Monthly Archives

December 2020

StockPointer® US Model Portfolio Transactions – December 2020

We have rebalanced the Stockpointer® US which is effective now. Here are the details:


  1. Amgen (AMGN) – Market Trend. Increase in the Health Care sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, increasing our position in the portfolio.
  2. Humana (HUM) – Intra-sectoral transaction. In the top of its sector.
  3. CDK Global (CDK) – Intra-sectoral transaction. In the top of its sector.
  4. Weight Watchers (WW) – Intra-sectoral transaction in replacement of DNKN. In the top of its sector.


  1. AT&T (T) – Market trend. Decrease in the telecommunication sector as seen in the Top 100 index, therefore, decreasing our position in the portfolio.
  2. American Express (AXP) – Intra-sectoral transaction. No longer in the top of its sector.
  3. TransDigm Group (TDG)Intra-sectoral transaction. No longer in the top of its sector.
  4. Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) – The company has been bought by Inspire Brands in a cash deal.

Canadian ETFs: November’s Launches and Terminations

The Canadian ETF industry reached $249 billion in assets under management at the end of November compared to $200 billion one year ago for an annual growth rate of 24.5%. The number of ETFs continued to grow as our Canadian ETF database has surpassed the 1000 mark including all classes. This number includes more than 800 unique ETFs.

It is TD’s turn to launch new ESG ETFs. The geographic location is standard: Canada (TMEC-T), U.S. (TMEU-T) and international (TMEI-T). TD is not here to play around with management fees of 0.10%, 0.15% and 0.20% for the respective ETFs. They are one of the most competitive ETFs in terms of fees in the ESG space in Canada. As the ESG AUM continues to grow, we expect fees to decline as operational costs reduce as a percentage of AUM.

Ninepoint joined the group as an ETF provider in Canada, although it is not new to the asset management industry. It will offer some of their funds as an ETF series. Investors have access to a new ETF that works like a saving account (NSAV-NE), a precious metals ETF focusing on gold (GLDE-NE), a mining sector ETF focusing on silver (SLVE-NE), and a different way to invest in corporate bonds with Ninepoint Diversified Bond Fund (NBND-T).

Manulife has launched 3 fixed income ETFs that should cover the basic needs for investors. Manulife Smart Short-Term Bond ETF (TERM-T) invests in short-term securities in Canadian corporations based on its current holdings. The low maturity is perfect for short-term objectives while providing higher yield than a government bond ETF. Manulife Smart Core Bond ETF (BSKT-T) is a standard Canadian bond universe that every investor should own. It is mostly investment grade, but the manager has the possibility to invest in higher yielding securities. Manulife Smart Corporate Bond ETF (CBND-T) gives exposure to the Canadian corporate bond universe and is diversified across sectors. Manulife has also launched one Canadian (CDIV-T) and one U.S. (UDIV-T) ETF focusing on high paying and sustainable dividend stocks.

Portfolio Manager’s December Comment for November Results

Equity markets had a strong positive monthly performance in November. In Canada the performance was particularly strong among Energy and Health Care (cannabis) stocks. In the U.S., the performance was notoriously strong among Energy and Financials stocks. Two of the key drivers behind the performance of this rally were the sucessful results achieved by Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials for their Covid vaccine.

In November, the S&P/TSX rose by 10.6%, the S&P 500 increased by 10.9% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 13.5%. At November end and over a 12-month period, the S&P/TSX returned 4.3% behind the S&P 500 gain of 17.5% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 10%.

NQICAT advanced by 7.6% in November and posted a 12-month return of -1.1%.

The best S&P/TSX sectors for the month were Health Care up 35% followed by Energy up 18.6% and Consumer Discretionary up 16.3%. The worst performing sectors were Materials down 4.8%, Consumer Staples up 2.6% and Utilities up 5.4%.

NQICAT’s best performers in November were Parkland up 22.2% and TD up 19.7%. On the opposite, the weakest contributors were Kirkland Lake Gold down 8.5% and Metro down 3.6% mainly because of sector rotation out of defensive/Covid related stocks.


Nine Companies Creating Shareholder Wealth

What are we looking for?

Companies showing momentum in their fundamentals as well as low volatility.

