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Canada’s 10 Hottest Tech Stocks

Destiny Media CEO Steven Vestergaard. The Vancouver-based company shook off legal challenges early in the year, and has post a 118% gain so far in 2012.

Destiny Media CEO Steven Vestergaard. The Vancouver-based company shook off legal challenges early in the year, and has post a 118% gain so far in 2012.Earlier this month, we counted down the top performing companies listed in the TSX Cleantech Index.

Then we tackled the top Life Sciences stocks, where triple-digit gains seemed to be almost routine.

Today, more than halfway to the third annual Cantech Letter Awards, we bring you the ten best performing stocks listed on the TSX and TSX Venture Technology Index.

The 204 companies listed in the index, as has been widely reported, represent just 1.6% of the TSX index, down from 41% in 2000 when Nortel ruled the roost. Research in Motion may be a drag on performance, but things are slowly improving.

The companies in the index raised $552-million in equity capital in 2011, compared to just $387-million in 2010. And share volume increased to 7.3-billion from 4.9-billion in 2010. All 204 companies in the TSX and TSXV Technology Index were eligible for this list, excluding those that began the year at less than $.15 cents.

1. Destiny Media Technologies (TSXV:DSY) +118%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $.385
Price on July 20th, 2012: $.84

2012 began with a bizarre Hatfield-McCoy type scenario for Destiny Media. Late in 2011, Noramco Capital filed a notice against Destiny, claiming it did not receive a share certificate for a small private placement it did way back in in 2000. Destiny’s counterclaim, filed in January, said Noramco had undertaken an eleven year campaign to manipulate its shares downward. The issue is still unresolved, but seem to become a non-factor as the year unfolded. Instead, investors chose to focus on Destiny’s improving financials; the company’s Q3 net increased 182% over the prior year to $651,138.

2. Lorex Technology (TSXV:LOX) +88%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $.50
Price on July 20th, 2012: $.94

Marham’s Lorex, which was founded in 1996, seem to be hitting its stride. Revenue in the company’s recently reported Q2 grew to 50% to $17-million. Lorex got its start manufacturing and selling a range of video surveillance products it manufactured in Asia and sold in North America. Recently, the company has expanded into sub-sectors of the surveillance market. Early in March, the company debuted Live View, which it calls a “next-generation baby monitoring system, and features high end LCD screens and high night vision clarity. Another product, Live Connect, lets users connect to their home security system using Skype.

3. Miranda Technologies (TSX:MT) +86.2%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $9.11
Price on July 20th, 2012: $16.97

Last year’s predominant trend in Canadian tech, takeovers, has continued into 2012. Early in June, the the board of Miranda recommended to shareholders that they accept a $17 offer from the St. Louis based company Belden, a manufacturer of signal transmission and networking products used in demanding environments. Miranda’s technology was attractive to suitors because of the rise of high-definition TV. The company, which was formed more than two-decades ago and went public late in 2005, is the back end that aggregates content and manages the signal path processing and monitoring required by the multi-format environments that are modern television production facilities. The company has grown from $129 million in revenue in fiscal 2008 to just under $182 million in fiscal 2011.

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4. Firan Technology (TSX:FTG) +77%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $.45
Price on July 20th, 2012: $.80

Shares of aerospace and defense subcontractor Firan have moved on the back of an improved bottom line. CEO Brad Bourne said returning the company to profitability and strengthening its balance sheet were his top goals. The stock began to stir in February, when the company reported that its 2011 bottom line was $4.4-million improvement over 2010. Firan’s recently reported Q2 continued the trend.

5. Tucows (TSX:TC) +73%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $.74
Price on July 20th, 2012: $1.28

Tucows, originally an acronym for The Ultimate Collection of Winsock Software, has a long and colorful history of dabbling in various businesses that have, at times, confused analysts and shareholders alike. The Company was formed in Flint, Michigan, incorporated in Pennsylvania and headquartered in Toronto. If you noticed Tucows, it was probably in the 90′s when its website directory of shareware, freeware, and demo software was everywhere. The Company is now into domain registration, where it is the third largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, domain sales and advertising (In one private transaction in 2007, Tucows sold more than 25000 domain names from its portfolio of domain names for US$3.0 million), and building and maintaining content such as ButterScotch.com, a website with video tutorials that explain technology.Consistently profitable, shares of Tucows took off in February when the company reported revenue had climbed to more than $97-million from 2010’s $84-million.

6. Counterpath (TSXV:CCV) +72.7%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $1.65
Price on July 20th, 2012: $2.85

Long time readers of Cantech Letter know our coverage of Counterpath goes back to 2009. When we caught up with CEO Donovan Jones, early in 2010, the stock was barely $.60 cents. In the time since, Counterpath has gone from idea stock to fledgling wireless contender. The company’s share price has raced this year as its topline expanded. Byron Capital analyst Tom Astle says that after many years of building out its platform, Counterpath seems to be on the cusp of becoming as major softphone enterprise vendor. On July 11th, the company followed other Terry Matthew’s chaired concerns Mitel and Dragonwave, listing its shares on the Nasdaq as well as the TSX.

7. Points International (TSX:PTS) +66.5%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $7.75
Price on July 20th, 2012: $12.90

Toronto’s Points International lives at the corner of technology and loyalty programs, which these days is a good place to be. The company manages the back end of loyalty currencies, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, retailer rewards and credit card points. The company has more than fifty partners worldwide including Delta, BestBuy, Starbucks and PayPal. Points has grown its revenue from $30 million in 2007 to more than $122.9-million in fiscal 2011.

8. 20-20 Technologies (TSX:TWT) +60%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $2.50
Price on July 20th, 2012: $4

Until the economic crisis of 2008, when the US housing sector tanked, it was smooth sailing for Quebec’s 20-20 Technologies. 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 and manufacturing for the interior design industry. Revenue grew rapidly until 2008, when 20-20 battled through by cutting costs. Fiscal 2010 started to show signs that the company might turn things around, as it earned $2.3 million on revenues of $65.2 million, which was up a few percentage points over fiscal 2009. In 2012, the recovery improved further; 20-20’s Q2 revenues of $17.9-million were a 5.2% improvement over the same period in 2011.

9. Catamaran Corp. (TSX: CCT) +59.4%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $57.27
Price on July 20th, 2012: $91.33

Eight other companies on this list posted better percentage gains, But none of them added the billions in market value that Catamaran, formerly known as SXC Health did. Catamaran, which began life under its new name July 11th, debuted as Canada’s largest tech stock. This summer, both CGI Group and SXC passed struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in terms of market capitalization.

10. Automated Benefits (TSXV:AUT) +59.2%
Price on December 30th, 2011: $.27
Price on July 20th, 2012: $.43

After a slide that began seven years ago, 2012 has been a good year for shareholders of Automated Benefits. In January, the company announced it would acquire the claims division of Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, for $18.1-million. MSB, which was owned by Kansas City based market research firm Decision Insight, added three execs to the board of Automated Benefits and became the largest single shareholder in the company. The acquisition added annualized revenue of approximately $8-milion to Automated Benefit’s topline. The Toronto-based company is divided into two operating divisions, Automated Benefits Inc., which develops software to improve health and dental claims, and Symbility Solutions, which focuses on property claims. Symbility speeds up property claims and makes the process more transparent by giving every claim participant real-time access and collaborative tools.

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About The Author /

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.

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