Financial

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies has come under fire from users for “cutting corners,” after it said it used a mix of less advanced and powerful chips in its flagship P10 model due to tight supplies of the parts. The company’s mobile chief Richard Yu said on April 20 that Huawei used a mix of less efficient eMMC flash memory cards and high-performance Universal Flash Storage (UFS) cards in its latest P10 phone “due to severe shortage in the supply chain.”...
Imperial Oil Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp., isn’t joining the exodus of oil majors out of Canada. But Canada’s longest-established oil company isn’t in a rush to expand either as it weighs whether to embark on a new phase of oilsands’ growth. Chairman and CEO Rich Kruger said it needs the deposits, the “heavy hitters” of its Canadian portfolio, to be globally competitive in an environment of lower oil prices, which means the economic tests have “become more str...
TORONTO — Officials at the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, the large institutional investor behind a $2 billion line of credit extended this week to struggling Home Capital Group Inc., say they were approached Tuesday by the mortgage lender seeking funding. As soon as that happened, HOOPP chief executive Jim Keohane, who was also on Home Capital’s board of directors, “recused himself and turned the negotiations over to HOOPP staff,” Martin Biefer, a pension fund spokesperson, said Fr...
Shaw Communications is looking for a buyer for ViaWest, the U.S. data centre company it bought three years ago, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Canadian cable company continues to shed assets it considers non-core. The sale of ViaWest would be Shaw’s latest step to streamline its operations. Last year it sold its media assets to sister company Corus Entertainment Inc for $2.65 billion, and used some of the proceeds for its $1.6 billion purchase of Wind Mobile. Shaw is ...
Visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk has set his sights on a future that includes reusable rockets, super-fast trains, artificial intelligence -- and now subterranean tunnels for beating sluggish traffic. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO unveiled a video Friday at a Vancouver TED Talk that showed off plans for his new venture, The Boring Company, which would dig tunnels beneath Los Angeles to allow drivers to speedily traverse the city, according to Business Insider. The video shows a red car -- a Tesla, of...
One line in the single-page tax proposal that the Trump administration released on Wednesday will be a welcome sight to parents. A bullet point under “Individual Reform” reads: “Providing tax relief for families with child and dependent care expenses.” But like other aspects of President Donald Trump’s proposed tax overhaul, there are few details on what shape that relief will take. At a Wednesday briefing on the plan, economic advisor Gary Cohn mentioned the child ...
U.S. President Donald Trump may finally get a break. Late-night talk shows and topical satire, including NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” will be the first hit if the Writers Guild of America (WGA) goes on strike next week in a stoppage that media analysts say could send viewers flocking irreversibly to streaming services. Contract talks are likely to go down to the wire this weekend to avert a strike by some 9,000 TV and movie writers should they fail to reach a deal with the Alli...
The fate of Apple stock under President Trump was once considered something of a wild card. Apple CEO Tim Cook, after all, has clashed with Trump on everything from iPhone encryption to immigration, and was even reportedly on an early short list of potential running mates for Hillary Clinton. But as Trump’s first 100 days come to a close, one thing is clear: Apple stock is the biggest winner of his presidency so far. Apple aapl shares have returned m...
You may not know their names, but chances are you’ve seen their work, down at the bottom of an article on any one of a thousand online news sites. You might even have clicked on one or two of their suggested links--although you probably wouldn’t want to admit it. Their names are Taboola and Outbrain, and their business is selling the recommended links that show up on websites run by hundreds of different publishers, both large and small (including Time Inc., which owns Fortune magazi...
Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey snapped up more than half a million of the company’s shares for about $9.5 million, a regulatory filing on Friday showed. Dorsey bought 574,002 Twitter shares in multiple transactions at prices ranging between $16.47 and $16.74 per share, according to the filing. That adds to the roughly $7 million worth of Twitter stock Dorsey bought earlier this year, bringing the total number of shares he has purchased this year to 1 million, the CEO said in a twe...
