Near the end of December, Cantech Letter compiled a list of the 10 tech stocks that performed best on the TSX during 2015.
Calling 2015 “another strong year,” Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell noted that the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index, a collection of 22 tech stocks that includes BlackBerry Limited, Sierra Wireless Inc., and Celestica Inc., easily outperformed the overall Canadian market.
“But the bigger story is about what we don’t see,” Waddell writes. “Will the presence of companies D2L, Hootsuite, BuildDirect, Aeryon Labs, and Cymax breathe fresh life into a Canadian tech resurgence that is entering its second, third, or fourth year, depending on who you ask?” Waddell admits we’ll have to wait until 2016 to see.
For now, the Canadian tech industry can look back on 2015 with pride at its highest-performing (by percentage, it should be noted, not necessarily value) TSX stocks in 2015.
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.065
Price on December 18, 2015: $.28
Overall Gain: 330.7 per cent
Shares of global geospatial services firm Intermap, which is based in Denver, Colorado but also maintains a Canadian office in Calgary, went up in June after a consortium led by the company was awarded a government contract worth more than $125 million to create, operate, and maintain a national spatial data infrastructure (SDI) program. While the company has not announced which government it will be collaborating with, the program will be a public-private partnership and is expected to last for 20 years.
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.85
Price on December 18, 2015: $2.30
Overall Gain: 167.4 per cent
Founded in 1983, Toronto-based Firan manufactures circuit boards and illuminated display systems for a wide range of clients including Bombardier, Rockwell Collins and Bell Helicopter.
The company began its 2015 rise by building on an especially positive fourth-quarter in 2014, Cantech’s Waddell writes. That positive growth continued into its third-quarter 2015 results, released on October 8, which showed the company had achieved $18.2 million in sales – a 23 per cent increase over its fourth-quarter results in 2014.
Price on December 31, 2014: $18.50
Price on December 18, 2015: $45.31
Overall Gain: 144.9 per cent
Ottawa-based supply-chain software maker Kinaxis, which licenses its RapidResponse platform to companies as diverse as Honeywell, Olympus, and Volvo, reported third-quarter profits of $3.8 million USD in 2015, on revenues of $23.7 million USD – an increase of 34 per cent over the same period in 2014.
Price on December 31, 2014: $41.49
Price on December 18, 2015: $75.60
Overall Gain: 82.2 per cent
Markham-based Enghouse’s success has been driven by acquisitions, Cantech’s Waddell writes, with the company announcing 2015 profits of $31.43 million on December 16, on revenue of $279.3 million – an increase of 27 per cent over fiscal 2014.
Price on December 31, 2014: $0.74
Price on December 18, 2015: $1.31
Overall Gain: 77 per cent
Saskatoon-based transportation services firm International Road Dynamics, which celebrated its 35th year in 2015, reported a record $1.45 million profit in last year’s third quarter, and investors should expect that growth to continue, CEO Terry Bergan said.
Price on December 31, 2014: $.19
Price on December 18, 2015: $.33
Overall Gain: 73.6 per cent
It’s easy to forget that the Quebec-based provider of Cineplex Entertainment’s D-Box venture is a company all of its own, and it may be a surprise for Canadians to learn that it has greater audience penetration in its native country than in the world’s largest moviegoing market, the U.S. However, D-Box has an especially good shot at securing a worldwide monopoly in its business, since no other company is allowed to “motion code” Hollywood movies, according to Lester Asset Management’s Stephen Takacsy.
Price on December 31, 2014: $345.44
Price on December 18, 2015: $584.58
Overall Gain: 69.2 per cent
On Oct. 28, 2015, Toronto-based Constellation Software reported a 10 per cent growth in revenue in the third quarter of 2015, from $419 million in the third quarter of 2014 to $460 million in 2015, while its adjusted net income increased by 43 per cent, from $69 million in the third quarter of 2014 to $99 million in 2015.
Price on December 31, 2014: $17.25
Price on December 18, 2015: $27.58
Overall Gain: 59 per cent
Assuming the company was referring to the third quarter of 2015 when its Dec. 3, 2015 earnings report highlighted its achievements in the third quarter of 2016, Waterloo-based Descartes reported a 10 per cent growth in revenue in the third quarter of 2015, from $43.1 million USD in 2014 (at least, we hope they meant 2014 and not 2016) to $47.4 million USD in 2015. The company also reported a net income of $5.2 million USD, an increase of 24 per cent from the same time in 2014 (which the report [mistakenly, we hope] labeled as 2015).
Price on IPO Date, 2014: $22.41
Price on December 18, 2015: $35.35
Overall Gain: 57.7 per cent
It might be a Canadian tech darling and is easily the best-known company on this list, but in June Ottawa’s Shopify fell more than 15 per cent in two days, and has remained volatile ever since, Cantech’s Waddell writes. Not that that stopped the company from reporting an astounding 93 per cent growth in revenue between 2014 and 2015 in its third-quarter report, worth $52.8 million. The company’s gross profits also rose, from $16.2 million in the third quarter of 2014 to $28.7 million in 2015 – a year-over-year growth rate of 77 per cent.
Price on December 31, 2014: $3.99
Price on December 18, 2015: $6.00
Overall Gain: 50.3 per cent
In November, it was announced that global tech giant Honeywell International Inc. would be purchasing Cambridge-based satellite operator Com Dev for up to $5.25 per common share, with a total value of approximately $455-million. Investors will receive the cash, plus approximately one-fifth of a share of Com Dev data services subsidiary exactEarth, which will be spun out as a publicly traded company.