Updating Torstar Corp., SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Transcontinental Inc. and Fortis Inc

Article Excerpt

TORSTAR CORP. $18 (Toronto symbol TS.B; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; SI Rating: Above average) earned $0.10 a share in the third quarter of 2006, down 66.7% from $0.30 a year earlier. If you exclude the negative impact of foreign currency movements, restructuring costs and gains from asset sales, earnings were unchanged. Revenue fell 3.1%, to $366.2 million from $378.0 million, mostly due to lower sales at its Harlequin book publishing subsidiary and The Toronto Star flagship newspaper. The stock has dropped 20% in the past six months, due to concerns that the company took on too much debt to buy 20% of Bell Globemedia, which owns The Globe and Mail, CTV Television and several popular specialty channels. But Torstar can use these TV channels to draw traffic to its own web sites. The company could also unlock a big part of its value by spinning off Harlequin to its shareholders as a special dividend. Torstar is a buy. SNC-LAVALIN GROUP INC. $31 (Toronto…

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