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Number Cruncher

Screens that break down the numbers from our investment reporters

Entry archive:

Sixteen materials stocks with a positive outlook

MONICA RIZK AND RON MEISELS

Ron Meisels is the Director of Research and Monica Rizk is the senior Technical Analyst for Phases & Cycles Inc. (www.phases-cycles.com). They may hold shares in companies profiled.

What are we looking at?

Canadian material stocks based on four technical indicators.

The screen

We limited our pool to the S&P/TSX composite index. We examined each stock’s moving average, which is the average closing price over a recent period, usually the past 10 weeks (10wMA) and the past 40 weeks (40wMA).

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Twenty cheap stocks with loads of free cash flow

CRAIG McGEE

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What are we looking for?

So far this year, it has been challenging to find strong performers from the broad U.S. market. The utilities sector has shown tremendous relative strength bouncing back by almost 13 per cent year-to-date, while the consumer discretionary and industrials sectors have lagged with negative returns so far in 2014. Over all, the S&P 500 has been basically flat.

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What to look for in volatile stocks

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients. mike@mikebowmangroup.com

What are we looking for?

Stocks which would be suitable for traders, short sellers or option investors.

The screen

My colleague Rob Belanger and I started with North American companies larger than $1-billion in market capitalization and sorted them from the largest to the smallest. All of our companies had to be option eligible.

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Fifteen top Canadian equity funds

JACQUELINE NELSON

What are we looking for?

The leaders among Canadian equity funds in the last year.

The screen

We ranked the top 15 performers in the category for the year to Feb. 28. U.S. dollar, segregated and duplicate versions of funds were excluded. We also left out funds with a minimum investment over $25,000 and those closed to new investors.

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Combing the markets for ‘golden opportunities’

BRIAN PINCHUK

Brian Pinchuk is a portfolio manager at Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management in Montreal.

What are we looking for?

At Lorne Steinberg Wealth Management, we are always on the hunt for value and the opportunity to buy a dollar for 50 cents. Purchasing a company’s shares at such a steep discount not only affords a high degree of downside protection, but simultaneously offers the potential for healthy gains.

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Twenty smaller undervalued stocks with big potential

CRAIG McGEE

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What we are looking for

Value approaches appear to be in style this year, as investors have been looking for unloved and undervalued options. I wanted to highlight some smaller stocks, for those with a little more appetite for risk.

I searched the CPMS Canadian database for the 20 highest-ranking smaller stocks based on the best combination of the following attributes:

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Global fertilizer firms: The cream of the crop

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients. mike@mikebowmangroup.com

What are we looking for?

This past Sunday, Bill Doyle stepped down as president and CEO of Potash Corp. Mr. Doyle joined the firm in 1987 when it was a Crown corporation owned by the Saskatchewan government, and became CEO in 1999. Since Mr. Doyle was – for many on the Street – the face of the global fertilizer industry, my colleague Rob Belanger and I decided to look at the sector.

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North America's top 15 equity funds vs. indexes

JACQUELINE NELSON

What are we looking for?

How North American equity funds stack up against Canadian and U.S. market indexes.

The screen

We looked for the top 15 funds in this group for the year ended Feb. 28, 2014. U.S. dollar, segregated and duplicate versions of the funds were excluded. We also omitted funds with minimum investments of more than $25,000 and those closed to new investors.

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Looking for value in a hot market

Peter Ashton

Peter Ashton is vice-president of client services at Recognia Inc.

What are we looking for?

With Canadian stock markets at or near all-time highs, are there still bargains to be found? We are looking to find large-cap stocks at a good price using value investing criteria.

The screen

We will be using Recognia Strategy Builder to create a strategy to identify the best matching companies in the Canadian market using value investing criteria. Strategy Builder is available through leading retail brokers in Canada and around the globe.

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Thirteen stocks with strong earnings, price momentum

CRAIG McGEE

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What we were looking for

As markets continue to push forward in a period of slower growth, investors may have to look deeper to find potential outperformers. This week, we’ll look at the CPMS Canadian Earnings Momentum model, which has been one of our leading strategies so far this year.

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Entertainment stocks that earn their applause

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients. mike@mikebowmangroup.com

What are we looking for?

According to Plunkett Research, $34.8-billion (U.S.) was spent at entertainment venues around the world in 2013, and the global audience is growing quickly. My colleague Rob Belanger and I decided to look at the rapidly changing and fiercely competitive entertainment sector.

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Fifteen top small- and mid-cap funds

JACQUELINE NELSON

What are we looking for?

Where funds that focus on smaller companies found opportunity in the past year.

Today’s search

We screened three fund categories focused on smaller companies for the top 15 performers. This included the Canadian and Canadian-focused small- to mid-cap categories, as well at the U.S. small- to mid-cap category. We looked at the one year ended Feb. 28. U.S.-dollar, segregated, pooled, duplicate funds were excluded, as were those with minimum investments of more than $25,000.

