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Tech Revival: Meet the High-Volume Tech Stocks of the TSX Venture Exchange

Calgary's location-based search app Poynt continues to grow. The company recently entered the Chinese market, where it expects to deliver at least twenty-million active users by this time next year.

Calgary's location-based search app Poynt continues to grow. The company recently entered the Chinese market, where it expects to deliver at least twenty-million active users by this time next year.
Last year, the stunning rise of Intertainment Media (TSXV:INT) was an aberration.

When the company rocketed from pennies in January to more than $1.50 in April, it left TSX Venture investors scrambling to understand its business and how Intertainment was becoming the most heavily traded stock on the exchange.

With the possible exception of Calgary’s location-based search company Poynt, however, Intertainment was the lone tech issue whose name was at all familiar to those who normally invested in gold, gas or lumber.

But are things changing? With the TSX mining sector continuing to struggle, many investors are once again looking towards tech stocks. Maybe, with Groupon and Linkedin having gone public and social media behemoth Facebook on deck, it’s a bit of the tech frenzy in the lower-48 rubbing off. Or maybe it’s because, relative to their US counterparts, Canadian tech stocks are much more profitable.

Whatever the reason, a shift is happening and a whole host of new tech issues are now on the radar of investors, especially those with speculative inclinations. On February 10th, for instance, four of the top ten volume traders on the TSX Venture Exchange were technology related, including the top three traders. This is especially notable when you consider there are 1646 companies in the TSX and TSX Venture Mining Sector, but only 179 listed in Technology.

So who are these previously little-known issues that are now trading millions of shares? We break them down and give you a chance to vote on which you think will perform best in 2012. Companies are listed in order by market capitalization; highest to lowest.

1. Intertainment Media (TSXV:INT)

Nearly two months into 2012 and Intertainment Media seems unwilling to give up its title of king of the junior techs. The stock’s resurgence (shares of Intertainment more than doubled between December 21st and February 6th, from $.40 cents to $.83 cents) is fueled by the continuing success of its translation software Ortsbo, and the company’s plans to spin the division off as its own entity.

2. Poynt (TSXV:PYN)

Shareholders of Calgary’s Poynt would no doubt love to see a resurgence in the fortunes of its eponymous stock, which slipped to as low as a dime after trading as high as $.85 cents before the 2008 meltdown. Poynt the app continues to grow; the company recently entered the Chinese market, where it expects to deliver at least twenty-million active users by this time next year. CEO Andrew Osis thinks several recent deals signal the beginning of a new era in the company’s history, one that will more closely align the fortunes of the stock with the fortunes of the app. Cantech Letter caught up with him recently to discuss them.

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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.

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3. Innovative Composites (TSXV:IC)

Burlington’s Innovative Composites was formed in 2007 and almost immediately attracted some high level talent in the form of current CEO Terry Ball, who spent eighteen years at Magma, and Jerry Olszewski, from came over from Chrysler. More recently, the company added industry veteran Rubens Roque as COO and Allan Landosky, who worked with General Electric, General Motors and Caterpillar. Innovative Composites has steadily built an intellectual property portfolio based around improving the materials used in everyday products. The company’s Structure Lite product provides a molecular bond between structural fibres and can be used in anything from horse trailers to marine docks to pedestrian bridges. Its Hero 451 product line includes BlanketHero, an antimicrobial fire blanket that will not ignite. The company is currently working towards the opening of a 126,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

4. Zecotek Photonics (TSXV:ZMS)

Vancouver’s Zecotek Photonics, which dates its history back to 2004, is the brainchild of Dr. Faouzi Zerrouk, an English educated PhD in Theoretical Physics, who became a leading expert in photonics technologies. Today, after investing more than $25 million in its technology, Zecotek owns title to or controls more than fifty-five patents and applications and is on the verge of commercializing its laser systems, high-performance crystals, solid-state photo detectors and other imaging and 3D display technologies. Shares of Zecotek have nearly doubled since they closed at $.345 cents on January 11th. Recently, Cantech Letter’s Nick Waddell spoke with Zerrouk.

5. Verisante (TSXV:VRS)

For Vancouver’s Verisante the waiting game appears to be over. The company’s skin cancer detection device, Aura, seems on the cusp of moving from concept to practice, as Verisante has received approval to sell it in Australia, Europe and here in Canada. Rainy Vancouver might seem an odd point of origin for science that may be set to turn the multi-billion dollar skin cancer market on its sunburned ear. But this fact seems much less curious when one notes the company’s deep ties to the UBC Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, which is a world leader.

