| March 1, 2000
BridgePoint International Inc. (BDG on ME), St.Laurent, QC Tel: (514)878-1555, Price: Feb 28/00:$4.81, 52-week range:$6.40-0.10. Company provides flexible, secure and cost-effective solutions to the information technology industry’s needs for networking facilities, voice & data switching and local technical support. BDG services give network operators the ability to expand into geographic markets by leasing some or all of the infrastructure they require. This could be simple equipment housing up to fully outsourced central office function. The company currently operates independent housing and co-location centres in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and one opening up in New York City this month. It has plans to open 16 more in North America and internationally over the next 2 years. One of its principal customers in NYC will be Netherlands-based KPN Royal Dutch Telecom. Another will be Ericsson Canada Inc.with whom BDG has a strategic alliance. The company installs Ericsson’s high-performance billing mediation platform in BridgePoint’s co-location centres which allow each of the carriers to bill their customers through Ericsson’s Transgate International AXE switches covering data and voice technology. BridgePoint currently has a cash position of $7million and has 29.4 million shares out.
Burntsand Inc. (BRT on TSE) Vancouver, BC Tel: (604) 608-6400 Price: Feb 28/00: $11.75, 52-week range: $15.75-1.12. The company operates in the high-growth Information Technology (IT) sector e-business services.. It helps businesses define and implement e-business solutions and strategies and is becoming one of the leading e-business transition specialists. Next years revenue is forecasted at $82 million up from this year’s 40 million. The company is only beginning to gain the attention of the broader investment community. It has 55 million shares out, with 37% held by directors and officers.
Canadian Medical Laboratories Ltd. (CLC on TSE) Toronto, ON Tel: (416) Price: Feb 28/00: $15.00, 52-week range:$24.60-8.70. First reviewed in this newsletter on August 19, 1997 at a price of $6.20. The company’s primary revenue base is in the laboratory testing business although a growing division has become contract pharmaceutical research. It reported 1st quarter earnings of 40 cents/sh vs. 18 cents. Earnings for the year should come in at about. CLC has 20.1 million shares outstanding. With the pull-back in price, the stock appears to be trading at a low multiple in spite of its growth tract.
Inter-Citic Mineral Technologies Inc. (ICI on CDNX) Toronto, ON Tel: (416) 363-5055. Price: Feb 28/00: $0.80, 52-week range:$0.94-0.65. The company is involved in starting up, mainly in China, the production of specialty mineral products for sale into the expanding global market of automotive, electronics and high technology OEM’s. An important Honk Kong-based institution is expected to enter into the company as an investor in the recently-announced $3.65 million private placement. News of several projects on the drawing board is expected to be forthcoming over the next few months. There are 17.3 million shares out, 22 million after the financing.
EleTel Inc. (LETL.U on Cdn.Unlisted) Vancouver, BC Tel: (604) 222-0175 Price: Feb 28/00: US0.65, 52-week range:US$1.20-0.20. EleTel’s primary product is a voice and fax messaging software called Callex. Callex permits messaging fax and voice free over the internet via a telephone and/or via any browser. By employing a unique multiprocessor architecture comprising digital signal processors (DSP) and general purpose microprocessors it handles all telephony signaling and is based on Signal Computing System Architecture (SCSA). SCSA provides features such as distributed switching, logical addressing and location independent resource management. Callex supports all Dialogic analog voice cards, Lucent analog voice boards and Brooktrout TR114 and analog voice/fax cards.
Imax Corp. (IMX on TSE, IMAX on NASDAQ) Mississauga, ON Price: Feb 28/00: Cdn$37.00, 52-week range: $42.50-22.70. Imax is presently encountering success with the showing of Walt Disney’s animated film “Fantasia 2000” After just 44 days in North American theatres, the film has grossed $21 million. On only 54 screens. Its impact on Imax will show up only in 2001. The company expects to add 45 screens this year to its network of 205 theatres. Meanwhile, the company produced earnings of US$17.8 million or 60 cents/sh on revenues of US$90 million in the December 4th quarter. Imax has 29.7 million shares out.
