BNN Bloomberg Market Call – Michael Sprung’s Top Picks and Outlook

Outlook:

market call, michael sprung, top picks

MARKET CALL: Michael Sprung’s Top Picks: May 30, 2018

Since the end of the first quarter, North American markets have trended up as the US economy has continued to exhibit positive momentum and the Canadian market has reflected strength in commodities, particularly energy related commodities until most recently. Volatility in the markets has been the result of continuing concerns regarding inflationary pressures and the potential negative impact that rising interest rates could have on the outlook for sustained economic expansion. Geopolitical tensions have also had an effect on investor confidence. Internationally, the discourse between the US and North Korea has been unsettling as well as some political chaos in Europe. From Canada’s perspective, the unsettled trade negotiations surrounding NAFTA combined with the dysfunctional political environment with respect to the Trans Mountain Pipeline are eroding investor confidence.

We have been of the opinion that valuations have been stretched following ten years of market advances. In this environment, value rather than momentum will become more important in stock selection as investors seek to minimize risk on the downside. Investors should continue to seek well financed, well managed companies that are selling at attractive price levels.

Top Picks:

Sun Life Financial Inc., SLF-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last Purchase February 2016 at $37.20
Sun Life Financial operates in Canada, the US, UK and Asia. Insurance companies will benefit from a rising interest rate environment. SLF has a very strong balance sheet with industry leading excess capital. We anticipate reasonable growth in earnings over the next few years that should result in expanding dividends. The stock currently yields 3.5% and represents good value in the current environment.

Precision Drilling Corp., PD-T, Owned by clients, Last Purchase September 2015 at $5.00
Precision Drilling is Canada’s leading contract drilling company. Over the last few years, PD has upgraded their rigs and offers leading technology with a push into analytical platforms offering greater efficiencies. Pricing in the US has improved. Management is very focused on capital discipline and debt repayment is a prioritsuy.

Hudbay Minerals Inc., HBM-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last purchase September 8, 2017, $9.41
Hudbay’s flagship copper mine Constancia is performing well and expectations are Pampacancha will start contributing in 2019. Growth in the next few years will stem from expanded copper, zinc and precious metal production. Recent updates at Lalor indicate greater gold production possibilities by Q3 2018. Rosemont permitting continues with construction anticipated 2019 to 2021. At current levels, HBM is selling at an attractive discount to its peers.

You can view the complete interview here>>

What is Successful Investing? Learn more here>>

We believe that investment management is about managing risk, not chasing speculative returns. 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.

 

Michael Sprung’s Top Stock Picks on BNN’s Market Call Tonight, December 13, 2017

Michael Sprung’s Outlook

As 2017 comes to a close global stock markets have continued their ascent throughout the fourth quarter of 2017. Many economists pontificate on the synchronized global recovery underway, evident from improving employment levels and some muted signals of inflationary growth. Commodities have been on a roller coaster as perceived demand has spiked up and retreated over the course of the quarter. Wage demands exhibit some signs of accelerating but remain largely tempered by companies shifting to larger expenditures on technology as a means of enhancing productivity. We have yet to see a significant correction in the markets as investors appear to be complacent or unaware of the rising valuation levels and the growing geopolitical tensions in the world.

Michael Sprung Top Picks BNN Market Call

Michael Sprung’s Top Picks BNN Market Call: December 13, 2017

A number of factors could come into play that would precipitate a more meaningful market correction than we have seen in the last ten years. In Canada, concerns remain centered around the NAFTA negotiations. Since the Brexit vote and the start of the Trump presidency, a backlash against global free trade has been growing, causing uncertainty in the business community, thus dampening the appetite for capital investment. Other geopolitical factors are also of concern. North Korea’s nuclear threat and heightened discord with the US has been prominent in the headlines as have tensions in the Middle East, Venezuela, Spain, Russia and the Ukraine. Monetary concerns in Greece,Italy, Spain and Portugal have not gone away.

All of these factors lead us to exercise caution and prudence in our investment stance. Investors have to look hard to find well financed, well managed and reasonably priced companies.

