Top Stock Ideas for 2020

Capital Ideas has assembled an all-star cast of contributors who have come up with 10 stock ideas they think can thrive

Capital Ideas Media | February 7, 2020 | SmallCapPower: New year, new decade, new ideas. It’s the time of year when investors clean the slate or, at least, have dumped their losers, are rebalancing their portfolios and starting fresh in looking for their next batch of stocks ideas, winners for the next year or two.

(Originally published on Capital Ideas Media on January 7, 2020)

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Again this year, we’ve assembled an all-star cast of contributors who have done the grunt work and due diligence for you and have come up with 10 stocks they think can thrive as we kick off the new decade.

But we can’t look forward until we look back at last year’s ideas to see how they fared. Here’s a list with the contributor, the stock they chose for 2019, and the return for the year.

Ryan Irvine, the founder of KeyStocks.com:

Sangoma Technologies (TSXV:STC). This company’s portfolio of products deliver complete, Unified Communications (UC) Solutions.

Sangoma’s product portfolio includes a complete line of UC and PBX platforms, IP-Phones and UC Communicators, Cloud-based Services and Network Interconnection Products.

Further, Sangoma has the world’s two most widely used open source communications software projects: Asterisk and FreePBX.

The Company has completely two game-changing acquisitions over the past 18 months (Digium and VoIP Innovations). With a full year of Digium and a partial year of VoIP Innovations we expect 60% plus growth in EBITDA in 2020.

Our near-term fair value factors in Sangoma with an EV/EBITDA multiple of roughly 11 producing a fair value in the range of $2.90.

 

Ed Sollbach of Spartan Fund Management:

Pivot Technology Solutions (TSX:PTG) is undergoing a slow but steady transformation from a low margin computer reseller to a higher margin software services company, under CEO Kevin Shank.

Gross profit margins and adjusted EBITDA margins improved in Q3, even as revenues plunged 16%. Pivot Provided Services increased 6.8% in the quarter, and the Company is doing an excellent job controlling expenses.

Moreover, the stock pays investors an 8.6% yield while it pivots to software. In October, the Company sold its Smart EdgeTM technology assets to Intel for $27 million, which will bolster the balance sheet.

More importantly, Pivot is designated a non-exclusive preferred system integrator and channel partner for Intel Smart Edge based solutions, so the Company can grow with Intel in the emerging high growth edge computing market.

 

Ryan Modesto, CEO, 5i Research:

Lightspeed POS (TSX:LSPD). This company is one of the faster growing mid-cap names in Canada in what is already a fairly thin market on the TSX for growth and/or tech companies.

Valuations are high, which means there will be volatility but they have plenty of levers to pull to help support growth as well as cash to fund potential acquisitions.

 

Colin Fisher, Portfolio Manager & President, StableView Asset Management:

iLookabout (TSXV:ILA), they do a lot of the back end systems for MPAC, which is the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. Every house in Ontario MPAC touches it so if you get a tax assessment, that’s where it comes from.

Gary Yeoman is the CEO and Chairman of the Board. He founded Altus, which has software called Argus, which is the de facto standard for any type of construction or commercial property development, it will have some sort of touch to Argus software for valuation, taxation and all that stuff.

Yeoman understands the technology in the real estate business better than probably anybody.

He was also a founding investor in Real Matters, which is now a billion dollar company.

This is a company that is already banging around twenty-five million bucks in revenue. I would slap a twenty per cent premium of growth.

It’s trading at 0.75 to 0.85 enterprise value to revenue. If you look at the comparable, they’re trading at four times.

At four times, this stock would be at about $1.15 to $1.25. So it’s just massively undervalued.

…This has fantastic management, a new board member that’s fantastic, great capital structure. And the structure of the equity side is super tight.

Management owns twenty-eight per cent. Institutions own twenty-eight per cent, StableView being one of the biggest at twenty per cent. Friends and family is probably another twenty per cent so it’s a very tight structure.

There’s only about twenty-five million shares floating around in the wild.

Post the event (StableView Tech 2019 last October) over seven million shares have already traded so I don’t think there’s a ton more for this to actually get its legs and to walk through and to get to the heights that I think it should be at.

 

Keith Schaefer, Editor and Publisher of the Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin:

My stock of the year for energy is North American Construction Group (TSX:NOA) (NYSE:NOA).

They are the number one maintenance contractor for the Alberta oil sands and are a huge cash cow. Their big fleet of yellow iron makes them near impossible to compete against.

