Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

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Bread battle fallout

Loblaw Co. Ltd. releases fourth-quarter and year-end results on Thursday. The grocery giant rocked the food retail industry in December when it admitted to participating in an alleged price-fixing conspiracy. Loblaw and George Weston Ltd. were granted immunity from prosecution by the Competition Bureau, and have been threatened with legal action from rival Sobeys Inc. for implicating it in the scheme.

Big Six earnings begin

CIBC and Royal Bank of Canada release first-quarter results on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The two banks are among six named in a class-action lawsuit filed in a U.S. court that alleges Canadian banks and three others conspired to increase the profitability of their derivatives trading business by manipulating an interest rate benchmark for about seven years.

Train to profitability?

CP Rail president and CEO Keith Creel presents at the Citi 2018 Industrials Conference in Miami Beach on Thursday. An RBC Dominion Securities analyst said Thursday that service at rival Canadian National Railway Co. was deteriorating so badly – including below-average train speeds and above-average "dwell time" in terminals – that clients are switching their cargoes to Canadian Pacific Railway CP Rail.

Fighting pirates

Cineplex Inc. discusses fourth-quarter and year-end results on Thursday. The movie exhibitor chain has joined other prominent members of Canada's entertainment industry to call for a new federal agency to locate and shut down websites that are portals for illegally obtained video and audio content. Dubbed FairPlay Canada, the group argues that Canadian jobs are at risk because consumers can get access to TV shows, movies and music from websites that don't pay for the content that they stream to consumers.

SNC-Lavalin's next stop

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. releases fourth-quarter and year-end results on Thursday. The Montreal-based Engineering consulting and construction firm was the big winner on Feb. 8 when it was awarded rights to help build Montreal's new light-rail project connecting the city to its suburbs and its international airport. SNC-Lavalin is part of the two consortiums that will both build the infrastructure and furnish the trains.