Michael Sprung’s Top Stock Picks

Alaris Royalty, AD-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last Purchase November 7, 2016, $19.84

Alaris Royaly invests in a diversified range of North American private companies with the objective to generate cash flows to support dividends to shareholders. Problems within a number of investee’s over the past year have hindered progress. Many of these concerns have largely been dealt with and now the company is poised to enter a renewed period of growth. Alaris is deploying capital in new partners and has made their largest investment to date in Sales Benchmark Index,LLC of US$85 million. AD is well positioned for modest capital deployment in 2018 that should result in cash flow growth and a lower payout ratio.

Hudbay Minerals Inc., HBM-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last purchase September 8, 2017, $9.41

Hudbay’s flagship copper mine Constancia is performing well and expectations are that zinc production in Manatoba will ramp up in 2018. Longer term the Rosemont copper mine in Arizona offers more growth. Hudbay has been improving the balance sheet paying down debt providing greater liquidity for future investment.

George Weston Limited, WN-T, Owned by clients, Last Purchase September 9, 2016, $74.59

Recent setbacks in frozen foods and the cautionary outlook in the grocery industry have resulted in an opportunity for longer term investors as the shares now trade at attractive valuation levels. We expect the incoming president, Richard Dufresne, will continue to focus on very tight expense control and operational efficiencies in Weston Foods and Loblaws. Weston’s ownership in Loblaws will surpass the 50% level in 2018.

You can view the complete interview here>>

What is Successful Investing? Learn more here>>

We believe that investment management is about managing risk, not chasing speculative returns. 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.

 

Michael Sprung Top Stock Picks Canada on BNN’s Market Call, June 7, 2017

Contrary to the negative views expressed by the media, US investors have continued to embrace the policies of the Trump administration as evidenced by the markets advance. This enthusiasm has been most evident in the larger capitalized companies that would stand to benefit the most from lesser regulation and lower taxes. The Canadian markets have been less robust despite some positive economic indications that the Canadian economy has exhibited some positive growth of late in GDP that has been greater than that of the US. A lot of the Canadian media has caused concerns over the housing situation in Vancouver and Toronto as well as speculating on the uncertainties in renegotiating the NAFTA agreement. The European economies have also exhibited some positive trends despite some political disruptions, as have a number of the Asian economies.

Michael Sprung, Top Picks, Scotiabank, Canadian Natural, Hudbay Minerals

Michael Sprung's Top Picks: Scotiabank, Canadian Natural, Hudbay Minerals

The markets have generally been in an uptrend since the financial crisis ten years ago. Valuations are stretched but positive earnings surprises have kept the trend intact for the time being. It has been a slow, tepid cyclical recovery that is often typical following a financial crisis. A wane in investors' confidence over the Trump administration's ability to deliver its agenda could have a negative impact on current valuations.

Politics and economic cycles are often out of sync. The politics of populism are not as accommodating to the concepts of free trade and globalization that have sown the seeds of the current recovery, yet those very politicians may point to the recovery and take credit where none is due. In fact, they may sow the seeds of the next downturn. However, economic forces tend to prevail over the longer term and investors should be prepared to take advantage of dislocations in the interim.


Top Stock Picks Canada.


Bank of Nova Scotia, BNS-T, Owned personally and by clients. Last purchase Sept. 16, 2016 $69.85

The Bank of Nova Scotia is the most international of the Canadian banks with branches in the Caribbean, Central and South America. In the most recent quarter, record Global Banking and Capital Markets earnings reflected the benefits of management's investments in operational efficiencies and technology over the last few years. BNS has one of the strongest capital bases of the large banks. The stock currently yields 4.0%.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., CNQ-T, Owned by clients, Last   Purchase August 26,2015 $25.54

Canadian Natural resources is one of Canada's leading senior producers of oil and gas. CNQ is one of the best managed and best capitalized companies in the energy sector. As such, CNQ has weathered the seismic swings in energy prices and has been in a position to take advantage of opportunities. The recent purchase of a large working interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project will decrease the overall production decline rate and add to earnings. The dividend yield is 2.8%.

