CANADA STOCKS-Railways help TSX make slight gains; resources weigh

Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:36am EDT
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* TSX up 8.63 points, or 0.07 percent, at 13,256.69

* Two biggest railways jump on strong earnings

* Glut of oil in U.S. weighs on energy companies

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index eked out a small gain in morning trade on Wednesday as strong results from the country's two biggest railways offset losses in energy and mining companies.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, Canada's No. 2 rail operator, surged 6.2 percent to C$143.20 after reporting a 45 percent jump in profit as freight revenue rose and operating costs fell.

Canadian National Railway Co, the No. 1 operator and focus of scrutiny after one of its trains derailed and caught fire last weekend, jumped 2.7 percent to C$112.71 after reporting a market-beating third-quarter profit and record revenue late on Tuesday, as well as a two-for-one stock split and share buyback plan.

The railways should prosper as the economy grows but the potential for growing opposition to their carriage of natural resources was a concern, said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

"A great deal of the current growth in their earnings is coming from oil-by-rail," he said.   Continued...