A tough start to April means the Toronto Stock Exchange has given back most all its early gains for the year.
While Canadian technology has not taken off en masse, it seems to finally be facing fewer headwinds the than resource sector. This may come, in part, from the genuine excitement in the space in the US that propelled the NASDAQ to eleven year highs in February.
The days of dozens of Canadian techs trading at lows may be a memory, but a few still manage to slip through the cracks. We count down four Canadian techs trading at 52-week lows.
April 19th Close: $.465
Despite record annual revenue of $14.7-million for fiscal 2011, the losses continue at Espial, another $2.5-million, or eighteen cents a share last year. But the Ottawa-based company, which is a supplier of IPTV television software, says it is gaining traction. CEO Jaison Dolvane says recent wins with operators and consumer electronics vendors are a sign of increasing demand for Espial services that facilitate demand for programming across multiple platforms.
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QHR Technologies (TSXV:QHR)
April 19th Close: $.55
QHR’s hitting year-long lows is puzzling. On Tuesday, the company announced its fiscal 2011 results. Revenue was up 25% to a record $23.9-million. The company’s bottom line improved too; QHR earned $1.46-million, compared to just over $1-million in fiscal 2010. QHR Technologies has quietly become an aggressive consolidator in the electronic medical records space, and that is an increasingly good place to be. A report from MarketResearch.com said the U.S. EMR market is expected to grow from $2.17-billion in 2009 to more than $6-billion in 2015; an estimated compound annual growth rate of 18.1%. Versant Partners analyst Tom Liston has a one year target price of $1.40 on QHR.
April 19th Close: $.255
Toronto’s Transgaming got its start in 2001, designing porting software that allowed PC gamers to play games on other platforms without the time and cost of rewriting the code. The software became useful to gaming giant Electronics Arts because it could save money on coders while publishing simultaneously on multiple platforms. With this model, TransGaming revenue crept up from $1.59 million in fiscal 2008 to $5.07 in fiscal 2011. Early in 2010, the company announced it was partnering with Intel to create GameTreeTV, an on demand gaming system that works much the way Netflix does for movies. Despite a prolonged rollout, M Partners Ron Shuttleworth now sees success in the platform and believes the company’s traditional revenue stream could be reduced to just 25% of its business by 2014. Early in March, Shuttleworth initiated coverage on TransGaming with a BUY rating and a twelve-month target of $1.
April 19th Close: $.55
Shares of Vancouver’s Cardiome have floundered since the company received the worst news in its history. On March 19th, pharmaceutical giant Merck decided to discontinue further development of the oral formulation of Cardiome’s lead offering vernakalant, a drug designed to treat atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm. Shares of Cardiome lost 54% to close at $.88 cents that day. Byron Capital healthcare analyst Douglas Loe, however, notes that the clinical data on vernakalant has been overwhelmingly positive. Loe suspects Merck may be passing due to regulatory and financial risk, perhaps believing that the required investment to get the drug through Phase 3 may not be worth it, something the Byron analyst disagrees with.