York. McDonald’s reports financial results Friday, April 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) McDonald’s US sales jump, boosted by all-day breakfast NEW YORK, N.Y. – McDonald’s said U.S. sales jumped in the first quarter as it raised prices, worked on improving service and benefited from the popularity of its all-day breakfast menu.Sales rose 5.4 per cent at established U.S. locations, marking the third straight quarter the figure has climbed.As part of its push to stage a comeback, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said the company is sparing no detail in looking at ways to step up operations. He noted the company is even increasing the font size on receipts for special requests to ensure the orders are accurate.The most notable change, however, has been the company’s launch of an all-day breakfast menu in the U.S. last fall. The company also introduced a “McPick 2” value deal this year to draw the price-conscious customers it had lost after abandoning the Dollar Menu.The shake-up in its flagship U.S. market comes after McDonald’s conceded that it failed to keep up with changing tastes, and saw customer visits decline.Still, the chain is under pressure from intensifying competition. Burger King, Wendy’s and Taco Bell are introducing new menu items and deals, while Subway is going back to playing up the freshness of its sandwiches.McDonald’s also did not provide details on how much of its sales increase came from higher spending, versus an uptick in customer visits. The latter measure is considered a key indicator of a restaurant chain’s health.Easterbrook said only that customer visits were “positive,” but that he’d “like to see greater strength there.”The company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, said it lifted pricing by more than 3 per cent in the U.S during the quarter.The company’s results also benefited from the closure of underperforming stores. That means those stores no longer drag down sales at established locations, a closely watched gauge. The figure measures only sales at stores open at least 13 months to strip out the impact of store openings and closings.The shuttering of underperforming locations also means McDonald’s domestic store base of more than 14,200 locations is set to shrink for the second straight year, following decades of expansion.For the quarter, McDonald’s said global sales rose 6.2 per cent at established locations. The International Lead unit, which includes established markets such as the U.K. and Australia, saw growth of 5.2 per cent.The High Growth unit, which includes China, saw sales increase 3.6 per cent.Profit rose to $1.1 billion, or $1.23 per share. That’s 7 cents better than analysts had expected for per-share earnings.Revenue was $5.9 billion, also topping Wall Street expectations.McDonald’s shares were up 38 cents at $126.17 in midday trading. read more