Global markets slipped Wednesday on weak Eurozone data as investors eye a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday and a U.S. jobs report on Friday. Data showing U.S. factory activity slowed last month has also renewed concern about the world's largest economy. Here at home, the Bank of Canada will announce its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday. Economists expect it to remain unchanged at 1 per cent.
Here are the stocks we're watching today:
*Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the Laval, Que.-based convenience store chain operator, will report its fiscal first quarter 2013 results on Wednesday. The company operates more than 6,000 stores across North America and abroad under the brands Circle K, Couche-Tard, Mac's, Dairy Mart, and Winks. Analysts reportedly expect a messy quarter but are calling for earnings between 78 cents per share to 98 cents per share.
*Dollar General Corp., the U.S. chain of variety stores headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., reports its second quarter results on Wednesday. Analysts are expecting to see earnings of 64 cents per share versus 42 cents per share from the same period one year ago. On the whole, Dollar General's stock is up by 22 per cent year-to-date and by about 150 per cent since its' IPO in November 2009.
*H&R Block Inc., will release its fiscal first quarter of 2013 after the market closes on Wednesday. The Kansas City-based company recently announced its 200th consecutive dividend to shareholders but analysts expect to see a loss of 37 cents per share, up from 39 cents per share one year ago. In the past four quarters H&R Block has shown decreasing revenue, falling by 11.8 per cent to $2 billion in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.
*Harry Winston Diamond Corp., the Toronto-based specialist diamond and mining company, reports its fiscal second quarter of 2013 after the markets close today. HWD's luxury brand subsidiary Harry Winston Inc. recently completed the refinancing of its revolving credit facility and the company stated the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories that it holds a 40 per cent stake in will remain in production until 2023. It estimates the net present value of the mine at C$2.6 billion.
*Major Drilling Group International Inc., the Moncton, N.B.-based drilling and mining company, will report its fiscal first quarter 2013 earnings after the markets close on Wednesday. Analysts recently lowered their price targets on MDI and shares of the company traded down 5.25 per cent yesterday.