Suncor Energy receives approval for tailings and Millennium Operational Amendment applications

Suncor has announced it has received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for its Suncor Base Plant Tailings Directive application and related Millennium Operational Amendment application.

Over the past few months, Suncor technical experts have met with Aboriginal communities, stakeholders and the regulator to clarify and provide additional information about Suncor’s tailings management plan. The approved plan will facilitate the treatment of current fluid tailings, reduce the tailings inventory and decrease the overall number of tailings ponds on site.

With the approval, Suncor will now work to implement its tailings management plan, working diligently to address the conditions outlined in the approval and continuing to engage with Aboriginal communities and stakeholders.

Teck Reports Unaudited Third Quarter Results for 2017

Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) (“Teck”) reported adjusted profit attributable to shareholders of $621 million ($1.08 per share) in the third quarter compared with $152 million ($0.26 per share) a year ago.

“We are very pleased with our performance in the third quarter,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO. “We achieved strong operating results with our second highest quarterly sales for steelmaking coal and record zinc production at Antamina for the second consecutive quarter. With these strong operating results and favourable prices, our adjusted EBITDA was $1.4 billion, just over $700 million higher than in the third quarter of last year.”

Highlights and Significant Items

Adjusted profit was $621 million ($1.08 per share) in the third quarter compared with $152 million ($0.26 per share) in the third quarter of last year. Profit attributable to shareholders was $600 million ($1.04 per share) in the third quarter compared with $234 million ($0.41 per share) a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended September 30, 2017 was $6.1 billion, which was $153 million higher than our previous twelve-month record of approximately $5.9 billion set in 2011.

EBITDA was $1.4 billion in the third quarter compared with $804 million in the third quarter of 2016. Our adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter totaled $1.4 billion compared with $696 million last year.

Gross profit was $1.1 billion in the third quarter compared with $452 million a year ago. Gross profit before depreciation and amortization was $1.5 billion in the third quarter compared with $817 million in the third quarter of 2016.

We achieved record total material movement at our steelmaking coal business unit, moving over 79 million bank cubic meters (BCM’s) in the quarter. Third quarter steelmaking coal sales reached 7.54 million tonnes, our second highest quarterly sales on record. We expect our steelmaking coal sales to be approximately 6.5 million tonnes in the fourth quarter.

Antamina achieved record zinc production for the second consecutive quarter of 102,300 tonnes.

Construction progress on the Fort Hills oil sands project has surpassed 96%. In order to accelerate commissioning, the Fort Hills plant initiated froth production in the quarter, which required operating the mine, ore preparation, primary extraction tailings and utilities areas.

In September, we announced an increase in our zinc production guidance for our Red Dog operation. Red Dog’s zinc production for 2017 is now expected to be in the range of 525,000 to 550,000 tonnes, up from the prior guidance range of 475,000 to 500,000 tonnes.

The Red Dog concentrate shipping season is expected to be completed in the first week of November. We expect to ship approximately 1.0 million tonnes of zinc concentrate and 210,000 tonnes of lead concentrate representing all of the concentrate available to be shipped from the operation.

In early October, they received approval to make a normal course issuer bid to purchase our Class B subordinate voting shares (Class B shares). We may purchase up to 20 million Class B shares during the period starting October 10, 2017 and ending October 9, 2018.

For the eighth straight year, we have been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI), indicating that our sustainability practices are in the top 10% of the 2,500 largest companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index (BMI).

Our liquidity remains strong at approximately $4.9 billion, including US$3.0 billion of undrawn, committed credit facilities and over $1.0 billion of cash at October 25, 2017.

Get ready to talk money now, before it’s too late

One in three parents surveyed say their children will always ask them for money if they don’t develop healthy financial habits while young, TD survey finds

When it comes to money, it’s important to instill healthy habits at an early age; not doing so often could create financial problems for children – and their parents – down the road. A new TD Financial Literacy Month survey found parents are worried that without healthy money habits, their children will go into debt as adults (54 per cent), always depend on parents to bail them out of money trouble (36 per cent), and will always be asking for money (32 per cent). Starting money conversations early – and continuing them as children grow – helps set them up for a more secure and confident financial future.

