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Christian Godin

Portfolio Manager’s September Comment for August Results

The S&P/TSX Total Return Index expanded by 1.6% in August, the S&P 500 grew a robust 3.0% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 1.9%. At August’s end, the 12-month S&P/TSX Total Return Index was 28.2% behind the S&P500 gain of 31.2% and lower than the MSCI ACWI ex. USA which rose by 25.4%.

In August, the NQICAT increased by 3.0% while it climbed by 30.5% on an annualized basis.

The best TSX sectors for the month of August were Information Technology up 8.9%, followed by Industrials up 3.4%, and Telecommunication services up 3.0%.

At the opposite, the worst performing sectors were Materials down 3.0%, Energy down 1.5% and Consumer Discretionary down 1.4%.

The best performers in August were goeasy up 14.5%, Canfor up 12.4% and Canadian National Railway up 9.5%.

On the other hand, the weakest contributors were Kirkland Lake Gold down 5.7%, Stella-Jones down 4.7% and Dollarama down 2.0%.

Portfolio Manager’s August Comment for July Results

In July, the S&P/TSX increased by 0.8% and the S&P500 rose by 2.4% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA lost 1.6%. At the end of the 12-month period ending July 31st, the S&P/TSX grew by 29.1%, the S&P500 gained 36.4% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA posted a return of 28.8%.

In July, NQICAT increased by 3.8% while it climbed 29.1% on an annual basis.

The best TSX sectors for the month of July were Consumer Staples up 6.3%, followed by Information Technology up 3.0% and Materials up 3.0%. The worst performing sectors were Health Care down 11.6%, Energy down 11.3% and Consumer Discretionary down 0.9%.

The best monthly performers in NQICAT were Transforce up 23.7%, Winpak up 13.3% and Equitable Group up 12.8%. At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Canfor down 15.1%, First National down 5.9% and TD down 3.6%.

2 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in July.

The strategy required an exposure reduction to the Telecommunication sector. Quebecor (QBR.B) had the lowest SP score therefore we sold it. We sold Evertz Technologies (ET) due to its low SP score.

The model required an increased exposure to 1 Consumer Staples The North West Company (NWC) made it into the strategy. We replaced Evertz by GDI Integrated Facility Services Inc.

Portfolio Manager’s July Comment For Q2 2021

The performance of the equity market continued its upward trend following the beginning of the vaccination campaign and in anticipation of the complete reopening of the economy.

In Q2, The S&P/TSX Total Return Index rose by 8.5%, the S&P 500 expanded by 8.5% as well while the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 5.5%.

In Q2, NQICA returned 4.3% leading to a 1-year return of 34.4% versus the S&P/TSX composite which returned 33.9% on an annualized basis.

In Canada, the best Q2 sectors were Energy up 20%, Information Technology up 15.8% and Telecommunication up 9.3%. The worst sectors were Health Care down 12.0%, Utilities up 0.5%, and Industrials up 0.8%.

In Q2, the best performers of NQICA were goeasy (GSY), TFI International (TFII),  and Power Corporation of Canada (POW) up 26.8%, 20.4% and 18.6% respectively.

On the other hand, the worst performers were Winpak (WPK), Stella-Jones (SJ) and Canadian National Railway (CNR) down 14.1%, 11.7% and 9.9% respectively.

Portfolio Manager’s June Comment for May Results

The S&P/TSX Total Return Index expanded by 3.4% in May, the S&P 500 grew a meager 0.7% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 3.2%. At May’s end, the 12-month S&P/TSX Total Return Index was 33.8% behind the S&P500 gain of 40.3% and lower than the MSCI ACWI ex. USA which rose by 43.4%.

In May, the NQICAT increased by 1.9% while it climbed by 34.2% on an annualized basis.

The best TSX sector for the month of May was Energy up 10%, followed by Materials up 8%, and Consumer Staples up 4.4%. At the opposite, the worst performing sectors were Health Care down 3.4%, Consumer Discretionary down 1.1% and Info Tech down 1%.

The best performers in May were Kirkland Lake Gold up 13.6%, Power Corporation of Canada up 9.9% and TransForce up 7.8%.