Their management philosophy is so successful they are branching out into management contracts with other industries, which takes NO cost.

CEO Martin Ferron is third-largest shareholder and bought all his stock in the market. This stock should do extremely well even if oil prices do not.

 

Aaron Dunn, KeyStone Financial Senior Analyst: 

Polaris Infrastructure (TSX:PIF) is a unique and highly-profitable renewable power producer in Latin America, which pays a dividend yield of 6%. The Company’s main asset is the San Jacinto geothermal facility in Nicaragua.

Polaris is high-risk due to its concentration in Nicaragua, but the Company’s strategy is to utilize its substantial free cash flow to expand into new regions and projects through acquisition and development. A recent acquisition in Peru is expected to begin contributing to the Company’s growth in 2020.

Over the past three reported quarters, Polaris generated operating cash flow of $31.7 million (U.S.), of which $10.8 million was allocated to debt repayment, $7.1 million to dividends, and 13.8 million invested into growth projects.

Bonus U.S. growth idea from Aaron Dunn:

Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) is one of the largest and most profitable cybersecurity companies in the world. We like the cybersecurity industry because it is essential to the development and implementation of key secular trends such as A.I., automation, cloud computing and the internet of things.

Global enterprises have no choice but to invest in cybersecurity and stay ahead of the curve. The industry is continuing to grow globally and Fortinet is expanding its market share.

The Company is highly profitable, trades at approximately 23 times free cash flow and has a cash-rich balance sheet with $11.30 per share in net cash and no debt.

 

Peter Hodson, CEO of 5i Research Inc:

Kinaxis (TSX:KXS) has ‘seeded’ its customers with good software solutions and should start seeing the benefits soon. It has global customers, and they tend to start small and buy small at first and then increase business with KXS as they become more comfortable with the benefits and robustness of its solutions.

The last quarter was solid and moved the stock up 25%.There is of course still a shortage of quality growth companies in the Canadian tech market, and KXS could be the next up-and-comer.

At $2.7 billion market cap, with $200 million cash, it starts getting big enough for bigger funds looking for growth. It might not be the next Shopify, but it could be the next Descartes.

Bruce Campbell, President and Portfolio Manager at StoneCastle Investment Management:

Heritage Cannabis (CSE:CANN) has been working to get their extraction facilities up and running during 2019. Heading into 2020 they will now begin to generate revenue, which will lead to cash flow and earnings as the year goes on.

Cannabis 2.0 products are hitting the markets and Heritage will be supplying extraction services to several LPs.

Management has a strong track record of operating other successful businesses (outside of Cannabis) and will treat Heritage no different by focusing on operations and execution.

Our fund is fully invested these days simply because there are so many good opportunities at low valuations in the Canadian market place.

We have a number of stocks that we expect to have big moves in 2020. But for the purposes broadcasting a single idea to Capital Ideas’ readers, we have chosen a company with plenty of upside as well as very little downside risk.

 

Paul Beattie, partner and manager of the BT Global Growth Fund:

ProTech Home Medical Corp (TSXV:PTQ) is a healthcare company that trades in Canada but has 100% of its business focused on taking care of aging folks, in their homes, in the U.S.

The Company provides medical equipment and services to people suffering from all sorts of ailments, who require essentials like CPAP equipment, oxygen ventilators, respiratory devices, sleep apnea machines etc.

They are very good at what they do, are industry leaders in the 13 U.S. states they operate in and are concentrated in the South East.  This is as close as you can get to finding a guaranteed growth industry, in our opinion.

We find it difficult to believe that a company like this, with a strong balance sheet, enormous growth potential, good margins and a leadership market position should trade at 5x EBITDA.

Comparable companies in the U.S. trade at 10-12 x multiples at a minimum. The Company is now at the $100 million revenue level with $20 million in EBITDA and has reached the size where a Nasdaq listing is doable.

It is also of the size where private equity and healthcare SPAC’s (special acquisition companies) will be interested, so we see some kind of valuation re-rating in 2020.

The stock is at $0.92 today and we forecast $1.60-1.80 as the more logical value. The beauty of this pick is we have trouble seeing the stock go lower from here under any scenario.

We own a maximum position in our fund and are, of course, “talking our book,” but we do have a high conviction on the excellent risk/return potential on this company.

Disclosure: Mark Bunting owns shares of iLookabout and Heritage Cannabis.

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