September and October are, typically, bad months for stock markets worldwide. Recent concern about the European debt crisis and the possibility of a “double-dip” recession in the United States have ushered in the seasonal jitters; each of the past six days on the Dow Jones has seen a triple-digit move, five of those being red.
The resource sector provides a moderating influence on the TSX, but the list of stocks trading at 52 week lows is still much longer than those trading at highs, and this is especially true for Canadian listed technology stocks. Below we list seven Canadian tech stocks that are now trading at 52 week lows. The survey includes all stocks from the TSX and TSXV Technology, Cleantech and Life Sciences sectors, excepting those stocks that closed under $.20 cents on Friday, September 9th. Companies are listed according to market capitalization, from highest to lowest.
1. Gennum (TSX:GND)
52 Week Low: $6.23
Sept 9th Close: $6.23
Founded in 1973 as Linear Technology, Gennum is the back end that makes 3D TV happen. The company’s history is in semiconductor products for the video broadcast industry. Through acquisition and in house innovation Gennum has kept an aggressive stance with products that have kept it at the bleeding edge of broadcast technology. Many of Gennum’s products and services are complex, but the company’s mission boils down to making sure that the myriad of data communications it enables do not lose signal integrity. April’s acquisition of Nanotech Semiconductor for $30.1-million, meant a slight increase in topline sales for Q2, but earnings were a shade lower.
2. Calian (TSX:CTY)
52 Week Low: $17.55
Sept 9th Close: $17.55
Calian, whose roots go back to 1982, when it was a small consulting firm, now employs nearly 2500 people in offices across Canada. The company, which sells technology solutions to governments has grown slowly, but is consistently profitable. In May, Cantech Letter contributor and value investor Saj Karsan said Calian met the criteria of John Greenblatt’s famous value tome “The Little Book that Beats the Market”
3. Vecima Networks (TSX:VCM)
52 Week Low: $2.82
Sept 9th Close: $2.82
It’s been a tough year for shareholders of Victoria based broadband equipment supplier Vecima. The company was forced, for the first time in its history, to lay off a significant portion of its staff. Vecima management says the company is in a transition phase, in which revenue from its legacy products in tailing off and revenue from new products isn’t kicking in fast enough to replace it. As a result, the company’s revenue fell 27% to $63.4-million for the first nine months of fiscal 2011, compared with $86.4-million in the same period in 2010.
4. 20-20 Technologies (TSX:TWT)
52 Week Low: $2.75
Sept 9th Close: $2.75
As recently as 2008, Quebec’s 20-20 Technologies (TSX:TWT) was looking like a true Canadian success story. The company, which began in the 1980′s as a small Quebec cabinet manufacturer, morphed into the world’s leading provider of computer-aided design, sales software and manufacturing for the interior design industry. Revenue grew rapidly until the crisis of late 2008, when depending upon the US home sector for sales suddenly looked like a terrible gamble. Nonetheless, 20-20 battled through by cutting costs. Fiscal 2010 started to show signs that the company could indeed recover, as it earned $2.3 million on revenues of $65.2 million, which was up a few percentage points over fiscal 2009. The company has since recorded two profitable quarters in 2011.
5. PNI Digital (TSXV:PN)
52 Week Low: $.80
Sept 9th Close: $.80
Vancouver’s PNI Digital Media (TSXV:PN), which was once known as PhotoChannel, has an international reach. The Company’s PNI Digital Media Platform reaches clients through retail giants such as Walmart, Costco, SAM’s Club, CVS/pharmacy, Tesco, Kodak, ASDA, K-Mart Australia, and Hallmark UK. The Company’s kiosks are a hit for their ease of use. PNI’s footprint is so large, in fact, that one of the features of its new new iPhone app locates the nearest eligible retail location for users who might want to instantly print off a photo they just snapped with their iPhone. 2011 has been difficult for PNI Digital shareholders, after earning $6.85 million in fiscal 2010 the company has posted consecutive losing quarters that have prompted a year long slide in the company’s shares. Recently Cantech Letter talked to Kyle Hall, PNI Digital’s CEO.
6. Pethealth (TSX:PTZ)
52 Week Low $.72
Sept 9th Close: $.72
Oakville’s Pethealth, whose primary business is providing microchip ID and medical insurance for cat and dog owners, threw a little technology into the mix recently and uncovered a hit. Pethealth’s Petango app began as a pet adoption app that works with thousands of shelters across North America. Through constant tweaking of the application, Pethealth came across an idea that was an instant hit with pet owners; Petango allows users to send notifications of missing pets in their area, effectively creating a canine and feline amber alert system. Despite consecutive profitable quarters this year, Shares of Pethealth have been mired in a slump as investors perhaps focused on the company’s flatlining topline.
7. Aqua-Pure Ventures Inc. (TSXV:AQE)
52 Week Low $.21
Sept 9th Close: $.21
“We are oilfield people that learned water, not water people trying to understand the oilfield ” says Brent Halldorson, Aqua-Pure’s COO “I see this as a very important distinction” Aqua-Pure, which installed the first evaporator in Alberta Heavy Oil service for Alberta Energy (now EnCana) in 1998, has has migrated away from being solely a technology provider into becoming a complete water management provider. Aqua-Pure has has developed a niche market in Texas. The Company’s subsidiary, Fountain Quail Water Management, has recycled over 500 million gallons of Barnett Shale flowback and produced water back into distilled water for re-use. Halldorson sees this, combined with the company’s experience and contacts in Fort Mcmurray as a combination that is hard to beat: “Our expertise in heavy oil produced water led us into the shale gas market, so we definitely have to ability to be very competitive in heavy oil”, he says. “We truly understand what is needed to be successful in an oilfield environment, specifically equipment that is tough and serviceable and people that find a solution to problems as they arise.” Shares of Aqua-Pure have been mired in a long slump, but the company has shown signs of rebounding, earning $2.1 million in its recently reported Q2.