It’s not the frenzy of interest that has preceded the Facebook IPO in the US. Slowly but surely, however, Canadian tech stocks are prying back the Canadian financial media’s overwhelming barrage of mining and metals coverage to reveal a sector that is, on the whole, surprisingly profitable.
While the buyout prices lobbed at various boards, including Zarlink, MOSAID and Bridgewater tried the fiduciary responsibilities of our managers here, other Canadian techs are rising to the top the old fashioned way; on the back of an improved balance sheet. We look at three Canadian techs trading at annual highs.
Absolute Software (TSX:ABT)
February 17th Closing Price: $5.74
On February 8th, Absolute Software reported its Q2, 2012 results. Revenue came in at $18.4 million vs. $16.8 million for the same period a year prior. The Vancouver-based company earned $1.5 million, or three cents a share in the quarter. Versant analyst Tom Liston, who already had a buy recommendation on Absolute, saw the Q2 as the latest and most convincing piece of evidence yet that the company’s stock was set to mirror the success of its balance sheet. Following the results, he raised his one-year target price on the stock to $7 from his previous target of $6.15.
This story is brought to you by Serenic (TSXV:SER). Serenic’s market cap of $3.18 million (as of January 27th, 2012) was less than its cash position of $4.03 million (as of Q2, 2012). The company has no debt. Click here for more information.
February 17th Closing Price: $13.52
Another one bites the dust. In 2011, mostly due to buyouts from US firms, we lost many prominent Canadian techs that have been around for decades, including Zarlink, MOSAID and March Networks. January’s news from Gennum confirms that the trend is continuing into 2012. On January 23rd, Gennum entered into a definitive arrangement agreement in which Semtech would acquire all of the outstanding shares of Gennum for approximately $500-million. In the meantime, he market has expressed a great deal of confidence that the i’s will be dotted and t’s crossed on the deal on March 14th, when shareholders will vote on the matter. Shares of the company, are trading at a market cap of approximately $480 million.
Intertape Polymer (TSX:ITP)
February 17th Closing Price: $4.01
Intertape Polymer, which has been around since the early 1980′s, grew rapidly through acquisition in the 90′s. The company now does in excess of $700 million in annual revenues, selling specialty tapes, stretch wrap and shrink films. Intertape’s stock chart looked like a ski hill for much of the past decade, as it was posting some hefty losses competing with giants like 3M in an inherently low-margin business. But since this time last year, shares of the company have more than tripled on improved financials. Intertape’s margins are improving too; the recently reported Q3 saw the company’s bottom line increase to 15.1% from last year’s 10.9%.