Cantech Letter recently sat down with Verisante CEO Thomas Braun to talk about the company’s transition to commercialization.

6. CardioComm (TSXV:EKG)

Shares of CardioComm caught fire after the company announced it had cleared an important hurdle in its goal to market a new handheld ECG device called the HeartCheck Pen. After closing at $.145 cents on Januray 23rd, Cardiocomm closed at $.435 the next day, after more than 29 million shares changed hands.

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7. Synchronica (TSXV:SYN)

Earlier this year, Synchronica, a company headquartered in the UK but listed on the TSX Venture Exchange received a buyout offer from Swiss-based Myriad AG. Soon after, Synchronica announced its board could not come to an agreement with Myriad AG and advised shareholders to take no action. And then, a surprise, as Synchronica announced it has signed a Letter of Intent with Toronto’s Intertainment Media to integrate Synchronica’s flagship messaging platform, Mobile Gateway, with Intertainment Media’s Ortsbo experiential language technology. As part of the transaction, Intertainment Media will also, subject to Synchronica shareholder approval, invest up to CDN $ 10 million in Synchronica. On heavy volume, shares of the company have nearly doubled since mid-December. As the news broke on the deal, Cantech Letter’s Nick Waddell talked to Synchronica CEO Angus Dent and Intertainment Media CEO David Lucatch about the deal.

8. Edgewater Wireless (TSXV:YFI)

KIK Polymers spent the bulk of 2011 working on the acquisition of of Edgewater Wireless, an Ottawa company with twenty patents in the wireless space. KIK, a company that had been around since 1980, got a new lease on life with the acquisition, which was completed on October 13th. The company changed its name and ticker symbol earlier this month, and the stock has nearly doubled on heavy volume this year.

9. Medipattern (TSXV:MKI)

2008 was supposed to be Medipattern’s big year. The Toronto based company, which designs medical imaging software, went public in 2005, then soared to $1.64 in the first days of 2008 on the promise of a new medical imaging system for breast cancer detection. When the tangle of regulatory hurdles combined with the worst recession in a generation, it tripped up the company’s plan to commercialize its technology. Shares of Medipattern plunged to nearly a nickel before staging a modest recovery in 2011. This year, however, Medipattern investors should begin to see real revenue for the first time. That’s because, last February, the company received FDA clearance for Visualize: Vascular. The product can help a physician assess vascular disease using ultrasound imaging by performing 3D rendering of the carotid artery.

10. Medx Health (TSXV:MDX)

On February 9th, Shares of Medx raced from under a nickel to $.255 cents on more than sixteen million shares of volume. The reason? The company received Health Canada approval for Molemate, a non-invasive imaging system that allows practitioners to see approximately two millimetres below the surface of suspicious moles. In the last quarter of 2011 the Mississauga-based company began selling into the US market, which it believes is a billion dollar opportunity.

Disclaimer: Intertainment Media, Zecotek and Verisante are annual sponsors of Cantech Letter.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

Comment

  1. Intertainment has the attention of everyone and 2012 will be its year! Wouldn’t it be ironic if Ortsbo was spun out on 04/19? Longs know the significance of that date.

    The most long-term potential – Zecotek

    Best IP portfolio of them all

  2. I think the company you previously wrote about Counterpath Corp. TSXV:CCV controlled by Sir Terry Matthews will leave them all in the dust. This site first wrote about Counterpath when it was $0.40 now it is around $2.00 

    I think this is the next Canadian small cap tech to actually hit the big time. 2012 should be very interesting. Good job finding it at $0.40

  3. Intertainment media are about to acquire a small stake in the UK firm Synchronica… Synchronica has a massive IP portfolio and customer contracts with over 100 Mobile Network Operators and Device Manufacturers whose subscriber base exceeds 1.8 billion users. Yes, 1.8 billion. They are at the heart of the mobile revolution that is sweeping across emerging markets in esp. Latin America, Africa and India… One to keep a close eye on… 😉

  4. those in the field of cancer detection know the full potential of Verisante Technology’s raman spectroscopy rights from the British Columbia Cancer Agency are not fully understood by the retail market at large. 
    Once Verisante’s AURA study is published by the peer reviewed scientific journal (any time now) and the first working models of the AURA are completed (any time now) and the pre-IDE meeting results with the US FDA is announced (any time now) – VRS will likely start promotional efforts to better educate the masses. 