“Talking about money can be difficult, especially when you sometimes wish you’d made different choices yourself along the way,” says Kerry Peacock, Executive Vice President, Day to Day Banking, Investing and Transformation. “But starting the conversations early means your kids can ask you questions and learn, giving them the opportunity to make good choices around budgeting, saving and spending as they grow up, and when they’re adults.”

Canadian parents understand the importance of having the money conversation. They rank money among the top four most important topics to discuss with their child, along with being polite, dealing with strangers and bullying. But while 94 per cent of parents agree they are the biggest influence on the development of their children’s money skills, 31 per cent find it hard to broach the subject.

“Opportunities for money conversations with your kids are everywhere – from how you save to pay for their extracurricular activities, use your credit card to pay for groceries, to how grandparents can afford family visits when they are retired,” says Peacock. “Kids are curious and connected to the world around them; use your family’s real-life experiences to start conversations, and tools and advice to guide your discussions.”

For parents who aren’t sure how to start the money conversation, TD has simple advice for discussing money with children:

Age 5 – 6: Introduce your child to money. Spread different bills and coins on the table, talk about their value and what the amounts can buy – things like a grocery item, a book or an outing. Present a piggy bank, and encourage your child to add coins to it over time.

Age 7 – 8: Instill the habit of saving. Thirty-seven per cent of parents agree that age 7-11 is the right time for a first bank account. By encouraging kids to regularly deposit money into their own savings account, you can have conversations about short-term and long-term goals, while kids see the proof of how their savings can grow.

Age 9 – 12: Make the connection about earning money. According to the survey, 55 per cent of parents think it’s best to start talking to their children about money once they start getting an allowance. Rather than spending all the money at once, teach kids how to build a budget to make their earnings last.

Age 13 – 15: Cash vs. credit – be sure kids understand the difference. In the age of digital money, mobile apps and in-app purchases, it can be tricky to track spending. As your kids use their debit cards, review account balances and interest earned on deposits. With its at-a-glance dashboard and real-time notifications, the TD MySpend app helps people of all ages keep track of their spending habits and trends. To help kids understand the concept of ‘credit’, show them your credit card bill, explain how interest charges work, talk to them about why you have a credit card, and the importance of making payments on time, or preferably paying off the balance every month.

Age 16 – 18: Continue to help your child build financial independence as they plan for college or university. Even if you have funds in a RESP, having a solid plan on how to pay for extra expenses like text books, food and incidentals will help your child continue to be mindful of the need to balance spending and saving. TD Student Life is an excellent resource for setting savings goals and understanding how long it will take to reach them.

TransCanada Announces Agreement to Sell Ontario Solar Portfolio

TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Ontario solar portfolio comprised of eight facilities with a total generating capacity of 76 megawatts to Axium Infinity Solar LP, a subsidiary of Axium Infrastructure Canada II Limited Partnership, for approximately $540 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2017 subject to certain regulatory and other approvals as well as customary closing adjustments.

“This transaction demonstrates our financial discipline as we continue to build on our vision of being North America’s leading energy infrastructure company,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “The proceeds from this sale will help fund our $24 billion near term capital program while maximizing value for our shareholders.”

With more than 65 years’ experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and liquids pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada operates one of the largest natural gas transmission networks that extends more than 91,500 kilometres (56,900 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America.

TransCanada is the continent’s leading provider of gas storage and related services with 653 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A large independent power producer, TransCanada currently owns or has interests in approximately 6,200 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is also the developer and operator of one of North America’s leading liquids pipeline systems that extends over 4,300 kilometres (2,700 miles), connecting growing continental oil supplies to key markets and refineries. TransCanada’s common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP.

Visit TransCanada.com to learn more, or connect with us on social media and 3BL Media.

Sierra Wireless delivers end-to-end VPN connectivity for law enforcement fleets with AirLink® Connection Manager

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW), the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced the upcoming release of the AirLink® Connection Manager (ACM) 2.0 VPN appliance for vehicle networking use cases. Compatible with all AirLink routers and gateways, ACM 2.0 is optimized for the AirLink MG90 multi-network vehicle router to provide secure FIPS 140-2 compliant, “always-on” VPN connectivity between all in-vehicle systems connected to the router and to the enterprise.