HudBay Minerals Inc., HBM-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last purchase April 7, 2016 $4.24

HudBay Minerals is one of Canada's leading producers of zinc, copper and precious metals with operations in Canada, Peru and the US. Constancia has made progress addressing some equipment issues. The expected ramp up of base metal production at Lalor with a mine plan for the gold zone resources and permitting later in the year for Rosemont will provide positive catalysts going forward.

You can view this and Michael's past appearences on Market Call 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 that clients gain from our focus on the long-term fundamentals and not chasing short-term trends. 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.  

Market Outlook & Top Picks – BNN Market Call Tonight, Feb. 4, 2016

BNN Market Call Tonight – Market Outlook

Investors’ concerns came to the forefront during the first month of 2016 as many of the global stock markets posted negative returns. Fears of slowing economic activity precipitated much of this sell-off as indications of weaker conditions in China and more countries adopting negative interest rate policies (notably Japan), less than anticipated economic indications from the US and a technical recession in Canada appeared to corroborate this negative sentiment.

In this environment, industries are transitioning as many companies face economic hardship. Within the energy and metals markets, producers have cut back capital expenditures, reduced expenses and lowered or eliminated dividends to a significant degree. Consolidation is beginning to occur within these industries along with increasing asset dispositions at distressed prices. Fiscal realities will eventually cause Saudi Arabia and other large oil producing nations to come to terms with continuing to feed oversupply while running massive budgetary deficits. These actions will serve to re-balance supply/demand factors along with the reduced supply stemming from the lower level of capital expenditures.

As we enter the next reporting period, the effects of the strong US dollar will be reflected in the profitability of US companies doing business abroad. Margins will also come under pressure as wage demands increase while low inflation undermines the ability to increase prices, especially with growing substitution from countries with weaker currencies. Business leaders will be prompted to devote more capital to research and development to regain longer-term competitive advantage.

In Canada, the effects of the downturn in the energy and mining sectors are still reverberating throughout the economy. We have seen a pull back in the prices of securities in the financial, consumer discretionary and other sectors that could be further impacted by the fallout. Some relief was evident from the neutral stance of the energy royalty review announced by the Alberta government in the face of current conditions. We can only hope that the federal and other provincial governments will exercise similar restraint. At the federal level, we enter this period in a strong fiscal position.Canadian industry should derive some benefit from the weak Canadian dollar to the extent that they export products and services.

During this time of transformation, investors have the opportunity to reposition their portfolios and invest in those companies with the financial and managerial wherewithal to take advantage of current conditions and prosper.

Michael Sprung BNN Market Call Interview Market Outlook Top Picks

Michael Sprung BNN Market Call Interview: Market Outlook and Top Picks

BNN Market Call Tonight – Top Picks:

Bank of Nova Scotia, BNS-T, Owned personally and by clients, Last Purchase December 23, 2015 $57.16

The Bank of Nova Scotia is the most international of the Canadian banks with branches in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The Canadian banks have been impacted by the recent volatility in the markets. BNS is now selling at levels that long term investors should find attractive as the premium valuation has fallen. The dividend yield is now greater than 5%

ARC Resources Ltd, ARX-T, Owned by clients, Last Purchase December 17, 2015 $15.95

ARC Resources Ltd. is a Canada-based oil and gas company. The company’’s business activities include the exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids in five core areas across western Canada. The Company is also engaged in the Sunrise gas plant construction. Its operations are focused in five core areas across western Canada. ARC Resources has a strong balance sheet. The shares currently yield 6.6%.

HudBay Minerals Inc., HBM-T, Owned Personally and by Clients, Last Purchase December 23 2015 $5.71

HudBay Minerals is one of Canada’s leading producers of zinc, copper and precious metals with operations in Canada, Peru and the US. Constancia, a major copper-molybdenum-silver mine in Peru, has been ramping up production over 2015. It is expected that recoveries will improve as mill throughput and head grades have exceeded expectations. With other projects coming on stream over the next few years, we anticipate that valuation levels will increase.

