Canadian shares advanced for a second day, gaining 0.6 percent as the central bank said its interest-rate policy was likely to be unchanged for some time. The S&P/TSX Composite index (TSE:OSPTX) reached 12,809.85 at 1:32 p.m. in Toronto.
As expected, the central bank of the world's 11th-largest economy kept its overnight policy rate at 1 percent, a level that has been in place for about two-and-a-half years.
In corporate news, Dorel Industries (TSE:DII.B) surged 6.3 percent to C$40.30 after the maker of child car seats, furniture and bicycles posted a fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations. Net income rose 6.4 percent to $29.1 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, 21 cents above the consensus estimate. The president of the Westmount, Quebec company said Dorel expects growth to continue this year, although 2013 has gotten off to a slower start than last year. Dorel has annual sales of over $2.3 billion and employs 5,000 people in facilities located in twenty-two countries worldwide.
Torstar Corp. (TSE:TS.B) Wednesday said "the softening" of the print advertising environment hurt its fourth quarter results, provided a cautious outlook for 2013 said it is cutting roughly 67 jobs, sending shares down more than eight per cent.
Laurentian Bank of Canada (TSE:LB) edged up less than 0.1 percent to C$44.95 after the Montreal-based lender announced profit advanced 10.6 percent in the first quarter to C$34.1 million, or C$1.12 per diluted share. Revenue strengthened 10.4 percent to C$213.9 million. The bank said last year's acquisitions of the MRS Companies and AGF Trust helped maintain revenue growth over the last twelve months. Revenue strengthened 10.4 percent to C$213.9 million.
Norsat International Inc. (TSE:NII) added 1.9 percent to 55 cents. The British Colombia-based company reported a fourth-quarter profit of C$0.9 million, or 2 cents per basic and diluted share, compared with a loss of C$0.2 million a year earlier.
On the energy front, Talisman Energy (TSE:TLM) (NYSE:TLM) strengthened 1.1 percent to C$12.68 after the Calgary-based company said it is seeking between C$2 billion to C$3 billion from asset sales or joint ventures in the next 12 to 18 months. The company said proceeds may be used to reduce debt, fund short-term development or repurchase shares.
Petrominerales (TSE:PMG) declined 6 percent to C$7.6. The Calgary-based oil company that operates in Columbia and Peru reported a fourth-quarter loss of C$54 million, compared with a profit of C$78 million a year earlier.
In metals and mining news, Mandalay Resources (TSE:MND) edged up 2.8 percent to C$1.1 after the precious-metal miner revealed an increase in mineral reserves last year. The Toronto-based company said contained gold reserves at the Cerro Bayo mine in Chile and Costerfield mine in Australia increased 33 percent, contained silver rose 14 percent and contained antimony advanced by 38 percent.
Moving to the junior markets in Canada, Tirex Resources (CVE:TXX) (OTCQX:TIRXF) advanced 5.2 percent to 61 cents. The Vancover-based miner said it closed the private placement financing it had announced last month, raising almost $3.12 million of cash - quite a feat in this challenging environment for Candian juniors. The company said it issued 6.24 million shares at around 50 cents each. The new funds will be used as Tirex advances its business plan at the Mirdita Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) project in Albania.
Rambler Metals (LON:RMM) (CVE:RAB) chief executive George Ogilvie declared himself "pleased with the progress" after the group made its second shipment of ore from the Ming copper-gold mine in Newfoundland.
In total 3,150 wet metric tonnes were loaded from the Goodyear's Cove facility and are bound for a smelter in Europe. Sampling of the concentrate revealed it to be 28.5% copper, 7 grams per tonne gold and 54 grams per tonne silver - an improvement on the initial load.
This second shipment is part of Rambler's off-take agreement with Transamine Trading.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.