Toronto Stocks remained higher again on Wednesday as investors mulled over the latest earnings reports. With the gain, Toronto's main index is approaching the multi-month highs seen last week.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has increased 150.22 points or 1.62% to move at 9,397.37. In two sessions, the index has now recovered about 270 points from the 310-point plunge from Monday.
Energy stocks are up 2.1% to lead the gainers. Encana (ECA.TO) has added 4.6% after the company announced its first quarter net earnings increased to US$962 million or US$1.28 per share, up from US$93 million or US$0.12 per share in the year ago quarter.
Operating earnings for the quarter was US$948 million or US$1.26 per share, compared to US$1.05 billion or US$1.39 per share in the year ago quarter.
Precision Drilling Trust (PD_UN.TO) has climbed 10.1%. The company reported first quarter net earnings of C$57.42 million or C$0.30 per unit, a decrease of C$49 million or 46%, compared to C$106.27 million or C$0.84 per unit in the prior year quarter. Revenue for the quarter grew to C$448.45 million from C$342.69 million in the prior-year quarter.
Gold stocks are up 2% and materials stocks have added 1.8% as the precious metal moved higher in Comex trading. Iamgold (IMG.TO) has jumped 5.2%, Eldorado (ELD.TO) is up 4.2% and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) has climbed 3.6%.
The Information Technology Index also has added 2%. Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM.TO) is up 3.6%.
In other corporate news, Teck Cominco Limited (TCK.B.TO) has lost 1.8% after Credit Suisse downgraded shares to Neutral from Outperform, while increasing its price target to C$13 from C$10.
Fronteer Development Group (FRG.TO) is up 2.7% as the company announced Troy Fierro has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer.
CanWest Global Communications (CGS.TO) has surged 25% after the company said its lenders have agreed to extend the waiver of certain borrowing conditions until May 5.
Aastra Technologies Ltd. (AAH.TO) has surged 34% after the company reported first quarter earnings that improved to $14.1 million or $1.02 per share, compared to $5.3 million or $0.33 per share in the same period in last year.
West 49 (WXX.TO) has plunged 15% after the company reported a fourth quarter net loss of C$8.47 million or C$0.13 per share, compared to a net loss of C$1.22 million or C$0.02 per share in the comparable quarter of last year.
On the economic front, Canada's composite leading index fell 1.3% in March following a 1.4% drop in February, according to data released Wednesday morning. The data comes on the heels of Tuesday's surprise interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada.
The contraction in the manufacturing sector intensified as widespread cutbacks were implemented in the auto industry early in the new year. This was offset by a marked slowdown in the fall of the housing and stock markets.
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