February 20, 2018 11:20 am eastern

BHP Billinton came out with earnings which were strong but were lower than analysts expected. It also raised the dividend but my understanding is that they essentially have a policy of having a dividend that floats up as well as down with adjusted earnings and so the dividend increase may not be very relevant. My report notes the strange share structure whereby it has two classes of shares which are apparently economically equivalent but where one class trades at a discount. An activist investor is pressing for action to unify the two classes but the company has no plans to do so. Still, I would buy the lower-priced class and hope for unification at some point. With the shares down 3.9% in New York I plan to add a modest amount to my position.

My next update will be for Canadian Tire. I have ran the numbers on the latest results and the stock appears to continue to be a Buy at around $175. This company has really been firing on all cylinders at least since the financial crisis ended and has somehow escaped the damage that Amazon has inflicted on so many retailers.

In the U.S., I think there is a risk that the markets will start to get concerned at how close the legal probes are getting to the President.