Cantech Letter’s Top 10 Stories of 2011

2011 was Research in Motion’s worst year. The company’s entry into the tablet space, The BlackBerry Playbook, was widely regarded as a flop, and the company continued to lose market share in the mobile device sector. It was MOSAID’s best, the Ottawa patent player was acquired on December 19th for $590-million by Chicago-based private equity firm Sterling Partners. But mostly, 2011 was somewhere in-between for Canadian tech stocks, as the Toronto Stock Exchange ended the year down 11%. Will 2012 be a better year for Canadian tech? Some experts believe the signs are there. For now, however, we take one last look back at the year that is coming to a close, as we count down the most popular Cantech Letter stories of 2011.

1. Terry Matthews: Nortel is Gone, Here’s How we Get Over It

Quick, think of a Canadian technology company with annual revenues of more than a billion dollars. OK, you said Research in Motion, right? But what about a second, a third? The truth is the number of Canadian tech companies with more than a billion in revenue is woefully slim….

2. Nortel’s Orbitor: The iPhone Killer that was a Decade Ahead of its Time

In 1998, Ottawa based Nortel actually manufactured and began to market a wireless device that bears a startling resemblance to today’s smartphones…

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3. 2011: Canada’s Fastest Growing Tech Stocks

When Deloitte released its 2011 Fast 50 List for Canadian technology companies, a ranking of the Canadian tech companies with the highest percentage revenue growth over five years, the collection underscored a sobering fact. With just fourteen of the companies public on the TSX or TSXV, most Canadian techs aren’t looking at the public markets as a viable option for unlocking shareholder value….

4. Shorters Abandon Intertainment Media

While some on Bay Street may have hated Intertainment at $2, there is much less conviction to the negative sentiment now that the stock has pulled back. On August 2nd, when shares of the company closed at $.58 as just over four million shares changed hands, short interest on Intertainment Media was less than a quarter its pre-summer number, at just 1.22 million shares.Late last month, Intertainment released numbers on Ortsbo’s first year performance. The numbers showed more than 71 million unique users from over 170 countries and territories had used the product…

5. Remembering Brad Griffiths

On July 23rd, five days after he went missing on Lake Joseph, the body of GMP Capital co-founder Brad Griffiths was recovered by divers. Adam Adamou, who knew Griffiths since the early 1990′s, says Griffiths passing closes a certain chapter in the development and evolution of Bay Street…

6. Will Research in Motion be Acquired? Three points to consider.

The Waterloo mobile giant, despite growing from $6 billion in fiscal 2008 to nearly $20 billion in 2011, recently laid off 10% of its staff. The subject of RIM being bought by a larger US-based competitor cooled after Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, but only slightly. In the minds of many analysts and pundits Microsoft Nokia, and others are still lurking. But is a sale of RIM a slam-dunk? Here are three things to consider.

7. Canada’s Seven Most Profitable Tech Stocks

While technology stocks, outside of Research in Motion (TSX:RIM) haven’t had the world press beating a path to their door they do, in fact, make a good showing in terms of profitability. In this Cantech Letter survey, we take a look at Canada’s most profitable tech stocks. All stocks from the TSX and TSXV technology, cleantech and life sciences sectors were eligible, and the numbers are based on earnings from the trailing twelve month period.

8. Cantech Letter interviews Jim Skippen of WiLAN

After a few friendly shots about Cantech Letter’s excessive coverage of rival Mosaid Technologies, Waddell and Skippen had a rambling chat about patent reform, the Ottawa tech scene and ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq. And then, less than two hours later, Skippen announced that Wi-LAN intends to make a formal all-cash offer to acquire all the outstanding common shares of former Skippen employer Mosaid Technologies for approximately $480-million.

9. Can Poynt and Ortsbo turn Eyeballs into Dollars?

In Canada, the return of tech has been more muted but, on most days, a small cadre of tech stocks is starting to crash the mining and metals party. Two of the heaviest traders on the TSX Venture Exchange this year have been Poynt (TSXV:PYN) and Intertainment Media (TSXV:INT). At first blush, the two companies have little in common. But new data suggests their respective business models may both be set to benefit from trends in online spending.

10. Would Warren Buffett buy Research in Motion?

In a fictional conversation with The Oracle of Omaha, Josh Brown of The Reformed Broker wonders.

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