Unlike traditional VPN solutions, which will disconnect VPN connections when roaming between mobile networks, ACM maintains VPN tunnels and connectivity across networks, ensuring mission-critical applications are uninterrupted and end users have continuous, reliable connectivity. In addition, ACM 2.0 coupled with AirLink MG90 provide law enforcement agencies an end-to-end solution that extends the enterprise network to the vehicle and meets Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements to connect to secure databases.

“We are a trusted partner to more than half of the largest police departments in the U.S. and Canada who rely on AirLink networking solutions in their cruisers and incident response vehicles,” said Jason Krause, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Solutions, Sierra Wireless. “ACM 2.0 is a turnkey solution that ensures field officers are always connected with the highest level of security, and it is much more cost-effective and easy to deploy than existing VPN solutions.”

Purpose-built for AirLink routers and gateways, ACM 2.0 eliminates the need for fixed IP addresses, certificates or special client software on remote devices, simplifying deployments and significantly reducing the cost of ensuring data security. ACM 2.0 is also compatible with the NCP VPN Client for Windows, allowing agencies to extend the same VPN security to Windows laptops for officers and employees outside of the vehicle area network.

AirLink MG90 multi-network vehicle routers are optimized for the most demanding mission-critical wireless applications, including public safety, field services and transit. They unite the fleet with the enterprise network and enable multiple field applications to work simultaneously, further and faster from the vehicle than ever before, with dual-LTE-Advanced extensible multi-network connectivity and support for FirstNet™ Band 14.

Availability

The AirLink Connection Manager (ACM) is available today for all customers, and the ACM 2.0 release will be available in November for new and existing customers on a support contract. AirLink networking solutions are sold through Sierra Wireless’ authorized channel partners worldwide. For more information, visit: https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/routers-gateways/.

Sales Expert Tibor Shanto on The Shift from Sales to Revenue

A key opportunity and challenge for companies today is streamlining and fine tuning their revenue generation operations. While on a broad basis it could be argued that this involves everyone in the company, most focus on two key groups or functions, sales and marketing.

Traditionally when revenue improvement initiatives were introduced, each group went about delivering in their own way, with little discussion or regard for the other. While they may have been present at the same initial strategy meetings, the rest was done within their own silo, with little or no consideration or input from the other. In some companies, the only purpose one grouped served for the other, was as a scapegoat for failure.

Over the years there has been talk of, and some steps taken several to aligning and bring the two organizations together, but few companies achieved much traction. Often the catalyst was less will, than other drivers, both internal and external, forcing the two to work together. Sales and marketing failed to realize that many of these unsuccessful efforts were a direct extension of market and customer expectations.

Some did break down barriers between the two groups, but it most quickly went back to their assigned lanes. Marketing, looked after branding, lead generation, more recently “content”. Sales, filling their pipeline, often with leads they generated, instead of those generated by marketing; then moving those opportunities through the cycle to close. Marketing rarely if ever actively participating beyond the point where the “Marketing Qualified Lead” was handed off to sales.

It is not surprising that the most successful companies are those that are responsive to the market and their clients, and focus on innovating and getting ahead of customer expectations, and winning new customers by delivering an experience that exceeds customers’ demands and expectations. Something difficult to achieve when two key groups who should have a singular focus and purpose, are marching at different paces, and not always in the same direction.

Alignment Is No Longer Enough

Talk of aligning sales and marketing is interesting, but no longer enough. Sort of like saying that Blackberry is a smartphone, when everyone expectations are guided by iPhone or a Note. Smart companies are past alignment, and have moved to eliminating two groups in favour of one organization, Revenue. Within the revenue team, there still specific functions that reflect things traditionally associated with sales or marketing, but they are all on the same team, same responsibility and accountability, namely revenue.

There is more to this than assigning someone at the top with the title of Chief Revenue Officer, while allowing for business to go on as usual. Revenue teams need to have the same accountability and be responsible for revenue success and growth.