Massive gains in house prices across the Greater Toronto Area could be coming to an end with a correction even in the cards, says a leading U.S. Ratings agency. Fitch Ratings believes the province’s 16-point plan to create affordability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe — an area home to nine million people and that wraps around the GTA in the southern end of the province — may derail the market. “Ontario’s proposed legislation aimed at tempering home prices in the greater To...
Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as banks and mining companies, heavyweights on the index, rebounded from the previous day’s slump. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 79.66 points, or 0.51 percent, to 15,586.13. The index eked out a small 0.2 percent gain on the week. Of the index’s 10 main groups, all but industrials, which fell 0.1 percent, gained during the session. The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners a...
After almost a decade as a high-profile startup, data crunching specialist Cloudera is now a public company. Cloudera's first day trading kicked off with a bang Friday when it's shares rose 20% to $18.10 at the market’s close after the company priced its shares the day before. Cloudera ended up raising about $225 million from its IPO. Mike Olsen, Cloudera’s co-founder and chief strategy officer told Fortune he was “very pleased with how the markets are valuing the business.R...
Carvana, the online marketplace for buying used vehicles, had a weak debut Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, falling more than 17% before it recovered slightly to close at $11.10 a share. The company did sell all 15 million shares in its offering, raising about $225 million. CEO Ernie Garcia says he’s not worried. “I really do believe today’s a great day and I don’t mean to say that just because it’s kind of the line you’re supposed to say,” said Ga...
Larry King likes Donald Trump. "I've always liked him personally," the legendary television host told Fortune in a recent interview. "I've read some terrible things that I'm sad about, but he's never done anything bad to me." Still, King has mixed feelings about the billionaire's ascent to the White House. "Donald is a complicated character," King says. "His ego is beyond egoism. I've never met anyone with a higher ego." King will celebrate his 60th anniversary in broadcasting on May 1. He's one...
Sony’s film unit is hoping for a little box office magic this summer--with a helping hand from a popular web-slinger--after posting a big loss in the company’s most recent fiscal year. On Friday, the Japanese conglomerate announced that its film division, Sony Pictures Entertainment, recorded an operating loss of $719 million in the fiscal year that ended in March 2017. That massive drop-off, which helped drag down the parent company’s total profits by 50% year-over-year, came ...
In 2015, Square-Enix teamed with Koei Tecmo and Omega Force to create Dragon Quest Heroes, which melded the over-the-top hack-and-slash action of the Musou (Warriors) series (Dynasty Warriors, Hyrule Warriors) with the classic mythology of the Dragon Quest role-playing games. It was considered largely a success, if a little simplistic, but mixed up both series’ formulas enough to mostly satisfy fans of both divides. And so it is that we have a sequel, Dragon Quest Heroes 2, that mostly bu...
Alphabet Inc. can’t seem to stop heaping massive pay packages on Google’s Sundar Pichai. The chief executive officer of the search-engine unit received US$199.7 million in compensation for 2016, according to a regulatory filing Friday. That marks his third straight year getting nine-figure pay — a rare accomplishment even at well-paying technology companies and virtually unheard of in other industries. Since he became CEO in 2015, Pichai has moved to give Google more control o...
THE news that America’s GDP growth slowed to 0.7% on an annualised basis in the first quarter of 2017 is no real surprise, for two reasons. First, although consumer and small business confidence have soared since Donald Trump won the presidential election, most measures of actual economic activity have failed to display the same vim (see article). Second, it is often the case that growth sags in the first quarter of the year, despite recent efforts by statisticians to purge the economic data o...
Amazon is making its Alexa voice assistant sound more human. The e-commerce giant said on Friday that it had updated Alexa’s robotic voice, which plays a key role in Amazon’s Echo home automation device, so that it can whisper if told to do so. Users can also get Alexa to bleep out expletives in songs, emphasize certain words, and speak more slowly. Alexa has gained traction for its ability to answer questions, turn on lights, order items like diapers, and even request an Uber direct...