On the other hand, the weakest contributors were Stella-Jones down 9.9%, Dollarama down 8.3% and Winpak down 5.7%.

Portfolio Manager’s May Comment for April Results

In April, the S&P/TSX increased by 2.4% and the S&P500 rose by 5.3% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA gained 2.8%. At the end of the 12-month period ending April 30th, the S&P/TSX grew by 33.3%, the S&P500 gained 46% while the MSCI ACWI ex USA posted a return of 43.6%.

NQICAT increased by 2.4% while it climbed 37% on an annual basis.

Quaterly results published in April were in line to better than expected for the majority of companies.

The best TSX sectors for the month of April were Materials up 5.4%, followed by Consumer Discretionnary up 5.1% and Telecommunication Services up 3.4%. The worst performing sectors were Health Care down 9.9%, Industrials down 1.1% and Utilities down 0.6%.

The best monthly performers in NQICAT were Canfor up 17.9%, goeasy up 16.2% and Transforce up 14.6%. At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Canadian National Railway down 9.3%, Winpak down 5.2% and OTEX down 3.4%

3 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in April. The strategy required an exposure reduction to 3 sectors, namely Consumer Staples, Consumer Discretionary and Energy. Empire Company (EMP.A) had the lowest SP score of our Consumer Staples therefore we sold it. We sold Thomson Reuters (TRI) due to its low SP score. Parkland (PKI) was sold since it was the only Energy stock in the portfolio and futhermore its EPI was below 1.

The model required an increased exposure to 1 Materials and 2 Financials. The names that made it into those sectors were Canfor (CFP), Power Corporation of Canada (POW) and goeasy (GSY).

Portfolio Manager’s April Comment For Q1 2021

The performance of equity markets continued its upward trend following the beginning of the vaccination campaign and the anticipation of the complete reopening of the economy.

In Q1, The S&P/TSX Total Return Index rose by 8.1%, the S&P 500 expanded by 6.2% while the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 3.8%.

In Q1, NQICA returned 9.4% leading to a 1-year return of 48.5% versus the S&P/TSX composite which returned 44.2% on an annualized basis.

In Canada, the best Q1 sectors were Health Care up 38.1%, Energy up 28.2% and Financials up 12.7%. The worst sectors were Materials down 7.3%, Info-Tech up 1.0%, and Utilities up 2.4%.

In Q1, the best performers in NQICA were TFI International (TFII), Richelieu Hardware (RCH) and Equitable Group (EQB) up 44.2%, 25.4% and 25.3% respectively.  On the other hand, the worst performers were Kirkland Lake Gold (KL), Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B) and Parkland Corp. (PKI) down 18.9%, 6.6% and 5.8% respectively.

Portfolio Manager’s March Comment for February Results

The S&P/TSX Total Return Index expanded by 4.4% in February and the S&P 500 grew by 2.8% while the MSCI ACWI ex. USA increased by 2.0%. At February end, the 12-month S&P/TSX Total Return Index rose 14.7% behind the S&P500 gain of 31.3% and higher than the MSCI ACWI ex. USA who nevertheless rose by 26.7%. The markets grew on the back of strong company results.

In February, NQICAT increased by 3% while it climbed by 12.9% on an annual basis.

The best TSX sector for the month of February was Energy up 22.4%, followed by Consumer Discretionary up 8.7%, and Financials up 6.7%. At the opposite, the worst performing sectors were Utilities down 5.7%, Material down 4.5% and Consumer Staples down 0.9%.

The best performers in February were Equitable Group up 31.1%, CCL Industries up 14.2% and National Bank up 12.5% due to impressive results.

On the other hand, the weakest contributors were Kirkland Lake Gold down 15.3% as gold prices fell 6.1% during the month. Hydro one was down 8.8% due to rising long-term interest rate and Metro was down 4.3% as investors continue to focus on cyclical stocks and expect lower revenue growth.

Portfolio Manager’s February Comment for January Results

The S&P/TSX posted a negative return for the month of January. The outcome took place in an environment where volatility peaked as GameStop (GME) rose rapidly at the end of the month. The S&P/TSX fell mostly at the end of the month, investors were potentially chilled by the speculation.

