Global markets are mixed on Thursday ahead of the outcome of a much-anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. Investors are waiting to see if the Fed will engage in a fresh round of bond buying to support the American economy. Here at home, Statistics Canada reports on the capacity utilization rate in the second quarter. Economists expect the rate to be at 81.1 per cent. StatsCan will also report on the new housing price index in July. Economists are expecting to see an annual rise of 2.3 per cent.
Here are the stocks we're watching today:
*Empire Co. Ltd., the Stellarton, N.S.-based owner of the Sobeys Inc. grocery chain and various commercial and residential real estate companies, reported its first quarter 2012 results with net earnings of $108.9 million, or $1.60 per share, compared to $89.2 million, or $1.31 per share, in the first quarter 2011.
*Patheon Inc., a Fort Erie, Ont.-based pharmaceutical company, reported its fiscal third quarter 2012 results showing quarterly revenues increasing by 18 per cent, or $31 million, to $203.7 million from $172.7 million in the same period one-year ago. The company cited growth in its existing business for the success. Patheon also increased its full-year guidance as it expects revenue to exceed $735 million in 2012.
*Transat A.T. Inc., the Montreal-based tour operator and owner of Air Transat, posted a third quarter 2012 profit with net income attributable to shareholders at C$9.4 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.8 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same period one year ago. The company's revenue fell 3 per cent to $909.1 million.
*K12 Inc., the Herndon, Va.-based for-profit online education company, reported a fiscal fourth quarter profit recently thanks to rising demand for online classes and easily beating analyst expectations. Shares jumped by 12 per cent to $23.95 in after-hours trading. Analysts had expected the company to report a loss.
*Spartech Corp., a Clayton, Mo.-based producer of engineered thermo plastic sheet, polymeric compounds and engineered products, saw its third quarter earnings drop by 39 per cent and its shares fell by 7.1 per cent to $5.10 in after-hours trade. The company cited weak revenue in its packaging technologies and specialty compounding business.