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>>

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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.


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