CN and CP announce third quarter results

Both of Canada’s major railways announced third quarter results for the period ended September 30, and put in strong performances.

During the quarter, CN’s revenues increased by 14.5 per cent to $3.69 billion. However, operating expenses rose by 19.2 per cent and, as a percentage of revenues increased from 57.2 per cent to 59.5 per cent. Higher expense levels were primarily driven by higher fuel prices, and higher labour and training costs to enable the company to deal with expected increases in volumes. Cash flow from operations increased to $1.56 billion from $1.4 billion, and “free” cash flow, the amount remaining from operating cash flow after subtracting net investments made during the quarter and dividends paid to investors, increased to $508 million from $373 million. However, during the first nine months of the year, “free” cash flow declined to $1.20 billion from $1.44 billion. From Jan 1 to Sept 30, CN spent $1.521 billion repurchasing its own shares (about the same amount as in 2017), and paid $1.0 billion in dividends. As of September 30, the company’s equity stood at $17.6 billion (as compared to $16.7 billion as at December 31, 2017). Total debt increased to $22.6 billion from $21.0 billion (Dec 31, 2017). (more…)

New barge terminal demonstrates value of New Brunswick project cargo partnership

By Keith Norbury

From the Lorneville Mechanical Contractors Ltd. shop on the west side of Saint John, N.B., to the Irving Oil Refinery on the city’s east side is less than 20 kilometres by road. But the route has a lot of obstructions, not the least being a bridge across the Saint John River. And that meant Lorneville Mechanical couldn’t bid on jobs to build giant modules at the nearby refinery — even though the fabrication company had the wherewithal to make them — until this year. Making the move possible was the opening of the $7.1 million Spruce Lake Barge terminal on Bay of Fundy’s Lorneville Harbour just a few hundred metres away from Lorneville Mechanical. In April 2018, a pair of 120,000 cubic feet, 200-tonne refining modules built at the fabrication facility departed the new barge terminal for the refinery. (more…)

Caisse de dépôt and Fonds de solidarité FTQ invest $112 million in Groupe Océan

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) and Fonds de solidarité FTQ (le Fonds) have announced that they are purchasing a minority stake in Groupe Océan for $112 million, shared equally between the two investors. Groupe Océan is a Québec-based maritime services provider that primarily operates in Canada, and now also internationally. Groupe Océan will use the proceeds of this investment to expand its Canadian activities, to continue its global growth and to acquire new equipment. (more…)