5 Can’t Miss Investing Stories Last Week

BlackBerry signals a shift to enterprise, Canada’s big banks hike their dividends, and is this company the next Johnson & Johnson?

| More on:
The Motley Fool
You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s premium investing services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn more

Let the good times roll!

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (TSX:^OSPTX) continued its month-long winning streak last week with the equity gauge nearing a three-year high. However, there were a number of important corporate reports for investors to shift through as well. Here are the top five can’t-miss headlines from the past week.

1. BlackBerry signals shift to enterprise

Shares of BlackBerry (TSX:BB)(NYSE:BBRY) rallied this week, up almost 8%, after a series of interesting product announcements.

New Chief Executive John Chen unveiled several new initiatives at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona including a new Q20 model that brings back its “classic” keyboard and a cheaper Z3 BlackBerry that will cost under US$200. The company is also releasing BBM for enterprise users and revamping its BlackBerry Enterprise Server. These new initiatives suggest that Mr. Chen’s focus is squarely on the corporate client.

Ford Motor also admitted that it will be looking at switching the operating system for its vehicle infotainment systems from Microsoft’s Sync to BlackBerry’s QNX. And while this is far from a done deal yet, the possibility of finding QNX in every new vehicle from America’s second largest automaker is an exciting prospect.

2. Is this company the next Johnson & Johnson?

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSX:VRX)(NYSE:VRX) has returned to profitability and more than doubled its revenues.

Thanks in large part to the acquisition of contact lens maker Bausch + Lomb Holdings, Canada’s largest publicly traded drug company reported fourth-quarter revenue reached $2.1 billion, up 109% year-over-year. Net income came in at $124 million or $0.36 per share, compared with a loss of $89.1 million or $0.29 during the same period last year.

Valeant has grown quickly over the past several years through acquisitions. Buying small drug makers and pushing new products through the company’s large distribution network has proven to be an incredibly profitable business model.

In January, executives even predicted that the firm would join the world’s top five pharmaceutical companies by market capitalization by the end of 2016. After these recent quarterly results, that goal seems attainable.

3. Obama sets deadline for Keystone decision

U.S. President Barack Obama has signalled he will make a decision on TransCanada’s (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) controversial Keystone XL pipeline before the summer.

During a meeting on Monday between the president and several governors at the White House, Mr. Obama indicated a decision would be made on the project once his aides have had an opportunity to review the State Department’s environmental assessment. The signal is dampening concerns the administration will delay the controversial decision until after mid-term congressional elections in the fall.

A resolution to this issue will be a relief, not just for TransCanada shareholders, but the entire oil sands industry.

4. Tim Hortons eyeing expansion

Tim Hortons (TSX:THI)(NYSE:THI) has its eyes set on expansion.

At the company’s annual investor conference, management said that it will focus on defending its turf in Canada from new rivals like McDonald’s and Starbucks and called the United States a ‘must-win battle’. During the presentation executives announced plans to open 800 restaurants in North America and 220 in the Middle East over the next five years.

Some investors may want to question the wisdom of this strategy. With a coffee shop on every corner of North American cities, how many more do we need? And with margins in the sector beginning to decline, it’s becoming apparent that the industry is saturated. Perhaps shareholders would be better off if that growth capital was simply returned to them in the form of dividends and share buybacks.

5. Banks deliver another round of dividend hikes

Canada’s banking industry continues to pile on the profits.

Amid signs of a cooling Canadian economy, the country’s largest lenders are reporting stellar results. And shareholders get to share in the industry’s success with another round of dividend hikes.

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) says its first-quarter net income was $2.09 billion, up $45 million or 2% year-over-year. Excluding some items, RBC’s adjusted diluted earnings per share was $1.47, which was above the general analyst estimate. And as a parting gift to shareholders, exiting Chief Executive Gord Nixon also announced its quarterly dividend will increase by 6% to $0.71 cents per share.

Surprising investors, TD Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) and CIBC (TSX:CM)(NYSE:CM) also raised their quarterly payouts by a hearty 8.5% and 2.1% respectively.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Robert Baillieul has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.


More on Investing

Profit dial turned up to maximum
Dividend Stocks

1 Undervalued Canadian Dividend Stock to Buy for TFSA Passive Income and Total Returns

This cheap Canadian energy stock provides an attractive dividend yield for TFSA passive income and a shot at some big…

Read more »

money cash dividends
Dividend Stocks

Want Passive Income? 1 TSX Stock for $8/Day in Dividends

If you need cash right away, then this TSX stock can make you passive income from a stable dividend that…

Read more »

edit Balloon shaped as a heart
Dividend Stocks

My 3 Favourite TSX Dividend Stocks Right Now

Canadian dividend stocks make for great long-term buy-and-hold investments.

Read more »

value for money
Dividend Stocks

3 Incredibly Cheap Dividend Stocks to Buy for Dependable Passive Income

Now is an excellent time to load up on Canadian dividend stocks. Here are top picks that are all trading…

Read more »

A close up image of Canadian $20 Dollar bills
Dividend Stocks

3 Simple TSX Stocks to Buy With $25 Right Now

Canadians with capital of as low as $25 can purchase three simple stocks right now and earn recurring passive income…

Read more »

edit Person using calculator next to charts and graphs
Dividend Stocks

2 No-Brainer U.S. Stocks for Investors in August

Here are two undervalued U.S. stocks to diversify your investment portfolio. They both pay safe and growing dividends!

Read more »

Tech Stocks

Got $300? 2 Simple TSX Stocks to Buy Right Now

Investing whatever little sum you have saved up as soon as possible is one of the best ways to keep…

Read more »

money cash dividends
Stocks for Beginners

Grow Your $2,000 and Get $160 Income, Too: Buy 2 TSX Stocks Now

What if a stock can give both dividends and growth? You can have your cake and eat it too with…

Read more »