Michael Sprung on BNN’s Market Call Tonight, April 28, 2015

Market Call Tonight – each weekday evening, Mark Bunting hosts top fund managers and market analysts – professionals who manage retail and institutional investment assets.

Market Call -Top Picks Michael Sprung Manulife Financial AGT Food Ingredients New Flyer Industries

Market Call – Top Picks from Michael Sprung: Manulife Financial, AGT Food and Ingredients, and New Flyer Industries

Market Call Outlook:

Global stock markets continue to advance despite investors’ concerns with respect to geopolitical turmoil in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  Since the financial crisis in 2008, total global debt has increased by over 40%, or $57 trillion.  This massive increase in debt has been a consequence of the low interest rate environment and various programs of quantitative easing by a number of central banks.  In Canada, consumer debt levels have been highlighted as a concern by government officials and the fallout of lower energy prices continues to reverberate through the economy.  Advancing markets have resulted in higher valuation levels.  Investors should be cautious in this environment but be prepared to take advantage of any pullbacks in the market.

Market Call Top Picks:

Manulife Financial Corp. (TSE:MFC, Mkt cap 43.48B, P/E 12.30, Div/yield 0.16/2.81, EPS 1.79, Shares 1.97B) Owned personally and by clients, Last Purchase: Dec 24 2014 $22.18

Manulife is a leading Canadian-based financial services group with operations in Asia, Canada and the United States.  Over the past five years, the company has made tremendous strides in de-risking the balance sheet and improving profitability through increasing wealth management operations as well as redirecting the mix of products sold.  The insurance companies will be amongst the beneficiaries should interest rates start to rise.  MFC has one of the strongest capital bases in the industry.  Going forward, we anticipate that core earnings growth will continue to stem from the Asian operations as well as from initiatives in the US and Canada.  With its strong capital base and improving profitability, dividend increases are likely within the next few quarters.  Manulife will be reporting earnings on May 7.

Read all of our reports on Manulife here>>

AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (TSE:AGT, Mkt cap 598.21M, P/E 26.20, Div/yield 0.15/2.31, EPS 0.99, Shares 23.07M) Last Purchase Dec 18 2014 $26.50

AGT is a leader in pulse processing for export and domestic markets.  The company has had notable success in diversifying into food ingredients, an area that is facing increasing global demand.  2016 has been declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of the Pulse.  This designation will serve to highlight the opportunities for AGT as demand for pulse ingredients expands.

Read all of our reports on AGT Food and Ingredients here>>

New Flyer Industries Inc (TSE:NFI, Mkt cap 784.31M, P/E 24.95, Div/yield -/4.20, EPS 0.56, Shares 55.51M) Owned by clients, Last Purchase: Dec 18 2014 $12.80

New Flyer Industries manufactures and assembles transit buses in Canada and the US as well as providing after market services.  The company has been a consolidator in North America and is well positioned to participate in fleet renewals.  Pricing has been improving and the Company’s backlog has been expanding.  New Flyer will be a beneficiary of the improving economy in the US and the strong US dollar as about 80% of their revenues stem from the US

Read all of our reports on New Flyer here>>

See Top Picks from Michael Sprung: Manulife Financial, AGT Food and Ingredients, and New Flyer Industries on the Market Call Tonight page.

Market Call Top Pick Sales:

Agrium Inc. (TSE:AGU, Mkt cap 17.97B, P/E 18.77, Div/yield 0.98/3.12, EPS 6.71, Shares 143.74M) We scaled back holdings in a number of accounts where weight had become larger than desired due to recent price appreciation.  Still owned in many accounts.Sold at $143.12 on February 24, 2015. View previous reports here>>

What is Successful Investing? Learn more here>>

Download Our Free Special Report – How to Hunt For Value Stocks. Michael Sprung will share with you 5 stocks set for long-term gains here>>

We believe successful investors must challenge the market consensus by maintaining an independent point of view.

Like to learn more? Please contact us here>>

The opinions expressed here are ours alone. They are provided for information purposes only and are not tailored to the needs of any particular individual or company, are not an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any entity or security, and do not constitute investment advice. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a qualified investment advisor before making any investment decision.

 

Stockwatch – Alliance Grain Traders Now Known As AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.

Stockwatch – Alliance Grain Traders Inc. will now trade under the name AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (TSE:AGT, Mkt cap 565.57M, P/E 30.95, Div/yield 0.15/2.14, EPS 0.90, Shares 20.20M) the Regina-based pulse crop processing and marketing company has announced.

The company said the name change better reflects its business focus and strategy to its shareholders, customers and stakeholders.

Stockwatch Alliance Grain Traders Inc AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.

Stockwatch – Alliance Grain Traders Inc. will now trade under the name AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.

Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of AGT, said the move is a “significant event” for the company, which is headed in the direction of food ingredients and retail packaged foods. Al-Katib added that the shift in focus complements AGT’s “legacy business in pulses and staple foods processing, exporting and merchandising.”

The company’s new Minot facility and partnerships with Ingredion and Cargill meant that AGT felt its previous name no longer truly represented the company’s commercial capacity, as it strives to move up the value chain from being a commodity processor and exporter to a food ingredient producer and supplier.

Al-Katib added that the re-branding initiative will help AGT ensure that its customers all over the world will “recognise AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. is a processor of value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredients for export and domestic markets, as well as a supplier of retail packaged and canned foods to retail and food service sectors.”

AGT produces a full range of pulses and specialty crops, including lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and canary seed, as well as food ingredients, such as pulse flours, proteins, starches and fibres. Through its subsidiaries in Turkey, the Arbel Group, AGT also produces staple foods, such as Arbella Pasta, rice and milled wheat products, including bulgur and semolina.

Stockwatch – AGT Food and Ingredients’ net income grew year over year last quarter from a loss of $0.15 per share to a gain of $0.64.

Download Our Free Special Report – How to Hunt For Value Stocks. Michael Sprung will share with you 5 stocks set for long-term gains.

Is Your Stock Broker Acting in Your Best Interest? Read more here>>

Exchange Traded Funds Expose Investors to Unexpected Risks. Read more here>>

Investment Management – Risk vs. Return. Read more here>>

We believe that successful investors focus on the quality of the assets they buy. Speculators focus on guessing the future prices. Like to learn more? Please contact us here>>

The opinions expressed here are ours alone. They are provided for information purposes only and are not tailored to the needs of any particular individual or company, are not an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any entity or security, and do not constitute investment advice. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a qualified investment advisor before making any investment decision.

Stockwatch – Alliance Grain Traders 2014 Has Pulse – Q2 Earnings Almost Double Year-On-Year

Stockwatch – The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of pulse processor and exporter Alliance Grain Traders Inc (TSE:AGT, Mkt cap 518.31M, P/E 28.36, Div/yield 0.15/2.34, EPS 0.90, Shares 20.20M) during the second quarter of 2014 amounted to $24.4 million, the company announced in its financial results report for the period that ended 30 June. This is almost double compared to the $13.9 million reported in the same period a year ago.

Stockwatch Alliance Grain Traders Saskcan Pulse Trading Main Plant

Stockwatch – Alliance Grain Traders’ Saskcan pulse trading plant

Adjusted earnings per share saw an increase as well — to $0.44 ($0.43 fully diluted) for 2014’s second quarter, compared to $0.25 ($0.24 fully diluted) for the second quarter of the previous year.

The company’s net debt stood at $335.7 million as of 30 June 2014 — an improvement from the $369.4 million at 31 March 2014. Notably, cash flow from operating activities increased by $66.8 million.

In the announcement, Huseyin Arslan, Executive Chairman of AGT’s Board of Directors, said second quarter had been positive for AGT and all the operations the company’s engaged in.

Arslan added that the company’s facilities and assets, coupled with its strategy and global sales reach are starting to generate positive results for shareholder value. He believes the plans the company entertains for growth and expansion will help it reach new heights. The normalising trends, visible in the second quarter, are an optimistic sign.

AGT President and CEO Murad Al-Katib pointed to AGT’s pulses and grains segment, saying that it continues to generate strong results for the company, allowing it to make future growth and expansion plans. He also noted that customer demand for AGT’s products shows no signs of abating and that the North American harvest season will ensure serious production volumes.

Stockwatch – AGT is a leading exporter of split and value-added lentils, peas and pulses to the global food and ingredients markets. With processing plants in Canada, the United States, Australia and Turkey the Company is well positioned to serve the growing demand for these crops.

Download Our Free Special Report – How to Hunt For Value Stocks. Michael Sprung will share with you 5 stocks set for long-term gains.

Is Your Stock Broker Acting in Your Best Interest? Read more here>>

Exchange Traded Funds Expose Investors to Unexpected Risks. Read more here>>

Investment Management – Risk vs. Return. Read more here>>

We believe successful investors must challenge the market consensus by maintaining an independent point of view. Like to learn more? Please contact us here>>

The opinions expressed here are ours alone. They are provided for information purposes only and are not tailored to the needs of any particular individual or company, are not an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any entity or security, and do not constitute investment advice. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a qualified investment advisor before making any investment decision.