MAAX Inc. (MXA on TSE), Ste-Marie-de-Beauce,QC, Tel: (418) 387-3641, Price:Feb 28/2000:$12.55, 52-week range:$17.50-11.70. Last written up in this newsletter on December 26, 1999, the company announced the acquisition of Netherlands-based SaniNova B.V., a manufacturer of acrylic sanitary ware products. This is MAAX’s first entry into the high potential European market. This will add $30 million in revenue to the present $445 million base. Of more importance, it allows for market share growth in Netherlands and particularly in Germany where SaniNova has only a 7% market share. For the current year ending Feb 28, 2000 earnings should be over $1/sh and next year should see profits of $1.40/sh on 25 millio fully diluted shares. A $20 share price target could be kept in mind.
Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC on TSE), Toronto, ON Tel: (416) 926-3000 Price: Feb 28/2000: $17.15, 52-week range:$21.10-15.25. Manulife is one of the largest and most diversified financial services companies based in Canada providing a wide range of protection and wealth management products and services to 4.5 million clients in 15 countries. Total assets under administration at Dec 31 were $112 billion, up 16% over the year. 4th quarter earnings were 50 cents/sh vs 40 cents last year and for the year were $1.75 vs $1.42. Return on equity was 14.0% for the year vs 12.9% in 1998. The company announced its first quarterly dividend since going public. The 10 cents dividend, or 20% payout, appears modest and could be increased during the year. The company indicated it would buy back 5%, or 25 million, of its 494 million shares over the year and it has already bought 6.9 million in the last few months. Earnings for this year should come in at about $2.05/sh and next year at about $2.35. At some point a 13 multiple to next year earnings would point to a share price of $28.
Moydow Mines International Inc. (MOY on TSE), Vancouver, BC Tel: (604) 689-2884 Price:Feb 28/2000: $1.25, 52-week range:$1.98-1.00. Moydow has a 31% interest in the Wasa gold mine in Ghana. This mine, in its second year of production, should produce about the same as last year, 87,000 ounces. There is a possibility that the company may increase its ownership in the mine by employing some of its $7million in cash. However, the joy in Moydow is its 77 sq.km. Ntoroso property near Kumasi, Ghana held under joint venture with Australia-based Normandy Mining Ltd. Recent drilling has uncovered significant gold mineralized intervals. Infill drilling will produce a resource estimate prior to year end. Normandy is providing funds in order to earn a maximum 50% interest in the property. There are 23 million shares out.
National Bank of Canada (NA on TSE), Montreal, QC Tel: (514) 394-5000. Price: Feb 28/00: $20.35, 52-week range: $24.80-16.25 The National Bank is Canada’s 6th largest bank with assets of $70 billion. First Q earnings increased by 19% so that for the full year NA could earn $2.50/sh up from $2.27 on fewer shares outstanding. Growth is being fueled by last year’s acquisition of stockbroker First Marathon Securities. There is a strong possibility that NA will acquire the Master Card assets of Canada Trust. If so, this would prove to be another important boost to earnings. Meanwhile, there are rumors that National Bank itself could be bought out. The recently increased dividend provides a 3.8% yield on the 189 million shares out.
Royal Group Technologies Ltd. (RYG on TSE), Woodbridge, ON Tel: (905) 264-0701 Price: Feb 28/00: $29.00, 52-week range: $44.40-24.75. First covered in this newsletter on Oct 15/95 at $18. Royal Group is North America’s largest extruder of polyvinyl chloride building products. The company has a most consistent record for sales and earnings growth, 20% a year over the last 10 years. This year’s first quarter was no exception with earnings of 35 cents/sh up 21% over last year’s. The company is constantly introducing new products and gaining market share. It is the most efficient manufacturer in the industry. An example of these qualities is the recent order for components to be used in building 1,000 single family dwellings in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Earnings are projected at $2.00/sh this year up from $1.72 and next year is projected at $2.50. With a proven growth track record, RYG shares should trade at 20 times earnings. Therefore a $50 share price can be envisaged at some point over the next year.
Wescast Industries Inc. (WCS.A on TSE) Brantford, ON, Tel: (519) 759-0452 Price:Feb 28/00: $35.45, 52-week range: $50.50-35.75. Wescast has a market share of 49% in the manufacturing and supply of exhaust manifolds to the automotive industry. It is expanding into Europe and it is increasing its manufacturing of non-manifold products. For example,it has won a contract from Volkswagen in Europe to supply 500,000 differential case castings per year. Wescast has also won it first contract to supply fully cast and machined stainless steel exhaust manifolds from General Motors. The company reported 1stQ earnings of $1.29 vs 1.13. Earnings for the year should come in at $4.40 and next at $5.00/sh based on 13.1 million shares out. The shares, based on a good growth record, should trade at 10 times earnings, or $50.