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Stock Opinions by Stephen Takacsy, B. Eng, MBA


The banking crisis is quite isolated and consists of a couple of banks not managing assets well. However we still need to watch whether other banks will tighten credit which can create problems for borrowers. There will be more consolidation in U.S. banks and tighter regulation. The probability is for a soft landing with just some slowing down, since the economies in North America are strong along with high employment levels. The market correction last year presents good buying opportunities especially in high dividend stocks and defensive sectors like utilities and banks. The bond markets have created equity like returns. Inflation is coming down. If things get worse in the economy or the banking crisis spreads, it could lead to lower rates which is bullish for stocks and bonds. Buy on dips.

Northland Power Inc

It is one of Canada's largest renewable energy producers with some big projects in Europe and the far east as well. The stock is down because of rising rates. It has monetized some assets so their funding is adequate and they shouldn't have to issue stock.

Supremex Inc

They make envelopes and have 90% of the market in Canada. It is very profitable with massive pricing power. Although there is a slow decline in envelope use in Canada they have a pretty good share of the market in the U.S. which is growing. It is also diversifying by buying small niche packaging companies. It has huge free cash flow and great margins Trades at 4 to 5 times earnings. A good stock for value players.

Richelieu Hardware

It is high quality company and they have added it to the portfolio in the past 6 months. It has been weak because of the sector. They sell storage systems etc. and are very well managed. There is a big backlog in the home renovation sector. It is also buying back stock.

Velan Inc

The litigation costs over asbestos content have been increasing and eating into profits. It is a jewel of a company and should be worth more than the present offer. There is the possibility of a higher offer.

Firstservice Corp

It is in the property management field and is well managed. Has been pinched with higher labour costs. Since it is expensive he bought Colliers International instead.

other services
Telus Corp

The question was on Telus or TD Bank - a difficult question since they are completely different companies. They are both great companies and he owns both. Banks and telecoms, especially Telus are both at attractive prices. There is maybe more growth with Telus so it gets the edge.

telephone utilities
Equitable Group

It is very well managed and has a high ROE. There are risks in the sector with a real estate slowdown. Still not priced low enough yet, so wait.

Financial Services
(A Top Pick Mar 29/22, Down 19%)

It is the second largest supplier of printed lottery tickets and a leader in web based lottery tickets in the U.S. There are only three players allowed to sell printed lottery tickets for the government, all of which have trouble meeting demand. The only problem is the big increase in the costs of materials along with fixed price contracts with the government. However the new contracts are at higher prices so there should be a great increase in profits ahead. Margins should recover and do even better. Trading at 7X earnings.

(A Top Pick Mar 29/22, Up 38%)

It has stopped making acquisitions, is paying down debt quickly and has great free cash flow. It is in the storage and handling systems business for grains, fertilizers and other agricultural products and does not have commodity risks. It has reported record profits and is guiding to decent growth with a big backlog. Trading at 7 1/2 times EBITA

Stella-Jones Inc.
(A Top Pick Mar 29/22, Up 36%)

A leading producer of railway ties and utility poles. New utility poles will be needed (double digit growth), including the fire-resistant ones that they developed a few years ago. It has a great balance sheet, lots of cash and is raising the dividend. A defensive growth stock trading at 12 X earnings.

misc industrial products
Quarterhill Inc

It has two segments, Wi-Lan which is a patent portfolio, and intelligent transportation systems. It is trying to sell Wi-Lan and this would be a good catalyst if it did. It has had disappointing margins and needs to get through the implementation phase on some of the contracts. Costs have been out of control and the CEO has suddenly stepped down which means he was probably fired. A new CEO could add another catalyst to the company. They are very critical of the Board.

electrical / electronic

There are only two publicly traded wine companies, this one and Peller. The pandemic hurt both but they are doing a little better now. His company owns just under10% and Lassonde owns 30%. It needs a better bottom line but there is good upside on a take-over of the rest of the company at a much better price.

Baylin Technologies

The question was on his preference for TVA Group or Baylin. TVA is trading at $2 but the Book Value is $9. Quebecor should take it over and make it private but the question is when this might happen if at all. Baylin provides infrastructure for cell phone services and the turn-around story is happening now. Three of the four divisions are doing well while one is not. It is a good time to buy Baylin.

Loblaw Companies Ltd

It is making lots of money since prices are up, even though margins have not increased. The concern is if food prices drop then they would have to increase their margins. Even though it is not cheap they are buying back stock. Too expensive to buy now but it is a defensive stock.

food stores
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