Trading Day Summary

11-Aug-2010 | kate | Green Investing Mining New Announcements Stocks

The Toronto Stock Exchange fell 265.08 points after the American dollar has one of her best rally in recent history climbing 1.4 cents against the Canadian dollar.  The American dollar is currently trading 1.0474 US dollar per Canadian dollars.

Base metals prices were affected by the American dollar rally and were pushed down.  Septembers Copper contract fell down six cents to $3.26. Teck Resources led the way falling $1.48 to $34.58 while Labrador Iron Mines closed at an even $5.00. All 14 TSX subgroups finished downward, with metals and mining leading the way. Metal and Mining were down 4.3%, global base metals 4% and energy s 2.8%.

Meanwhile, on the economic front, Statistic Canada announced that our nation’s trade deficit widened in June to 1.1 billion from Mays 695 million. Economist were looking to narrow the deficit to $300 million.

I have harsh words regarding Manulife’s day, but they are not suitable for publication, so we will just say that they ended the day down again $13.41 (4.28%). The company’s stock has been having a couple hard weeks after announcing their 2.4 billion dollar quarterly loss last week.

It wasn’t all bad news today as Rona Inc, reported their second quarter and had profits of $67.8 million and increase of $1.4 billion year over year.  Supermarket Chain Metro also reported strong earnings today of $120 million.

New Issue Alert!

Sounds like GasFrac, the green fracers are going to be coming to the market soon under the symbol GFS. Instead of water, GasFrac pumps inert gases into the formation and therefore does not pollute the water beds.

To read more on GasFrac, please read out previous blog by clicking here.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

What Does the Belangers know about SunGro that you don’t?

25-Jun-2010 | kate | Agriculture Canadian Investing Green Investing Market Strategies Stocks

Today we are taking a look at a company called Sun Gro (GRO.UN) who produces and sells peat moss for both commercial and residential gardening purposes.

Peat Moss is harvested from bogs that are drained and their crops picked and packaged to head to the nearest Canadian Tire. North America’s peat moss supply is supplied entirely by Canadian producers. All in all, the peat moss world is pretty nice and on a business end of things, it’s pretty close to being recession proof.

So although this would sounds like a story about a great green, recession proof investment, it is really a question about what do industry players know about this company and we don’t.

But the story is really about the Belanger family of Quebec who started buying shares in 2007 and has accumulated around 23% of Sun Gro shares since. But what is really interesting is that the family owns Premier Tech Industrial Equipment Group, who is Sun Gro primary competitor and the number two competitor in the industry. So the question becomes, what do the Belangers know that all the sellers of Sun Gro do not?

Sun Gro went public several years ago listing on the market for 10 dollars a share and has headed south and never recovering fully from the 2008 lows partly due to expanding to quickly (debt) and the housing crisis forcing them to cut their distribution.

Well the Belangers, who were interviewed by a globe and mail writers, stand firm on that they just like the company management, their business (obviously) and the company over all, it seems to be that there might be more to the story and that’s all. No take over; no offers are in the near future.

Mr. Weaver, CFO of Sun Grow, says that their business is turning around and that they have been working hard on cutting cost, paying down debt and getting ready for the future. Their net income has almost double in the recent quarter and volume and revenue per unit is up in the United Sates.

Also strange is that the globe reporter found that IKO the shingle maker has been a big buyer of the stock as well.

So the question comes down to, if the stock appears to be a good investment to industry players, an upside might be materializing while are busy hunting around for companies with dividends.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

A Solution to the Gulf Coast Disaster?

14-May-2010 | kate | Agriculture Green Investing US Markets

BP is having a hard time finding a solution to contain their out of control oil well and it appears they  are running out of room after proposing an open forum to the public to come up with ideas to contain the disaster. Today, an interesting video came out of Florida, after a man demonstrated the hay, could be used to soak up the oil and is a green solution to this environmental disaster.

So to start lets explain what is going on right now.

Currently, BP is using oil booms to prevent the flow of oil. Oil booms are made up of several components; flotation member, fabric, ballast and oil absorbents. An example of an oil absorbent would be hair, both pet and human, which can hold up to 6 times its weight in oil.

So taking on the idea oil absorbent, that was easier to obtain than human hair, Darryl Carpenter, a Florida road contractor, came up with the idea to use hay, which has been used in road construction for years to soak up extra tar. Jumping to action, Carpenter called one of his subcontractors and got him to pour some oil into water, and see if the hay would soak it up. A few minutes later, he received some news “it works. It got every bit of oil out of the water.”

Carpenter has successful demonstrated how the oil can be soaked up from water with a little bit of hay, and that it can easily be collected and burned for energy on shore. Carpenter has also pointed out that the local shrimping boats (that are out of work) can be used to collect the floating hay (which never sinks) and return it to shore.  As well, since the oil sticks to the hay, it does not affect the shore line when it washes up. The washed up hay, can easily be cleaned up by the beach combing machines.

He contact BP, and did a demo for the high level executives late this weeks, and is waiting to hear back whether or not BP will move ahead with the oil containment solution that not only works, is actually a green idea.  Meanwhile, Walton county officials are hooked, and have already lined their shores with hay and are sending out barges filled with hay. The county has even invested in a hay blower, which they have set up in the water just off the coast line.