BNN Top Stock Picks and Market Outlook : Market Call, October 23, 2013

BNN Top Stock Picks and Market Outlook : Market Call, October 23, 2013

There is good reason to be more optimistic: business conditions in the US are improving as profits expand and corporate balance sheets are stronger, conditions in Europe appear to be stabilizing as the Euro economy posted positive growth after six quarters of decline, Japan’s economy has been expanding and the economy in China shows signs of stabilizing at a growth rate around 7-7.5%.  The end of the political logjam in the US has also contributed to a reprieve in investors’ concerns.  The markets have advanced to the point where all the good news appears to be priced in while the longer term headwinds have been ignored.  This could set the stage for some pull backs in the market as these underlying issues surface.

Manulife Financial Corp. (TSE:MFC)

Market cap 3.25B, P/E 22.17, Dividend/yield 0.13/2.88, EPS 0.81, Shares outstanding 1.84B. Owned by clients and personally, Last Purchase June 15, 2012, $10.84. Company website: http://www.manulife.com/

Manulife Financial Corporation is a financial services group with operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. The Company’s international network agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to clients. The company  also provides asset management services to institutional customers. In October 2012, its United States unit, John Hancock, acquired two new real estate assets in Irvine, California and in Princeton, New Jersey. In October 2012, the Company purchased Benesure Canada Inc. In August 2013, John Hancock, the United States division of the Company, announced that it has acquired Landmark Square in Long Beach, California.

Manulife is Canada’s leading provider of insurance and wealth management products in Canada.  Over the past few years, management has made extensive strides in limiting the company’s exposure to adverse events.  The recent economic environment will result in increasing profitability and visibility.

Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSE:CVE)

Market cap 23.19B, P/E 38.62, Dividend/yield 0.24/3.16, EPS 0.79, Shares outstanding 755.84M, Owned by clients, Last Purchase September 20, 2013, $30.48. Company website: http://www.cenovus.com

Cenovus is Canadian integrated oil company, whose operations include oil sands projects in northern Alberta, which use specialized methods to drill and pump the oil to the surface. It also has natural gas and oil production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The company has four segments: oil sands, conventional, refining and marketing, and corporate and eliminations. It has a 50% ownership with Phillips 66 in two United States refineries, which includes Wood River (Illinois) and Borger (Texas) refineries. It has two producing steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) projects–Foster Creek and Christina Lake, as well as several emerging projects which are in various stages of development. Foster Creek and Christina Lake are 50%-owned by ConocoPhillips. It also produces heavy oil from the mobile Wabiskaw formation at its 100%-owned Pelican Lake operation in the Greater Pelican Region, about 300 kilometers north of Edmonton.

Cenovus is an integrated oil and gas company focused on the development of bitumen assets in Alberta Production should ramp up strongly over the next few years resulting in increasing earnings, cash flow and potential dividend increases.

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (TSE:AGT)

Market cap 321.62M, P/E  – , Dividend/yield 0.15/3.71, EPS   -0.18, Shares outstanding 19.87M, Owned by clients and personally, Last Purchase December 21, 2012, $11.43, Company website: http://www.alliancegrain.com

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. President & CEO Murad Al-Katib

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. President & CEO Murad Al-Katib is at the forefront of Canada’s swift rise to become the world’s largest producer and exporter of pulse crops: lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas.

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. is engaged in the business of sourcing and processing specialty crops, primarily for export markets. Through its two segments, AGT handles a range of pulses and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and canary seed, flax and other specialty seeds. The Company’s operating segments are pulses and grains processing, and supply chain management and distribution. The pulses and grains processing includes the operations of AGT factories across its global platform. The segment’s business includes sourcing pulses and grains from producers, processing them through its factories and selling these products to its network of clients.

AGT is the worldwide leader in pulse processing. The company is on the road to achieving a multi-origin, multi-product, multi-market platform.  Rising lentil exports and the expanding Food Ingredients business should continue to contribute to advances in profitability.

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See Michael discuss these stocks with Mark Bunting on BNN Market Call here>>

Top Stock Picks

Top Stock Picks

Michael Sprung‘s top stock picks for October 2012.

Talisman (TLM-T): Last Purchase June 28, 2012 $10.92 Owned by clients
Talisman offers compelling value. Under the direction of a new CEO, the company will focus more on operations, cash flow and free cash flow and the growing international exploration opportunities. Management is clearly incented to create better value recognition.

talisman energy TLM

Alliance Grain Traders (AGT-T): Last Purchase June 29, 2012 Price $12.68 Owned by clients and personally
Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (Alliance Grain) is a leading exporter of split and value-added lentils, peas and pulses to the global food and ingredients markets. With processing plants in Canada, the United States, Australia and Turkey the Company is well positioned to serve the growing demand for these crops.

CAE Inc. (CAE-T): Last Purchase June 18, 2012, Price $9.93, Owned by clients and personally. CAE continues to be awarded civil and military training contracts. Concerns about possible headwinds in the military have overshadowed the positive prospects in civil aviation. Healthcare, although small, is showing early signs of attracting business.