Canadian stocks showing strength in a generally dismal year for investors.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 9.7 per cent year-to-date as we head into the final two months of the year. But some stocks have bucked the downward market trend and have managed to hold their own and even rally in this tumultuous period.
We used Strategy Builder, Trading Central’s stock screener, to search for Canadian stocks that have demonstrated strong price performance and quantitative ratings despite broad market declines.
We began by setting a minimum market capitalization threshold of $5-billion. This will focus our search on mid- to large-cap Canadian stocks and avoid smaller companies with less stable streams of revenue.
We limited our search to stocks currently trading within 10 per cent of their 52-week highs and with stock prices that are up over all in the past quarter.
Finally, we screened for the top ranked stocks using Trading Central’s Quantamental rating method, a proprietary methodology that covers more than 50,000 stocks worldwide. The metric ranks stocks on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most bullish. TC Quantamental uses a combination of valuation, growth, quality, price momentum and income as key metrics when ranking a company.
For informational purposes, we have also included the recent stock price, dividend yield, price-to-earnings ratio, year-to-date and one-year price returns.
Trading Central is a global leader in financial market research and investment analytics for retail online brokers and institutions. Its product suite provides actionable trading ideas based on technical and fundamental research covering stocks, exchange-traded funds, indexes, forex, options and commodities.
The rankings shown take into account all criteria outlined above, including the TC Quantamental metric.
With the S&P/TSX energy sector up 34.5 per cent so far this year, it’s not surprising crude oil and natural gas producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. topped our list. The company has the highest market cap on our list at $94.8-billon, the lowest P/E on our list at just 8.5, a dividend yield of 3.7 per cent, and a TC Quantamental rating of 7.5 out of 10, which is very strong. The stock price is up 22.7 per cent over the past 13 weeks and 53.6 per cent year to date. The company just raised its dividend 13 per cent after reporting third-quarter net earnings of $2.8-billion, above the $2.2-billion reported a year ago.
Another oil and gas production company, Enerplus Corp., has the highest 13-week and one-year price return on our list at an impressive 41.5 per cent and 99.4 per cent, respectively. Although the company is Calgary-based, it recently agreed to sell substantially all of its remaining Canadian assets in Alberta and Saskatchewan to Surge Energy Inc., also based in Calgary, for $245-million. The stock price of Enerplus is within 3 per cent of its 52-week high and has the lowest P/E on our list at 7.9. The company also has the highest TC Quantamental rank on our list at 7.8.
Trading Central Strategy Builder provides a back-testing capability to evaluate how well an investing strategy would have worked in the past. Using a five-year historical period with quarterly rebalancing, the screen described produced an 8 per cent annualized total return compared with 4 per cent for the S&P/TSX Composite.
The investment ideas presented here are for information only. They do not constitute advice or a recommendation by Trading Central in respect of the investment in financial instruments. Investors should conduct further research before investing.
Gary Christie is head of North American research at Trading Central in Ottawa.