    Then the Verisante CORE will start grabbing headlines for early lung, colon, and cervical cancer detection. 

    2012 will be huge for this company and for all of those who will be the first to utilize this amazingly accurate cancer detection device. IMHO

    This company is worth your own due diligence. 

  5. A vote for Intertainment Media is also a vote for Synchronica, who are expected to announce a maiden profit this financial year. This is a major milestone for any small cap high tech stock. Both Intertainment Media and Synchronica are collaborating on a joint project with Intertainment Media’s ‘Ortsbo’ real time translation software, which it is hoped will be IPO’d in its own right as a separate entity, possibly later this year. Both companies are worth keeping a very close eye on.

  6. Anyone else noticed this article in today’s Times of London?
      Looks like Synchronica’s CEO’s been isider dealing….

    Synchronica Mobile Chief Purchased Shares After Swiss
    Takeover Approach

    Nic Fildes, Gary Parkinson

     

    The chief executive of the Synchronica mobile messaging
    company bought 800,000 shares in the business three weeks after it received a
    takeover approach that it had not revealed to the market.

     

    Angus Dent spent £490,000 on the shares on November 30 at
    6.125p each. The shares have since doubled to 12.4p largely as a result of an
    approach from rival Myriad regarding a possible takeover. Synchronica issued
    that statement on January 3.

     

    However, the offer document posted on the website of Myriad,
    a Swiss company, shows that it first approached its British rival on November
    10.

     

    Mr Dent told The Times that the two businesses had met
    earlier in 2011 at the company’s offices in Tunbridge Wells. He said that the
    company then received a letter in early November that constituted “a vague
    approach” that was firmly rebuffed.

     

    Mr Dent said that he assumed the approach had gone cold when
    he moved to buy shares and that he cleared the stock purchase with the company’s
    nominated adviser Northland Capital Partners, which told Mr Dent to check with
    executive chairman David Mason before acting. “We had a five to ten minute chat
    and agreed it would be appropriate,” Mr Dent said.

     

    However, Myriad came back two days later with a fresh offer.
    “We thought Myriad had come on another fishing expedition,” he said. Yet
    Myriad’s interest proved genuine as it made a £20.6 million offer, which it
    revealed in what Mr Dent described as a “rather silly announcement”.

     

    Synchronica has repeatedly urged its shareholders to reject
    its Swiss rival on the basis that the offer undervalued the shares of the
    British company. Mr Dent defended his stock purchase. “You can only act on what
    you know at the time,” he said. He bought the stock because he believed that
    the company was “massively undervalued” and that its shares have historically
    risen toward the end of the year.

     

    Synchronica experienced a turbulent 2011. FinnCap, its
    nominated adviser, decided to step back from offering advice to the company
    earlier in the year. Then its co-founders Carsten Brinkschulte and Nicole
    Meissner, respectively chief executive and chief operating officer, quit the
    company in September.

  7.  Just another vain attempt by Myriad who are desperately trying to acquire Synchronica on the cheap, to undermine both the company and CEO.

    The facts are way off target, as is the maths, Myriad have started and continue to operate a campaign of dirty tricks and I have no doubt that angry Investor is part of this.

    As an example, Simon Wilkinson CEO Myriad made allegations that Synchronica could not afford to pay the current instalment of the Nokia mortgage. Synchronica have, if SW had anything about him at all, he would have issued a retraction and apology for mis-information. The fact that he hasn’t speaks volumes. This is exacerbated further by this mornings wholly inaccurate statement re Angus Dent where the figures are clearly wrong.

    My conclusion is that Myriad must be in a really bad place and desperate to be resorting to such dirty and underhand tactics.

  8. Totally agreed – I am surprised that Myriad Chairman has not stepped in and given Mr Wilkinson some friendly advice. Bully boy tactics are not the way to win over but it really does seem they have nothing else to say. Imo SW will be lucky to retain his re-election after this saga, egg on face springs to mind and deservedly so.

    It is worth noting at the Myriad EGN yesterday ONLY 40% of the company’s shareholders sought fit to vote. Hardly the 99% headline figure SW quoted. Laughable but true.

    And confirmation TODAY from Equity Development that Myriad bid is, as we all know, very opportunist. ED also importantly state (but obvious) that in their opinion IT WILL BE REJECTED by Synchronica shareholders. Am certainly confident of that.

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