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 that investment management is about managing risk, not chasing speculative returns. 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 Market Call Interview: Market Outlook and Top Picks

Market Call Outlook

Global markets have exhibited high volatility as concerns regarding the health of the global economy have persisted. While much of the international focus has centered around the slowing economy in China, not many markets escaped the negative pressures in the third quarter of 2015.

Economic factors were not the only factors weighting on investors’ concerns in the third quarter. Continuing strife in Syria and the resultant mass emigration into Europe, the build up of Russian and US tensions, Chinese displays of military might and the ongoing political issues in Europe all played a role in stocking investors’ fears.

Through much of the quarter, the US market remained positive as signs of economic expansion continued. Then, the Federal Reserve elected not to increase interest rates at this time casting doubts in investors minds as to the underlying integrity of the recovery.

Canadian investors have been caught up in a tediously long election debate. The uncertainties resulting from the threat of a change of government are adding to the concerns stemming from the collapse in energy prices and the waning demand for base metals.

What we are witnessing is a period of adjustment after seeing markets increase since 2008. While there are legitimate concerns that economies are slowing down, the decline in many markets has over reacted. Some of the downward pressure may be attributable to the high degree of margin that had built up over the last few years. However, many of the factors affecting the markets are transitory. It is during these periods that the stocks of good companies get driven down with those of weaker companies. Investors should be using this period of adjustment to upgrade their security positions in stronger, better managed companies in order to participate in the profits to be derived over the next business cycle.

Michael Sprung BNN Market Call Interview Market Outlook Top Picks

Michael Sprung BNN Market Call Interview: Market Outlook and Top Picks

Market Call Top Picks:

Alaris Royalty Corp., AD-T, Owned Personally and by Clients: Last Purchase August 26, 2015, $26.08

Alaris Royalty is a unique investment firm that invests in a diversified range of private companies with solid long term histories and stable management teams. The nature of the investment allows Alaris to participate in future growth while the entrepreneurs maintain control provided certain agreed upon benchmarks are met. Management has had a successful track record in identifying good investment opportunities. With growth, the number of opportunities presented to management has increased dramatically however, management has exhibited tremendous discipline in being selective with whom they partner. As investments and cash flow have grown, dividends have increased. We anticipate that investors will continue to participate in Alaris’ growth.

HudBay Minerals Inc., HBM-T, Owned Personally and by Clients, Last Purchase August 26, 2015: $5.81

HudBay Minerals is one of Canada’s leading producers of zinc, copper and precious metals with operations in Canada, Peru and the US. Constancia, a major copper-molybdenum-silver mine in Peru, has been ramping up production over 2015. It is expected that recoveries will improve as mill throughput and head grades have exceeded expectations. Transportation issues are being addressed and should be resolved by year end. With other projects coming on stream over the next few years, we anticipate that valuation levels will increase.

Aecon Group, ARE-T, Owned by clients, Last Purchase June 16, 2015, $12.50

Aecon Group is one of Canada’s largest construction companies. A large portion of Aecon’s business is related to the energy sector and the company’s stock price has been under pressure as a result. However, Aecon’s backlog in other infrastructure transportation and nuclear projects has been growing. The more sophisticated projects should result in higher profitability. Over the last number of years, management has taken steps to strengthen the financial position of the company. At current prices, the stock presents good value to investors for longer term appreciation.

Watch Michael’s complete Market Call Interview with Amber Kanwar on BNN 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 that clients gain from our focus on the long-term fundamentals and not chasing short-term trends. 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 Market Call Interview: Market Outlook and Top Picks

Market Call Outlook

Investors’ concerns have been evident as the volatility of the global markets has increased over the recent past. Those concerns have been exacerbated by intense coverage by the media of the many global calamities that are ongoing. New shocks to the market have appeared as investors’ attention is shifted between the ongoing debt problems in the European Union, mass emigration from unstable regimes in the Middle East across the Mediterranean, the sudden decline in the Chinese market with implications of a slowing domestic economy, ongoing fears of Russian hegemony in the Ukraine, territorial conflicts in the South China Sea, etc. Nearer to home, the Canadian economy continues to adjust to the impact of fallen commodity prices, particularly energy, and the subsequent ripple effects throughout the economy. Investors have also been captivated by trepidation and uncertainty as to the effect that a raise in interest rates may have on the currently more robust US economy, when and if such a rate hike occurs.