Shared Accountability

A good start is incentive, it has always been strange that these groups are often rewarded in different ways, for different outcomes, which at times are not aligned. For example, marketing may get measured and rewarded on the number (and at times even the quality) of leads generated. Yet in practice, only a small percent of these leads are ever worked by sales, many put it at single digits. Both arms duplicating efforts, expenses, and squandered resources and time. While there are a range of reason for sales not wanting to depend on marketing for leads, the reality is that it is less likely to happen if both were tied to the same outcomes.

The above is a symptom of a widely held, yet erroneous view, that marketing is responsible for one part of the buyer journey, once buyers reach a specific point in the journey, they are punted over to sales. Unlike football, the best results are achieved when everyone brings their expertise to bear throughout the buyer journey.

Sales needs to realize that they can do a much better, and I would add, easier job of helping the buyer to make the right decision if they worked with marketing to ensure that buyers are receiving the right insight at each stage, from pre-lead to close, and, beyond. Sales also has to understand that they don’t need to carry out the “latter” part of the journey alone, that marketing can seed their path, making it easier for buyers to move towards close.

This requires clear and ongoing communication between sales and marketing throughout the ‘client life cycle’. While some may not like the analogy, but one needs to think of it as Marketing providing air cover for the ground troops, Sales. To be clear, we are not hunting prospects, we are hunting revenue, and that is serious business. There needs to be clear lines of communication, sales need to feedback to marketing what is happening on the ground, and why. Marketing in turn needs to provide sales and the buyer with insights that facilitate the buyer’s understanding. This feedback loop allows sales to have input not just in what they need to win current deals, but have a direct influence on the type of leads marketing should be targeted to achieve collective revenue goals.

A key opportunity for marketing is to provide insights to both buyers, and their own sales people. Insights that go beyond curation of content, and generic information, to elements that spur interaction and reliance on the salesperson subject matter expertise; expertise that itself is supported by marketing.

At one company I worked with, we involved marketing in deal post mortems. These are easy for sales to conduct when they win the deal, but not so when they lose one. The knee jerk response from buyers who choose another vendor, is to point to price and features, after all, the buyer has transitioned from decision to implementation. Yet, when marketing approaches these same buyers, with a well-crafted set of question that are aimed at understanding the outcome rather than relitigating the sale. The insights gained help both sales in terms of specific steps they can take in the next similar sale. Helps marketing fine tune their messaging throughout the sale, and right down to leads targeted, and new upsell/cross sell opportunities. In other words, a singular revenue process, versus the typical asynchronous approach most take.

It is not just about getting along, and all about integrating and working as one revenue generating unit.

About Tibor Shanto

Tibor works with leading B2B companies including Bell Mobility, Imperial Oil, Pitney Bowes, and others, helping them improve their sales execution and results. Called a brilliant sales tactician, Tibor works with clients to translate sales strategy to reality. Tibor develops sales people who understand that success in sales is about Execution – Everything Else Is Just Talk!

www.TiborShanto.com

Valeant Will Exceed $5 Billion Debt Reduction Commitment, Achieving Milestone Earlier Than Anticipated

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX and TSX: VRX) (“Valeant” or the “Company”) has announced it put in notice to pay down an additional $125 million of its senior secured term loans, using cash on hand. When the debt is repaid later this week, the Company will exceed its August 2016 commitment to pay down $5 billion in debt from divestiture proceeds and free cash flow ahead of its previously stated timing of February 2018.

“Due to strong operating cash flow, we are able to reduce our debt by an additional $125 million. This means we will not only surpass our goal of paying down $5 billion of debt, but also will exceed it earlier than our initially committed February 2018 timeframe,” said Joseph C. Papa, chairman and CEO, Valeant. “We will continue to work on reducing our debt and executing on our strategy of investing in our core businesses that will drive growth and where we believe we can make the biggest impact on the lives of patients.”

About Valeant
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE/TSX:VRX) is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of pharmaceutical products primarily in the areas of dermatology, gastrointestinal disorders, eye health, neurology and branded generics. More information about Valeant can be found at www.valeant.com.