French pharma giant Sanofi has been trying its best to snap up assets in the face of falling sales and competition for its flagship diabetes drug franchise. On Thursday, a number of tea leaves surfaced suggesting the firm may have rare disease specialist Sarepta Therapeutics in its crosshairs. Sarepta chief Ed Kaye announced that he’ll be stepping down from his perch (while remaining a Sarepta board member and director). Oh, and Dr. Jean-Paul Kresse--a Sanofi executive who sits on Sarepta&...
Apple Inc asked the state of California to make changes in its proposed self-driving car policies, the latest sign the company is pursuing driverless car technology. In a letter made public Friday, Apple made a series of suggested changes to the policy that is under development and said it looks forward to working with California and others “so that rapid technology development may be realized while ensuring the safety of the traveling public.” Alphabet Inc’s self-driving ...
TORONTO — There is plenty of room for discount food retailers such as No Frills to play a bigger role in Canada and the U.S., a new report suggests, given that low-cost supermarket chains now account for close to half of the grocery market in some European countries. Discount grocers had a small impact in most markets around the world a decade ago, but now the players, spurred by powerhouse businesses such as German discount chains Aldi and Lidl, are stealing more and more market share fr...
You've heard the horror stories of toxic bro culture that demeans workers at tech firms, and now a study is trying to quantify just how many employees quit their jobs due to mistreatment. The results are stunning, in a dreary way. The survey, conducted by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll, included 2,000 workers who left their tech jobs over the last three years, and of them, 37% reported leaving due to unfairness or mistreatment. In fact, mistreatment was the single largest rea...
Apple asked the state of California to make changes in its proposed self-driving car policies, the latest sign the company is pursuing driverless car technology. In a letter made public Friday, Apple made a series of suggested changes to the policy that is under development and said it looks forward to working with California and others “so that rapid technology development may be realized while ensuring the safety of the traveling public.” Alphabet‘s self-driving car unit Waym...
CALGARY — Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) is reporting first-quarter earnings that reversed a loss in the same period of last year but fell short of analyst expectations. The Calgary-based oil producer and refiner says net income was $333 million or 39 cents per share in the three months ended March 31, boosted by a gain of $151 million on the sale of former refinery lands in Mississauga, Ont., compared with a loss of $101 million or 12 cents in the year-earlier period. It says operating earnings per s...
As Nintendo prepares to release another portable gaming device, one analyst believes the company’s latest console might cannibalize its hardware sales. In a note to investors on Thursday, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Nintendo Switch, the iconic game company’s latest console, could hurt sales of its portable hardware, including the 3DS XL and 2DS. He noted that there are feature similarities between Nintendo’s Switch and its portable hardware, which could ultimately...
Back in 1984, I read with delight the Treasury Department's 500-plus-page, three-volume treatise on tax reform, which eventually led to the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986. I liked it so much that I quit my academic job to work for Ronald Reagan's Treasury. After 40 years, it's definitely time for another tax reform. But this time is different. Last week, President Donald Trump signaled that tax reform was a high priority for his administration by visiting the Treasury Department and ordering Tr...
Google Fiber, the search giant’s super-high-speed home Internet service, is in expansion mode again after a year of revamping. Louisville mayor Greg Fischer told a local newspaper this week that Google Fiber is finally on the way, about a year and a half after Google said it was exploring bringing the service to the Kentucky city. Google confirmed that it was starting to build out the new service. “The start of construction is an exciting moment for Google Fiber in Louisville,”...
Donald Trump’s approval ratings show that the majority of Americans may be disappointed with the President’s first 100 days. For stock market investors, however, Trump has been one of the best presidents ever. Since his inauguration in January, the S&P 500 has risen 5.5%. Not only is that about twice as much as the benchmark stock index rose during President Obama’s first 100 days, but it’s one of the strongest starts, in terms of market performance, to any presidency...