Given that until recently, the markets have exhibited little sign a correction since the financial crisis of 2008, we believe that the current volatility is a natural outcome of wavering economic conditions in conjunction with the unsettling geopolitical issues. Arguably, valuations had become a little rich and we are now going through an adjustment that is a natural phenominom of market cycles. These adjustments are rarely smooth or quick.

It is during these periods that investors should be seeking opportunities in companies that ultimately benefit from the calamity caused by current conditions and in fact prosper from their ability to take advantage of their weakened competitors.

Michael Sprung Interviewed by Mark Bunting on BNN

Market Call Top Picks

Bank of Nova Scotia

The Bank of Nova Scotia (TSE:BNS, Mkt cap 71.13B, P/E 11.07, Div/yield 0.70/4.75, EPS 5.32, Shares1.21B) is the most international of the Canadian banks with branches in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The Canadian banks have been impacted by the recent volatility in the markets. BNS is now selling at levels that long term investors should find attractive as the premium valuation has fallen. The dividend yield is now 4.7%.

Canadian Natural Resources

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSE:CNQ, Mkt cap 31.26B, P/E 19.85, Div/yield 0.23/3.22, EPS 1.44, Shares 1.09B) is one of Canada’s leading senior producers of oil and gas. In the current environment, investors should be positioning their exposure in the energy sector to the stronger, better managed firms that have the wherewithal to survive through the downturn and take advantage as weaker companies are forced to dispose of assets or sell at bargain prices. CNQ has an enviable balance sheet and extremely well regarded management. The recent falloff of the stock price presents a good place to establish an initial position in this company.

HudBay Minerals Inc.

HudBay Minerals Inc.(TSE:HBM, Mkt cap 1.49B, P/E 52.67, Div/yield 0.01/0.32, EPS 0.12, Shares 235.23M) is one of Canada’s leading producers of zinc, copper and precious metals with operations in Canada, Peru and the US. Constancia, a major copper-molybdenum-silver mine in Peru, will be is currently ramping up production. HudBay has a number of projects coming on stream over the next few years, we anticipate that valuation levels will increase.

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 that clients gain from our focus on the long-term fundamentals and not chasing short-term trends. 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.

 

Michael Sprung Says These Canadian Smallcaps are Poised to Outperform

The Small Cap Power Expert Interview featuring Michael Sprung.

SmallCapPower: Welcome, Michael. For the benefit of new viewers, can you give us a brief description of your company, as well as your role there?

Michael: I founded the company 10 years ago. Our clients are primarily high net worth or private clients, some corporate, but mainly family trusts, foundations, endowments, and personal accounts.

SmallCapPower: North American markets have been in positive territory for some time now. Do you have any concerns going forward?

Michael: Well, yes. Generally speaking, North American markets have been pretty positive since the financial crisis in ’08, ’09. In that period, we’ve seen a lot of dynamics around the world changing to some extent. We’ve seen China become more of an economic powerhouse where their growth, although it is slowing, is still a very enviable rate of growth relative to the developed economies. We’ve seen Europe continue to struggle with their problems, primarily dealing with the debts of countries like Greece and Spain and Portugal and so on. In that time, the U.S. economy has been relatively strong and actually it has performed relatively well compared with the rest.

Michael Sprung North American markets positive since financial crisis 2008 2009

Michael Sprung – generally speaking, North American markets have been pretty positive since the financial crisis in ’08, ’09.

It’s been helped by their so-called Quantitative Easing, which has now been pulled back a little bit as the economy has gotten stronger. But at the same time, we see Europe now going into that program in a heavier way. Then all of a sudden we’ve seen the oil price suddenly collapse. That has really caused some concern amongst oil exporters, not only in Canada, but countries like Russia and Venezuela as well. So recently, what are we beginning to see? The world has built up a mountain of debt, some $57 trillion over that period of time to the middle of last year, even greater today.

