Updating our Conservative Stocks Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Petro-Canada, Loblaw Companies Ltd. and BCE Inc.

Article Excerpt

MAPLE LEAF FOODS INC. $12 has moved down on fears that the high Canadian dollar would hurt pork exports to Japan. Rising fuel and other costs are also cutting into its earnings growth. But new facilities and equipment should improve its efficiency. A new share buyback plan will also help support the stock price. Buy. PETRO-CANADA $44 paid $30 million for oil sand leases adjacent to its MacKay River project in northern Alberta. The price is equal to 6% of the $474 million or $0.94 a share it earned before unusual items in the second quarter of 2006. The company aims to double MacKay River’s output by 2010. Buy. LOBLAW COMPANIES LTD. $51 will probably earn $3.23 a share in 2006, down 4% from 2005, as it continues to iron out problems with its new distribution network. The new system should cut Loblaw’s long-term costs and help it compete with Wal-Mart. But the stock will likely move sideways until earnings improve. Hold. BCE…

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