It is interesting to note that in 1969, there was an off shore rig blow out several miles of the Santa Barbara Channel, and well several oil dispersants were used including oil booms, the most effective was bales of hay. Hay was effectively used to contain the oil, and was washed up on shore and collected by volunteers and heavy equipment to be disposed of.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

Who said Green Investments can’t be Blue Chip?

17-Nov-2009 | kate | Green Investing Stocks

Going green is the best PR a company can generate and global power houses like Coca Cola are taking notice. Coca-Cola is taking their 30% plant based, 100% recyclable bottle to the masses hoping that replacing their petro based bottle will help them capture sales from green clients.

In 2010, Coke plans to produce over 2 billion PlantBottles, which is made from sugar cane and molasses, and is looking forward to eventually using 100% renewable materials in the packaging in the future. The plant based bottle is already in shelves in Denmark and is gearing up to be launched in Canada prior to the 2010 Olympics.

While many green investors may never think of looking towards a soft drink company for  a green investment, Coca Cola is working towards a zero waste program, by developing their 3 R’s- Reduce, Recover and Reuse.

Reduce the amount of packaging material and energy used in processing

Recover- 85% of Coca Cola’s packaging is recyclable and their goal is to directly recover 50% of cans and bottles sold worldwide.

Reuse- Using refillable bottles and recovered materials is helping to increase the recyclable content of packaging.

Beyond packaging, Coca Cola is taking the green movement seriously and working hard to reduce their environmental food print. The company has developed and introduced a water resource management process, with the goal to reduce consumption by 20% from 2004 usage levels as well as working towards meeting wastewater standards by 2010 at all plant locations world wide. Waste water standards require that waster water be appropriately treated to suppose aquatic life. Meeting waste water standards has proven to be a large undertaking for the company, since many plants are located in areas that do not treat waste water and has required construction of treatments sites. Finally, in January 2009, Coca Cola opened the world’s largest recycling plant in South Carolina worth over $60 million dollars.

Beyond Coca Cola The snack food and beverage industry are working hard to improve their environmental impact, rival drink maker Pepsi, is working hard to improve their bottles as well, introducing a new bottle that will save over 75 million pounds of plastic a year.  Pepsi has also launched new packaging for SunChips which is 100% biodegradable.

Well may investors looking for green investments end up buying small start up companies, taking the time to look at well known global firms might turn up a green investment that already has a proven business structure and product market. Coca Cola is trading up at $56.75 USD.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.

Carbon Capture

25-Sep-2009 | kate | Green Investing Uncategorized

Graham Thomson, an Edmonton Journal author has been creating quiet the stir this week after writing an article about the flawed pursuit and praise of Carbon Capture

Carbon Capture is the process of siphoning off and pumping undergoing, carbon dioxide from coal fired plants and oil refineries. Ideally, the technology captures a large portion of the carbon dioxide emitted from a facility, capturing the gas from a pure stream. After capture, the gas is compressed for transport by pipeline to a location where it can be injected into underground storage, such as a saline reservoir or a depleted oil field. Carbon capture and storage is currently only being used by a few project around the world, including an EnCana project, in Saskatchewan and North Dakota.

The relatively new technology is being commended around the world; the UN believes that by utilizing carbon sequestration technology we will be able to see a 55% decline in world emissions. The Albertan government alone has dedicated $2 billion dollars for developing three pilot plants and even our neighbors to the south are to collaborate with the Canadian government on future projects.

While carbon sequestration is applauded by many as leading strategy to combat emissions and global warming, the articles author, who works for the Munk Center for International Studies claims that the worlds is following suit to quickly and could potentially create new environmental issues.

Thompson’s paper argues that while we can reduce green house emissions through carbon capture, the technology could result in long term consequences such as a determination of our water quality. Thomas argues that “given the paucity of groundwater information in Canada and lack of national standards, the push to accelerate (carbon capture) could pose real risks to our ground water resources”.

Additionally, Thompson argues the cost associated for the global emission savings, the extensive infrastructure requirements and the potential for carbon leakage through poorly built wells that were drilled years ago.

In response to Thompson paper, Jerry Bellika, the director of communication with Alberta Energy questioned the papers finding (report did not issue any new findings) and highlighted that Alberta experience in regulating underground injection of poisonous gas makes the province more than qualified to manage carbon capture programs.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change also issued a statement in response to Thompson article stating that leakage risk underground are minimal, especially when the stored thousand of meters below groundwater supplies.

This blog has been prepared by the Retire First Team. The blog expresses the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of Retire First Ltd. Statistic and factual data are from sources Retire First believes to be reliable but their accuracy can not be guaranteed. This blog is furnished on the basis and understanding that Retire First is under no liability whatsoever in respect thereof. It is for informational purposes only and is not be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Retire First Ltd. And its officers, directors, employees and their family may from time to time invest in the securities discussed in this blog. This blog is intended for individuals where Retire First Ltd is registered as a dealer in securities.

Retire First is a member of the Canadian Investors Protection Fund.

Commission, trailing commissions, management fees and expense all may be associated with mutual funds. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. A recommendation of any of the mentioned investments would only be made after a personal review of individual portfolio. Third Party research has been used in formulating the writer's opinions.