The bond market is beginning to retaliate. They’re beginning to ask for higher rates of return ahead of what the central banks appear ready to give them given that the economies still appear quite fragile in many areas. So this conflict, I think, is going to continue to have higher volatility in the markets. I think this could be a real blow to Canada with the debt situation that our consumers are in. So I think one has to be very careful and very choosy about the investments they look at in today’s market.

SmallCapPower: We’ve seen some recent positive direction in oil prices. What are your thoughts on investing in this sector?

Michael: I feel that it’s still a very uncertain period for oil. We just saw Goldman Sachs come out recently with a report saying that oil, over the next five years, is going to go to $55 and stay in that area for quite some time. That would be quite disadvantageous to a number of the new technologies which have been used to get oil out of the ground in North America, not only in our oil sands but also to some extent the fracking mechanisms that have made the U.S. more oil independent over the last number of years, but still their marginal cost of production tends to be around that level or higher. So I think that investors in oil today have to take a very long term view.

Oil is a cyclical industry. We have seen these cycles before. So you want to pick the companies that are going to survive, and not only survive, but possibly prosper as a result of weaker companies finding themselves in more trouble. So you’re looking for companies that have strong balance sheets, good management of gain, companies such as Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX: SU), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX: CNQ), even companies like Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX: CVE), which had been very proactive in cutting back capital expenditures going forward. Companies like Vermilion Energy Inc. (TSX: VET), which have more international operations or companies like ARC Resources Ltd. (TSX: ARX) that are just well-managed. In the smaller areas, you want to pick those companies that are very well-managed, companies like Bonavista Energy Corporation (TSX: BNP) and so on.

SmallCapPower: Aside from the energy sector, what do you think will affect Canadian markets?

Michael: I think we have a few unknowns in the Canadian markets, particularly with the recent election of an NDP government in Alberta. I don’t think anybody really knows what the consequences of that are going to play out to be. But generally speaking, I don’t think that business is looking for an overly positive environment to come out of that. At the same time, we still have a Liberal government in Ontario. Ontario has found itself in a great deal of debt over the last 10 years since the Liberals have been in power and our hydro rates have gone up significantly.

Our labour rates are relatively high and so as a base for manufacturing we are finding it harder and harder to compete. So with higher taxes, higher labour cost and so on, and now the prospect of a federal election, which again, could change from a more business-friendly government to one that may be less so, I think that there are some uncertainties in Canada. So again, you want to invest in firms that are going to be well-positioned to go through a period where maybe the environment is not quite as robust as it has been.

SmallCapPower: Can you mention some examples of where you might look to invest today?

Michael: Sure. I think there’s a few areas in companies that we see positioning themselves rather well to compete not only in the Canadian market, but also in Canada and the U.S. and in some cases even beyond that. One of them would be AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. (TSX: AGT). That’s a company that we have been invested in for some time. They’re one of the leaders in pulses, pulses which included things like lentils, chickpeas, beans, canary seeds, and so on, as well as some pasta and rice.

That company, over the last number of years, has transformed itself from not just a provider of these pulses, but a manufacturer of ingredients from those pulses. There is growing demand globally for these kinds of products. As a matter of fact, next year, the United Nations has called 2016 the Year of the Pulses. So that should give them the company some further benefit as well as that becomes better known. As one of the leaders, they have been expanding capacity. We expect that their earnings can go up fairly significantly over the next number of years.

So for a company with a market capitalization that’s currently around $670 million, we think that it can prosper in this sort of environment. Another company that we might look to would be New Flyer Industries (TSX: NFI), which is North America’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses. It has operations both in the U.S. and Canada. Just recently, as a sign of confidence, management has slightly increased their dividend. Here we’re dealing with a company with a market capitalization of around $850 million that is expanding not only in the manufacture of buses, but also in aftermarket parts and services.

