Updating our Conservative Stocks Nova Chemicals Corp., Thomson Corp. and Imperial Oil Ltd.

Article Excerpt

NOVA CHEMICALS CORP. $36 shut down a major plastics plant in Ontario last September for an upgrade. However, problems with new machinery kept the plant closed until just a few weeks ago. The company hopes to recover some of these extra costs from its equipment suppliers. Earnings should rebound in 2006, and the stock now trades at just 7.4 times the $4.23 U.S. a share it will probably make this year. Nova is a buy. THOMSON CORP. $43 earned $0.62 a share before unusual items in the fourth quarter of 2005, up 26.5% from $0.49 a year earlier (all amounts except share price in U.S. dollars). Revenue grew 4.4%, to $2.4 billion from $2.3 billion, largely due to strong demand for its electronic information products. The company also raised its annual dividend rate 10%, from $0.80 U.S. a share to $0.88 U.S. It now yields 2.4%. But the stock is still expensive in relation to its prospects. Hold. IMPERIAL OIL LTD. $109…

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