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Technical analysis: 13 U.S. stocks headed for a price correction

MONICA RIZK AND RON MEISELS

Ron Meisels is the Director of Research and Monica Rizk is the senior Technical Analyst for Phases & Cycles Inc. (www.phases-cycles.com). They may hold shares in companies profiled.

What are we looking at?

Stocks with a potential of 10 per cent or more downside risk.

The screen

Stocks tend to stay relatively close to their 40-week moving average (40wMA). However, when they move significantly higher or lower (more than 10 per cent), they are likely to close this “gap” by going through a price correction to get closer to this average.

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Twenty stocks with a sustainable economic moat

CRAIG McGEE

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What we’re looking for?

I used CPMS to search for companies with a sustainable competitive advantage based on our analysts’ in-depth analysis. They also needed to show strong profitability and be trading at relatively low valuations.

Specifically, I ranked the CPMS U.S. database for the top 20 stocks with the best combination of the following criteria:

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Food retailing stocks: Browsing for bargains

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients. mike@mikebowmangroup.com

What are we looking for?

Three of the largest U.S. food retailers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp., have taken up residence in the Canadian grocery store landscape, but how do they compare with other companies in this fiercely competitive industry?

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Top 12 funds for investing in banks, insurers

JACQUELINE NELSON

What are we looking for?

Financial companies dominate Canadian capital markets and are a fixture in portfolios of many investors. Let’s see how funds focused solely in this area have performed over the past year.

The screen

We looked for the top funds in the financial services equity category for the one year ended Feb. 28. U.S. dollar, segregated, pooled and duplicate versions of funds were excluded. Funds in this category must invest at least 90 per cent of their equity holdings in the financial services sector.

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Twenty companies with healthy profits, zero debt

SONALI VERMA

What are we looking for?

Canadian companies that have healthy profit margins and zero debt. This could appeal to you if you are very risk-averse and don’t like the idea of potential dividends going toward interest payments. It could also mean that these companies are missing out on the chance to borrow on the cheap, while interest rates are low, and are turning their backs on growth, acquisition and expansion opportunities.

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Twenty cheap stocks with strong earnings potential

Craig McGee

Craig McGee is a senior consultant at Morningstar Canada.

What we’re looking for

In the Canadian market, we’ve seen a tilt back toward value stocks so far this year. Investors may be betting that Canada is once again primed for growth after an extended period of relative underperformance. With that in mind, we can take a look at the CPMS Canadian Value model portfolio for some names that could benefit if this style shift continues.

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Five picks in the booming auto parts sector

MICHAEL BOWMAN

Mr. Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high-net-worth clients. mike@mikebowmangroup.com

What are we looking for?

North American vehicle sales hit a record 18.33 million units in 2013, according to Scotiabank, while R.L. Polk & Co. found the average age of a North American car on the road also hit a high – of 11.4 years. My colleague Rob Belanger and I thought we would take a look at the booming auto parts sector.

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Leading natural resources fund gets boost from harsh winter

JACQUELINE NELSON

What are we looking for?

Wavering commodity prices, geopolitical risk and weather have shaken up natural resource funds. We look for funds that weathered the past few years well.

The screen

We searched for the top performing natural resource equity funds for the three years to Feb. 28. U.S. dollar, segregated, pooled, alternative strategy and duplicate versions of funds were excluded.

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Number Cruncher Contributors

Ian McGugan

Ian McGugan is the Investment Editor of The Globe and Mail and has been writing about investing, economics and business for more than 20 years. He joined the Globe and Mail in 2010.

Michael Bowman

Michael Bowman is a portfolio manager at Hamilton-based Wickham Investment Counsel Inc., an adviser to high net worth clients.

Rob Carrick

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rcarrick

John Heinzl

John Heinzl has been writing about business and investing since 1990. A native of Hamilton, he earned a master's degree from the University of Western Ontario's Graduate School of Journalism and completed the Canadian Securities Course with honours.

Follow John on Twitter @johnheinzl

Darcy Keith

Darcy Keith has been a business journalist since 1992 and joined the Report on Business in 2010 from Yahoo! Canada, where he was the senior editor of finance.

Follow Darcy on Twitter @eyeonequities

Jacqueline Nelson

Jacqueline Nelson is a financial services reporter at the Report on Business.

David Parkinson

David Parkinson has been covering business and financial markets since 1990, and has been with The Globe and Mail since 2000.

Sonali Verma

Sonali Verma is digital editor and investment editor at the Report on Business. She has worked as a reporter, editor and producer of business news at Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg News since 1995.

Follow Sonali on Twitter @SVerma__

Jody White

Jody has previously worked as a senior editor at Canadian Business Online and has written for MoneySense Magazine, Maclean's, the National Post and other national publications.

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