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Stock Opinions by Ted Macklin

WEAK BUY
A little cautious on banks overall. Any merger is probably on the back burner of the present government. A more defensive bank. A good holding.
banks
DON'T BUY
Generally, is not fond of the steel industry. Has had a tough time passing on price increases because of a higher cost of scrap steel. Highly sensitive to the state of the economy.
steel
BUY
The bulk of capital spending is behind them. Future expansion will be covered from free cash flow. Stock dropped because production levels were below expectations, but this is not a problem. A tremendous opportunity. Buy on pullbacks.
integrated mines
VAGUE
Have not delivered on the cost cutting as expected. Rail stocks have come under pressure especially in a higher interest rate environment. Have had a lot of weather problems in western Canada.
Transportation
DON'T BUY
Operationally, they are having trouble with freight rates because of the weakness of the US dollar exports from the US have been weaker. Feels the stock will stall here for a little bit.
Transportation
BUY
A good company. Very wall run. They are acquisition oriented and have commented that if they can't get acquisitions, we'll consider changing into an income trust.
investment companies / funds
DON'T BUY
A good company and good product. Concerned about tech stock valuations right now.
electrical / electronic
BUY
Has done tremendously well in the food retail space. Strong management and good balance sheet.
food stores
DON'T BUY
Sold their holdings because of lack of comfort with the clarity of their accounting and lacked confidence in their management. Under investigation.
Consumer Products
TOP PICK
(A top pick December 16/03. Up 8%.) Believe in the resources area. Aluminum has lagged the rally and China will be creating a big demand. The merger with Pecheny will be very accretive to their earnings.
integrated mines
PAST TOP PICK
(A top pick December 16/03. Up 11.5%.) They consolidate very well. Good earnings.
insurance
TOP PICK
(A top pick December 16/03. Up 11.5%.) Announced a 12% increase in their reserves. Good management.
oil / gas
DON'T BUY
This stock has stalled and is frustrating. Can't see them getting 15% growth as they predicted.
other services
BUY on WEAKNESS
A good company. A little bit expensive, but would buy on any pullback.
specialty stores
BUY on WEAKNESS
Good company. Tremendous franchise and properties. The downturn in business travel has hurt them but these are short-term considerations.
lodging
BUY on WEAKNESS
The weaker US dollar has hurt them and have had a difficult time in their food retail in the US. Whenever the macro environment changes for them, they will be in a very strong position.
food processing
HOLD
Questioning how the banks are going to sustain their growths. Reported solid numbers.
banks
DON'T BUY
The retail business, especially department stores, is not a good business to be in at this time.
department stores
DON'T BUY
There is a lot of hype on the voice over IP technology. Very expensive right now.
Telecommunications
TOP PICK
Roughly 27X earnings so somewhat inexpensive. Executing very well. Strong management. Good balance sheet.
computer software / processing
WAIT
As a conservative investor, he has to wait until the Ontario securities commission allegations are cleared up.
electrical / electronic
HOLD
Has a premium built-in because of consolidation expectations, so be prepared if this unravels. Expect an increase in dividends.
banks
TOP PICK
Have operated very well in a difficult software environment. Competitive landscape has improved in their favor. Good management and clean balance sheet.
computer software / processing
VAGUE
Have exercised very well. Don't own the stock because of potential litigation. Has a fair bit of admiration for management.
electrical / electronic
SELL
Not a fan of Canadian retailers. Can see where growth is going to come from.
department stores
VAGUE
Have executed well, but has not made any acquisitions. Well-managed. If you have concerns about stock markets, this could be vulnerable.
other services
BUY
A good company and has handled competition very well. Would be very comfortable owning this one.
specialty stores
TOP PICK
Just reported 12% increase in their reserves which indicates a good growth profile. Also likes the commodity price activity.
oil / gas
BUY
Looks fairly attractive rate down. Likes the coal acquisition they made. Should continue to move.
Mining
BUY
Keep in mind, they are still going through the SEC investigation. Likes their MFS subsiduary.
insurance
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