There are fewer and fewer competitors in this industry. As I was saying earlier with the U.S. economy doing better, a number of users of buses, whether they’re municipalities or other transport companies that utilize buses, are getting into a better position to buy more buses. So again, we would be looking there. Maybe thirdly, another company that we would be looking at would be HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX: HBM). HudBay has got operations primarily in copper and zinc through Canada, Peru, and some exposures in Arizona as well.

But besides making improvements at their current mines, the big story with them of course, is they have this Constancia mine in Peru, which has just come on stream and it has just achieved commercial production. So that’s going to really increase their production profile over the next few years. After that, we will see perhaps Rosemont coming on stream, which will then increase their production profile. So when we’re looking for mining companies, particularly cyclical, we’re looking for those that have got a good strong growth in production that are efficiently managed.

A few years back, it was questionable whether HudBay would have the wherewithal to finance and get Constancia going. They have done that, so we’re past that. We’re going to see capital expenditures perhaps drop down a little bit and the company should prosper as a result. Again though, you’re playing the commodity cycle with a company like HudBay just as you are buying oil company in the oil market. So one has to be wary of the cycle and the fact that profitability comes and goes along with the commodity cycle too.

SmallCapPower: Thanks for taking the time for today’s interview, Michael.

Michael: Thank you.

View the interview on the SmallCapPower site 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 clients are more concerned about losing money than making speculative gains.

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.

 

    Michael Sprung on BNN Market Call, February 25, 2015

    Top Pick Sales:

    Agrium Inc. (TSE:AGU, Mkt cap 20.54B, P/E 19.86, Div/yield 0.97/2.71, EPS 7.25, Shares 143.73M) We scaled back in a few 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, 2014.

    Market CallTop Picks Michael Sprung Royal Bank

    Top Picks:

    Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY, Mkt cap 112.31B, P/E 12.97, Div/yield 0.75/3.85, EPS 6.01, Shares 1.44B) Owned by clients, Last Purchase September 10, 2014: $81.15

    The Royal Bank is Canada's largest financial institution with extensive domestic and wealth operations as well as global capital markets, custody and brokerage networks.  The positive results in the most recent quarter are illustrative of the strength of a well diversified and managed company.  Longer term, we expect  Royal Bank to prosper and provide further dividend enhancements.

    HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSE:HBM, Mkt cap 2.49B, P/E – , Div/yield 0.01/0.19, EPS -0.25, Shares 233.62M) Owned by clients, Last Purchase September 10, 2014: $10.96
     HudBay Minerals is one of Canada's leading producers of zinc, copper and precious metals with operations in Canada, Peru and the US.  Constancia, a major copper-molybdenum-silver mine in Peru, will be ramping up production over 2015.  With other project coming onstream over the next few years, we anticipate that valuation levels will increase.

    Aecon Group Inc (TSE:ARE, Mkt cap 665.52M, P/E 21.44, Div/yield 0.09/3.05, EPS 0.55, Shares 56.45M) Owned by clients, Last Purchase December 1, 2014, $11.57
    Aecon Group is one of Canada's largest construction companies.  A large portion of Aecon's business is related to the energy sector and the company's stock price has been under pressure as a result.  Over the last number of years, management has taken steps to strengthen the financial position of the company.  At current prices, the stock presents good value to investors for longer term appreciation.

    Outlook:


    Geopolitical concerns (Ukraine/Russia, ISIS in the Middle East, etc.) are still prevalent but investors' concerns  are becoming more focused on the fallout of weak oil prices, low inflation (possibly deflation), and, weak demand for goods and services.  The US dollar continues to dominate currency markets reflecting the relatively strong fundamentals of the US economy while the European and Japanese economies are weak and the growth in China has been less than expected.  While low oil prices may ultimately benefit oil importing countries,  oil exporters are feeling the pinch and Canada is no exception.  As the impact of the weakening energy sector reverberates throughout the Canadian economy, the stock market in Canada will continue to exhibit higher volatility for the next number of months.  During this period, investors would be well advised to to position their portfolios in companies with strong financial positions that will weather the storm and ultimately benefit from the opportunities presented by weaker companies' distress.

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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.