Updating BlackBerry Ltd., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Torstar Corp.

BLACKBERRY LTD. $13 (Toronto symbol BB; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 537.1 million; Market cap: $7.0 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 7.7; No dividends paid; TSINetwork Rating: Speculative; www.blackberry.com) is in a strong position to profit as more businesses increase their spending on cybersecurity.
For example,… Read More

Updating Torstar Corp., CGI Group Inc. and Shawcor Ltd.

TORSTAR CORP. $1.80 (www.torstar.com) has re-branded its Metro free commuter newspapers in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Halifax as StarMetro. The company has also expanded the websites of those five publications. Altogether, these moves should help strengthen the company’s ad revenue and let those publications better compete with major dailies published… Read More

Q: Hi, Pat. I recently read that Fairfax has increased its holdings in Torstar up to 40% of non-voting shares. There’s also the suggestion that Fairfax’s plan may be to take the company private. Can you enlighten me on what “taking a company private” entails? Are shareholders bought out? And if they are, at what price and how is the price determined? I appreciate your advice and I look forward to your response.

A: Fairfax Financial (symbol FFH on Toronto), now holds 40.6% of the class B non-voting shares of Torstar Corp., $1.56, symbol TS.B on Toronto (Shares outstanding: 80.8 million; Market cap: $126.9 million; www.torstar.com).

Torstar insiders own 100% of the class A voting stock. Those insiders are… Read More

Information providers shrink in order to grow

These three information providers continue to adjust as technology disrupts their business models. In particular, the Internet has cut demand for their print offerings.

In response, Thomson and Torstar have aggressively cut costs and shifted to digital offerings. In Transcontinental’s case, it continues to apply… Read More