2013 was the year the Canadian tech sector was waiting for. Sure, the previous year boasted some nice gainers, but that storyline was complicated by the fact that some of those bumps were simply takeover premiums paid by larger, often American-based companies, who were taking Canadian innovators away for good.
But this year was different. The excitement returned to tech in the form of a bunch of new listings and multi-year highs for many stocks that frankly deserved to be trading at multi-year highs, based on their underlying performance, which had been persistently overlooked.
This year will be different for us, too. For the first time ever, the Cantech Letter Awards will be open to the public. A gala awards dinner, brought to you by Difference Capital and the TSX, will follow the First Annual Cantech Investment Conference, on January 16th, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Tickets to the Cantech Letter Awards, including a limited number of tables of ten, are still available. Click here, or contact Contact Karen Renaud at Cambridge House to reserve. ([email protected] or Direct at (604) 398-5356). For tickets to the Cantech Investment Conference, featuring keynote speaker Commander Chris Hadfield, click here.
On to the nominees for the 2013 Cantech Letter TSX Tech Stock of the Year. For these awards, we asked fourteen of Canada’s top technology analysts to give us their top three picks. The finalists are the companies that received the most points in this process (we gave three points for first place, two for second and one for third. In the event of a tie, the company receiving the most first place votes was chosen.) The judges will vote on the consensus picks using the same scoring system.
We told our judges we were looking for the most outstanding candidate and asked them to use their own discretion to weigh factors such as revenue and earnings growth, share price appreciation and gains in market capitalization. Is a stock that gained 100% but moved from $0.15 to $0.30 more worthy than one that gained 75% but added billions in market cap? These are the decisions we left to their discretion as a professional.
After learning of the nominees, you can cast your vote at the bottom of this page. In the TSX and TSX Venture Technology awards voting, the readers of Cantech Letter will count as a single judge.
Here are the three finalists for the Cantech Letter TSX Tech Stock of the Year, listed in alphabetical order.
Amaya Gaming (TSX:AYA)
Amaya Gaming, which took home both awards in the TSX Venture category last year, returns this year for a battle with the big boys. 2013 was the year Amaya became a force in the nascent deregulation of gambling in the United States. In New Jersey, which recently became the third state to legalize online betting, the Quebec-based company has already partnered with six of the twelve casinos there, including Caesars Interactive and Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, which together own 55-60% of the land based revenue in the state.
Back to back? Last year’s winner of Cantech Letter’s Canadian Tech Stock of the Year are looking to become the first repeat winner in the four year history of the award. Clearly, the company’s case is strong. Avigilon put any ideas about the possibility of it losing momentum to rest early in November, when the company announced it had earned $0.23 a share in its third-quarter on revenue of $51.1-million, up 101% over the same period a year prior. The street had been expecting earnings of $0.05 on $40.4-million in revenue.
A year ago, Redknee surprised the street with the bold acquisition of assets from Nokia Siemens Networks. The company proved it had the discipline to handle the massive pickup by eliminating low margin sales, getting the interest of existing Nokia Siemens Networks customers and continuing to navigate the general surge of interest in its own cloud-based billing solutions.