Here are our editors’ picks of some of the best reads of the week. (The articles are available to Globe Unlimited subscribers only.)
Pick-your-own cable stations just ain’t gonna happen
Cable subscribers have no choice but to pay for stations they don’t want and will never watch. At one point the CRTC was supposedly going to go to bat for consumers and force companies to provide à la carte packages, writes Sean Silcoff in ROB Insight . But the current system allows networks to bundle their popular offerings along with the stuff few viewers would pay for, and there seems little hope of any change to the status quo.
Air Canada feels drag of economic turbulence
When Air Canada issued a first-quarter profit warning, it cited a range of reasons. But the biggest issue facing the carrier is the collapse of business travel, as companies rein in spending. While that’s a big problem for Air Canada, David Parkinson says in ROB Insight, the scarier prospect is a steadily worsening Canadian economic outlook.
One cheer for U.S. earnings season
Hooray, another quarter of profit growth for S&P 500 companies! Hang on a sec – the average gain came in at just 1.63 per cent, and revenue growth actually went south, albeit mildly. While the consumer goods segment is providing the one bright spot, for the most part, companies are eking out their thin gains through greater efficiencies (read: axing workers). And as long as there are fewer dollars in consumers’ pockets, writes Scott Barlow in ROB Insight , the so-called recovery will continue to limp along.
This little gold miner went to market
Gold mining junior Banro Corp. pulled off a tricky $100-million financing in one of the most inhospitable climates seen in a long time, Tim Kiladze writes in Streetwise. With few investors keen to back juniors, a slipping bullion price, and a project based in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, the company had to show some flexibility in the terms of the deal, but ultimately managed to see it through.
Go west, young housing investor
If you see big potential in the residential property market in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Dundee Corp. might have something for you. The company is spinning out DREAM, explains Tim Kiladze in Streewise, a distinctly non-REIT-like play that invests in both land sales and house and condo developments.