Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Gildan boosts dividend despite weaker Q4, 2019 profits and revenues

Gildan Activewear Inc. is boosting its quarterly dividend 15 per cent despite weaker net profits and revenues in the fourth quarter and 2019.

The Montreal-based clothing maker is increasing its quarterly payout for an eighth consecutive year, to 15.4 cents payable on April 6 to shareholders of record on March 12. That's up from the previous rate of 13.4 cents.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 01:34 PM

Loblaw reports Q4 profit up from year earlier, but falls short of expectations

BRAMPTON, Ont. - Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared with a year earlier, but the parent company of Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart fell short of analysts' expectations.

The retailer said Thursday it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $254 million or 70 cents per diluted share for the 12-week period ended Dec. 28.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 01:01 PM

New Caisse CEO stresses caution after 10-year bull market and soft 2019 returns

MONTREAL - The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) missed its benchmark portfolio last year due to lacklustre performance of real estate and infrastructure assets and a focus on long-term stability, even as it enjoyed its strongest return on investment in five years.

The Quebec pension fund manager generated a 10.4 per cent annual return on investments in 2019, or $31.1 billion, growing its net assets to $340 billion. Its benchmark portfolio, however, grew 11.9 per cent.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:56 PM

OSC seeking changes to rules for deferred sales charges on mutual funds

TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission is proposing to restrict the use of deferred sales charges in the sale of mutual funds as every other jurisdiction across the country moves to ban them.

The provincial regulator said Thursday it wants to limit the circumstances in which mutual funds with the DSC option may be sold and give clients greater flexibility to redeem their investments without penalties.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:46 PM

RioCan says focused on major markets, ready to weather retail challenges

TORONTO - RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust says it is well-positioned to weather challenges in the retail landscape as it focuses on necessity-based retailers and major urban centres.

"While there's no question the retail landscape is evolving and it's full of challenges, RioCan is ideally suited to succeed in this environment," said Jonathan Gitlin, president and COO on an analyst call Thursday.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:41 PM

Students, newcomers advised to think safety when entering the workforce

TORONTO - Canada may still be in the depths of winter, but for high school, college and university students across the country, now is the time to prepare for summer jobs and post-graduation employment.

Amid the typical criteria of job seekers such as location, compensation and opportunity, an often overlooked aspect of the job search is workplace safety, as the injury rate for new workers regardless of age is three to four times higher in the first month on a job than the normal rate.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:12 PM

Judge extends order suspending legal proceedings against three tobacco companies

TORONTO - An Ontario court has extended an order suspending legal proceedings against three major tobacco companies as they try to negotiate a settlement with their creditors.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas McEwen told a Toronto court this morning there would be "no prejudice to any stakeholder" from extending the stay to Sept. 30.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 12:12 PM

CMHC says housing vulnerability moderate, downgrades risk in Prairie cities to low

OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it has downgraded the vulnerability of several cities in the Prairies while Canada's housing market remains moderately vulnerable.

The federal housing agency's quarterly assessment, based on data up to the end of last September and some indicators up to the end of December, leaves Victoria as the only market with an overall high degree of vulnerability.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 11:45 AM

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

BOSTON - Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe coronavirus outbreak in China?

In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 10:51 AM

2 former cruise ship passengers with virus die in Japan

TOKYO - Two elderly passengers taken off the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess because they were infected with the new virus have died, Japan's Health Ministry said Thursday, becoming the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel.

Japan now has three deaths linked to the COVID-19 illness.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 09:30 AM