First, they were safe. Then, it wasn't so clear. Now, they're back in. But they still might be out. Among all the changes, cuts and rollbacks in President Donald Trump's tax plan, the uncertainty surrounding the tax deductibility status of 401(k) and other retirement savings plans over the last few days may have caused the most consternation for many. Under current law, 401(k) contributions up to an annual maximum ($18,000, for 2017) are tax deductible. In practice, most people have them deducte...
Milan tax police have told Amazon they believes the world’s largest online retailer has evaded around 130 million euros, or $142 million, in taxes in Italy, a source close to the matter said on Friday. The allegedly unpaid taxes refer to the period between 2011 and 2015, when Amazon made revenues of around 2.5 billion euros in Italy, the source said. The tax police’s findings have been handed to Milan prosecutors, the source added. Amazon amzn ...
From time to time, I try to engage my kids in discussions about investing and the stock market. For example, if we are at Tim Hortons, I explain to them how it was purchased by the American holding company, which also owns Burger King. During our recent roller coaster trip to California, I explained that they could buy shares in a roller coaster park company, Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (SIX on NYSE) and earn a 4 per cent dividend while they save for university. But, sometimes, the stock marke...
Toronto hoteliers lashed out at provincial plans to give the city the power to tax hotels and other short-term accommodation providers like Airbnb. The Greater Toronto Hotel Association noted any new tax would be added to the 13 per cent harmonized sales tax that is applied on all rooms in Ontario. The group added that tax has not been defined and has no cap, creating the possibility of “unprecedented highs” for hotel taxes in Canada’s largest city. “The introduction of a new...
Dividends provide safety and security since quarterly, or monthly, payouts are sent to shareholders even if a company’s stock price underperforms. Most companies issuing dividends are at a comfortable stage in their business cycle and have a proven business model that works. Today we have identified five TSX dividend stocks that pay a 6.5%+ yield, which may be worthy of adding to your RRSP or TFSA so that you could sit back and also enjoy the compounding growth that these companies have to off...
Workers haven't felt this secure in their jobs in a very, very long time. As of early April, only 8% of employed American said they were "very" or "fairly" likely to be laid off in the next 12 months - the lowest level ever recorded since Gallup started asking the question in 1975. That number fits well with the recent narrative described by economists, including Federal Reserve officials. With the unemployment rate at a 10-year low as of March, the American job market is now near full employmen...
If you've ever been at an office Christmas party with crayfish, then you already know this: Social crayfish get drunker faster than loner fish. Such is the finding of Jens Herberholz and colleagues at the University of Maryland, College Park, who recently published a study on said crayfish in the venerable Journal of Experimental Biology (which, incidentally, dates back to 1923, the year Time magazine was founded). Herberholz, who runs the UMD's Laboratory of Crustacean Neurobiology & Behavi...
President Donald Trump will speak at a National Rifle Association event in Atlanta on Friday, making him the first President to directly address the gun-rights group in 34 years. The NRA endorsed Trump during his campaign and now the president is expected to thank the organization for its support, according to the New York Times. The NRA poured more than $30 million into Trump’s campaign to help him get elected, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, NBC News reports. The last Pr...
Also in this week’s update is original Windows 10 support ending and Intercontinental Hotel Group’s breach scope expanding. Verizon releases Data Breach Investigations Report Verizon has released its tenth annual Data Breach Investigations Report, which presents its discoveries in investigating data breaches, and offers advice on how to avoid them. It noted that 88 percent of breaches in this year’s report fall into the same nine categories as those reported in 2014. Howev...
Investors have spent the last six months being bullish about the potential boost that President Trump’s tax reforms could give to the economy. But the leader of the world’s biggest asset manager isn’t feeling the euphoria. Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock blk , told an audience of investors and financial advisors on Friday that he thought expectations for the impact of the tax cuts had become “extreme,” and that other factors would...