We mix two well-known metrics in the financial world to create our screener. We want a positive change in the economic value-added (EVA) figure, which tends to coincide with a positive stock return. We also use beta to find low-volatility stocks that should produce, on average, a better risk-adjusted return.

The Screen (available here on the Inovestor’s platform)
We screened Canadian companies, focusing on the following criteria:

  • A market capitalization higher than $1-billion;
  • A positive three-month change in the EVA metric between 5 per cent and 75 per cent – the EVA gives us a sense of how much value the stock is adding for shareholders and is calculated by taking the net operating profit after tax and subtracting the cost of capital;
  • A 24-month change in the EVA metric between 15 per cent and 200 per cent – we want a positive change in EVA in the medium-term;
  • A one-year return on capital higher than 7 per cent – we want a company with decent profitability;
  • Sales growth over 24 months higher than 4 per cent. Sales growth provides the opportunity to a company to expand and generate higher EVA in the long-term;
  • A beta lower than one – this gives us an idea of how closely the company mimics the market’s fluctuations. A beta of less than one would indicate the stock is less volatile than the market at large. This is our low-volatility factor.

The stocks are ranked by five-year mean return on capital. For informational purposes, we have included recent stock price, dividend yield and one-year return. Please note that some ratios may be reported at end-of-previous quarter.

More about Inovestor

Inovestor for Advisors is a fundamental-analysis research platform specializing in the economic value-added (EVA) approach. With Inovestor, advisers can quickly identify attractive investment opportunities, outsource their stock picking by using model portfolios and easily communicate investment decisions with clients through client-friendly reports. In addition, Inovestor allows users to create personalized filters, build custom portfolios and carry out in-depth analysis on more than 13,000 companies (Canadian and U.S. stocks and American depositary receipts).

ENGH-T Enghouse Systems Limited 66.56 3680 85.4 13.2 44.2 0.89 23.6 23.4 60.7 0.8
RCH-T Richelieu Hardware Ltd 37.27 2105 51.4 69.0 7.8 0.76 18.1 16.9 40.0 0.7
TIH-T Toromont Industries Ltd. 90.21 7425 20.5 10.0 4.5 0.81 13.4 16.1 31.5 1.4
CP-T Canadian Pacific Railway Lim 421.8 56732 39.8 7.8 10.6 0.86 16.3 14.7 34.6 0.9
JWEL-T Jamieson Wellness, Inc. 35.53 1416 160.7 18.4 22.9 0.30 16.1 11.4 37.3 1.4
IFC-T Intact Financial Corporation 143.7 20552 49.3 34.4 16.1 0.81 11.4 10.3 5.6 2.3
L-T Loblaw Companies Limited 64.30 22860 34.2 74.1 9.1 0.03 7.5 8.4 -10.5 2.1
NPI-T Northland Power Inc. 46.31 9389 77.7 16.9 27.8 0.87 9.1 6.2 67.6 2.6
FNV-T Franco-nevada Corporation 169.45 32336 64.1 17.0 51.6 0.36 7.6 4.8 32.6 0.7

What we found

Software and services company Enghouse Systems Ltd. posted impressive financial results over the 24-month period in terms of sales and EVA change. The company has the highest return on capital over the past year as well as over the past five-year period. The share price rose 50 per cent in the first half of 2020, but has since given back some of this gain. It has declined by about 15 per cent since its record high of $80 on Sept. 2. With this pullback, the current price could offer an opportunistic entry point.

Hardware distribution company Richelieu Hardware Ltd. posted a massive uptick in its three-month EVA change. Moreover its short-term ROC is higher than its five-year average, another signal of momentum.

Toromont Industries Ltd., a construction equipment and power systems specialist, might seem less dynamic than the first two ideas at first glance, if comparing its one-year return on capital to its five-year corresponding figure. We think this is perfectly normal for a cyclical company at this time of the economic cycle. The market anticipates the changing cycle as the stock is up more than 25 per cent year-to-date regardless of lower revenues and earnings per share (not shown). The company has the third-highest long-term ROC and we anticipate the lower one-year ROC figure will converge rapidly to its long-term profitability.

Investors are advised to do further research before investing in any of the companies listed in the accompanying table.