Category Archives: Ticker

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Defined benefit plans’ rebound now a test of discipline

By Bruce Freedman/Street Smarts
December 15th, 2013

Living in a zero-rate world has made many a homebuyer happy, but for those companies that still have material defined benefit pension liabilities, the last five years have been rather gray-hair inducing indeed. The discount rate is the single most … Continue reading

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Old rival, new high ground

Don’t tell Jos Schmitt it’s trendy to blame high-frequency traders for corrupting the stock market. The former CEO of Alpha, the alternative exchange whose owners bought TMX Group in 2012, is launching a new exchange where predatory, high-frequency trading will be banned. In Schmitt’s view, the problem is so bad that issuers and investors will want to switch
By Jim Middlemiss
September 16th, 2013

Fairness. It’s a classic underdog sales pitch. But will it work when the “underdogs” are a group of high profile, deep-pocketed financial institutions, headed by a familiar CEO, planning to launch their own stock exchange in Toronto? That’s the gamble—and … Continue reading

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A double dose of transparency

Paired with its new anti-corruption rules, Ottawa’s call for explicit disclosure of all payments made by Canadian companies to foreign governments and officials brings a new standard of offshore accountability to the boardroom
By Rob Colapinto
September 16th, 2013

The world’s most active player in global natural resource extraction will soon be facing new federal legislation mandating beefed-up disclosure of payments made to foreign governments. Canada has long been viewed as a transnational laggard when it comes to its … Continue reading

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Year of the buyback

Surplus cash, cheap debt and antsy shareholders looking for a return have companies hot on their own stock
By Mark Anderson
June 18th, 2013

Even if your company hasn’t done one—yet—you have to know share buybacks are all the rage. Over the last year Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal and CIBC all announced that they would be implementing share buyback programs and, in May, … Continue reading

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Barrick vote symbolic—and then some

The impact of its shareholders’ massive say-on-pay vote rejection of new co-chair John Thornton’s huge bonus deal doesn’t end with Barrick Gold. Boards across Canada will be feeling it, too
By Jim Middlemiss
June 18th, 2013

Every AGM and proxy season has its seminal, defining moment—the shot across the bow that sends a message not to just one board, one set of directors, one company, but to every board and every director in the land. This … Continue reading

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Valuation: A common sense approach to P/E

By Bruce Freedman/Street Smarts
June 18th, 2013

We’ve just seen Apple shares lose nearly half their value between last fall and late spring. Funnily enough, while there is still plenty of bullishness on the stock, it is no longer career suicide for a fund manager to take … Continue reading

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The long arm of the lawsuit

Canadian companies with foreign subsidiaries are traditionally immune from liability for those subsidiaries’ actions abroad. Klippensteins, a Toronto public interest law firm, is trying to change that—with HudBay Minerals first in its sights
By Jim Middlemiss
April 13th, 2013

Watch out corporate Canada, Klippensteins is gunning for you. The five-person public interest law firm has made its name defending human rights, particularly among indigenous peoples. Its high-profile cases include representing the family of slain native activist Dudley George, who … Continue reading

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Disclosure 101: care and feeding of analysts

By Bruce Freedman/Street Smarts
April 13th, 2013

I’ve always been confused by insider trading rules pertaining to the disclosure of non- public information. Not that I was confused by the intent when I was an analyst; that made perfect sense to me. Rather, I was concerned about … Continue reading

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Still quiet on the IPO front

A pop in late-2012 momentum helped stoke market confidence for 2013. But action has yet to materialize
By Joel Kranc
April 12th, 2013

Market volatility, overseas debt crises and instability in North American markets have, in part, had negative effects on the Canadian initial public offering market over the past three years. In 2010, 73 IPOs were issued on all exchanges raising $5.5 … Continue reading

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Poison pills get a boost

Proposed shareholder rights rules will help target companies fend off hostile bids
By Paul Brent
April 12th, 2013

Two new, competing proposals from Canadian regulators on poison pills promise to create new guidelines that are more predictable for target companies and tougher on hostile bidders who have made Canada a corporate hunting ground in recent years. The first … Continue reading

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Ottawa’s long game on takeovers

From Nexen and Progress to 50% caps on state-owned buyers and the net-benefit test, the federal government is walking a fine line to preserve access to future foreign investment
By Jim Middlemiss
February 25th, 2013

A few months have passed since the federal Conservative government outlined how it would amend the Investment Canada Act to clamp down on future takeovers by foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) while making other changes to clarify approval parameters for all … Continue reading

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Miners discover profits, investor confidence

By Bruce Freedman
February 25th, 2013

On the back of continued share-price underperformance, the last six months has shown what appears to be a strategic shift in the mining industry’s direction. Comments from senior management abound expressing the importance of return on capital and profitability over … Continue reading

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Pack averse: having some say in your share price

By Bruce Freedman
January 7th, 2013

Do you ever feel like nobody cares? You work so hard, returning on equity to give your shareholders high quality earnings-per-share. But then the market tanks, and your stock gets pummeled just like everybody else. The sad reality is that … Continue reading

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Proxy advisers face restraints

The Canadian Securities Administrators got a frothy response when it asked for feedback on potential regulation of proxy advisory firms. Experts predict voluntary guidelines sometime in 2013 with firmer rules down the road
By Julie Cazzin
December 20th, 2012

It’s been six months since the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) put out consultation paper 25-401 Potential Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms, which aims to address concerns about the services provided by proxy advisory firms (PAs) and their potential impact on … Continue reading

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Venture issuers await the simple life

New disclosure regulations that better serve small issuers and their investors are now closer to reality
By Joel Kranc
December 19th, 2012

Any company with a “V” appended to its stock symbol knows that the cost of compliance, not to mention the time it requires, can be a burden. True, ensuring transparency, providing access to timely information and financial records for the … Continue reading

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