Astral tumbles as CRTC nixes sale
Oct 19, 2012 / 7:17 am
The Toronto stock market was in the red Friday after four straight days of gains with traders focused on corporate developments and earnings misses.
The S&P/TSX composite index fell 30.35 points to 12,435.77 while the TSX Venture Exchange slipped 1.73 points to 1,310.61.
The Canadian dollar was down 0.42 of a cent to 101.11 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that the inflation rate came in at an annualized rate of 1.2 per cent during September, which was in line with expectations.
Shares in radio, TV and billboard company Astral Media (TSX:ACM.A) fell $7.25 or 15.43 per cent to $39.75 after the federal broadcast regulator unexpectedly blocked a planned sale to telecom BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) in a deal worth about $3.4 billion.
BCE says it will ask the federal Cabinet to intervene but a spokesman for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says any appeal of the CRTC's decision Thursday would have to go to the Federal Court of Appeal. BCE shares declined 77 cents to $42.86.
And General Electric shares lost 39 cents to US$22.42 as the conglomerate disappointed while income rose 49 per cent in the third quarter to $3.49 billion. Ex-items, GE posted earnings per share of 36 cents, which was in line with expectations. But revenue of $36.35 billion fell short of analyst forecasts.
U.S. markets were also weak with the Dow Jones industrial average down 96.83 points to 13,452.11, the Nasdaq composite index lost 23.41 points to 3,049.46, and the S&P 500 index dropped 8.57 points to 1,448.77.
Microsoft Corp. also discouraged buyers after the software giant's net income fell 22 per cent in the latest quarter amid sliding PC sales and ongoing economic problems in Europe.
Fast food chain McDonald's also turned in a disappointing quarterly result, posting earnings per share of $1.43 against the $1.47 that analysts had expected., sending its shares down $2.97 to $89.88.
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