Last month, The S&P/TSX declined 0.3% while the S&P500 was down 1% and the MSCI ACWI ex USA increased by 0.2%. On an annual basis, the S&P/TSX was up 3.5%, the S&P500 soared 17.2% while the MSCI ex USA rose 14.4%.

The best TSX sector for January was Health Care up 34.8% followed by Utilities up by 2.6% and Information Technology up 1.5%. The worst sectors for the month were Consumer Staples down 4.2%, Materials down 3.5% and Consumer Discretionary down 2.6%.

The NQICAT was up 0.2% in January. On an annual basis, the NQICAT was up 0.7% while the S&P/TSX was up 3.5%.

The NQICAT’s best performers were Transforce (TFII), Richelieu Hardware (RCH) and Telus (T). TFII was up 30.1% due to a favorable reaction from the acquisition of UPS operations. RCH increased by 13.4% due to an excellent quarterly report. T was up 5.9% in the anticipation of the Telus international spin out (TIXT).

The worst performers in the NQICAT were Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B) and Canadian National Railway (CNR). ATD.B dropped 10.1% based on the acquisition of Carrefour which was negatively perceived by investors. CNR fell 7.4% due to a weak outlook given by the management.

2 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in January. We sold Great-West Lifeco (GWO) because the model recommended a shift from the financial sector to the material sector. It had one of the lowest scores of our financials. GWO has been replaced by CCL Industries (CCL.B) as the company had the highest SP score in the material sector.

We sold Fortis (FTS) because its score had decreased and other players with higher scores were available in the same sector. We replaced it with Hydro One (H) which had the highest score in the utilities sector.

 

Portfolio Manager’s January Comment For Q4 2020 Results

Global equities ended the year on a strong finish. The S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index increased by 9% in Q4 for a total annual return of 5.6%. During Q4, the S&P500 produced a 12.1% return for an annual total return of 18.4% while the MSCI ACWI ex US posted a 17.1% return leading to an annual return of 11.1%.

There was a number of drivers behind this strong finish. Firstly, most company’s results were inline or better than expected. Secondly, central banks have maintained a dovish tone. Finally, the arrival of highly potent anti-COVID vaccines.

In Canada, the best Q4 sectors were Health care up 29.9% and Consumer discretionary up 20.4%. The worst sectors were Consumer Staples down 6.0% and Materials down 4%.

For the year, Info-Tech and Utilities were the top performers up 80.3%% and 19.5% respectively while Energy and Health Care were the weakest down 30.8% and 23.6%

NQICA in Q4 returned 7.3% leading to an annual total return of 2% versus the S&P/TSX TR composite return of 9% in Q4 and 5.6% for the year.

The best performers in NQICA were First National up 8.9%, Equitable Group up 6.6% and Stella-Jones up 4.8% on the back of excellent Q3 results.
On the other hand, the worst performers in Q4 were Richelieu Hardware down 12.6% and Metro down 4.8% on profit taking.

Portfolio Manager’s November Comment for October Results

In October, the S&P/TSX declined by 3.1% the S&P500 decreased by 2.7% and the MSCI ACWI ex USA lost 2.1%. For the 12-month period ending October 30th, the S&P/TSX posted a negative return of 2.3%. Over the same period, the S&P500 surged 9.7% while the MSCI declined 2.2%.

The NQICAT recorded a net loss of 1.3% in October and a 12-month negative return of 3.1%.

The best TSX sectors for the month of October were Health Care up 7.3%, Consumer Dicretionary down 0.3%, and Utilities down 1.3%. The worst performing sectors were Information Technology down 8.7%, Consumer Staples down 7.5% and Energy down 4.7%.

The best monthly performers in the portfolio were First National up 16.1% and Equitable Group up 13.3%. At the opposite, the weakest contributors were Open Text Corporation, which was down 13.0% and Alimentation Couche-Tard down 11.5%.

2 stocks were sold and bought in the strategy in October. For this rebalancing, the model required an higher exposure to the Materials and Telecommunications sector.

The economic profile of two holdings (Magna international Inc and Sun Life Financial) have felt under the minimum threshold in the course of the quarter and needed to be sold.

The 2 purchases were Quebecor Inc. (QBR.B) and Stella-Jones (SJ). Both stocks had the highest EVA score in their respective sectors.