For the past several months, federal investigators from the Justice Department have been looking into potential financial misconduct at Fox News related to sexual harassment allegations. But the investigation has broadened to involve other aspects of the company’s behavior, according to CNN. The initial investigation was reportedly triggered by revelations about financial settlements that were made to multiple staffers following allegations they were sexually harassed by former Fox News ch...
Welcome to the latest drug price scandal: a rare disease treatment with a list price of more than $700,000 per year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday gave its green light to the medicine, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.’s bmrn Brineura. It’s the first-ever drug approved for a form of Batten disease, a rare genetic disorder that ravages the nervous system and can cause symptoms ranging from seizures to trouble coordinating muscles...
OTTAWA — The federal government ran a deficit of $11.5 billion over the first 11 months of its 2016-17 fiscal year, putting it well ahead of its spring budget forecast with one month to go. The result compared with a surplus of $7.5 billion during the April-to-February period a year earlier. Not counting a $3-billion contingency cushion, Ottawa’s spring budget projected a deficit of $23 billion for 2016-17. RelatedOttawa is now $14 billion in the red, compared with a $3.2 billion surplus...
Canada’s economy unexpectedly stalled in February as manufacturing and production in other goods producing sectors shrank during the month. The real estate sector, which expanded 0.5 per cent, had its best one-month gain since 2015 as housing in Toronto soared. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a 0.1 per cent gain in February, after a 0.6 per cent jump in January. Key Points The recovery in goods production seen in recent months came to a halt in February, with those sectors recording...
TORONTO — Three months after expanding its millennial-targeted robo-adviser service to the United States, Wealthsimple is now seeking to capture an older demographic south of the border due to the burden of student loan debt there. CEO Michael Katchen said while he’s pleased with Wealthsimple’s early success in the U.S, he doesn’t expect to see 25- to 35-year-olds — the company’s key adopters in Canada — signing up for its online investment management s...
April showers bring May flowers…and we are so ready for the showers to cease. After a gray and gloomy April, punctuated by WordStream Live, holiday weekends and a minor bug infestation on the WordStream marketing corner, May is almost here! In case you went back into winter hibernation this month and missed our best content, we have a recap for you! Check out our best performing posts of the month. 1. The 10 Best Facebook Advertising Features Right Now Allen Finn outlines the most useful Face...
CHINA'S leading ride-hailing application Didi Chuxing said it has completed a US$5.5 billion financing to replenish its investment in artificial intelligence technologies. The funding round has drawn investors including Japan's Softbank Group Corp, private equity firm Silver Lake, China Merchants Bank and Bank of Communications, according to Reuters. The capital injection will be used to support its development for new technologies as well as globalization initiatives, according to ...
A relative of the Thai baby whose murder was shown on Facebook Live earlier this week said he was too distraught and intent on getting police to the crime scene to worry about getting the horrific videos taken down. The gruesome incident this week highlights how those most affected by offensive content are usually too distracted to report it to the authorities. It also exposes the challenges that live streaming content poses to both governments monitoring for offensive material on the Internet a...
NEW MONEY, IPOS, PRIVATE EQUITY ACTIVISTSGood morning, hello, hi. New money: Chris Urmson, former head of self-driving cars at Google (now Waymo), has revealed details about his stealthy startup, Aurora Innovation, to my colleague Kirsten Korosec. He's working alongside Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, formerly of Tesla and Uber. They're starting out with $3 million of their own money and $3.1 million from their advisors. Here's Kirsten on their business model: Aurora isn't interested in manu...
Deutsche Post DHL won a contract to deliver groceries for Amazon’s AmazonFresh service in Germany, which could help ease concerns that the U.S. retailer’s own delivery services are an increasing threat to the German logistics group. “We want to be the service provider for online grocery sales,” Deutsche Post Chief Executive Frank Appel told shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting on Friday. Amazon amzn declined to c...