David Baskin is president, Baskin Wealth Management. His focus is North American large caps.
Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO)
It is one of the world's leading investors in major infrastructure such as ports, railroads and airports. Not only does the company have an outstanding record of recognizing value, its dispositions show that assets can be sold advantageously as well. The company manages not only its own investments, but has pools of managed capital in the billions for major institutional investors, on which it is paid both management fees and a carried interest in profits. This is a key holding for Canadian investors.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO)
It has been successful in carving out a retail niche in the U.S., and has been using this to grow its business. Our view is that fears that banks will be damaged by a collapse in Canadian real estate and by weakness in commodity prices are much overstated. The stock has a dividend yield over 4 per cent and trades at price/earnings and price/book value consistent with its long term average.
It provides the vital service of cleaning natural gas of contaminants before it is shipped by pipeline to consumers. As such, it operates a toll road in the energy sector which is not at all dependent on energy prices. The stock pays a dividend of around 4 per cent and has grown regularly at about 10-per-cent per year. The company has consistently earned over 15 per cent on its equity.
Past Picks: May 12, 2015
Precision Castparts (PCP.N) Note: The company was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, all of our shares sold at a significant profit – Deal closed Feb 1, 2016
Then: $213.00 Selling Price: $234.95 +10.31% Total return: +10.35%
C.R. Bard (BCR.N)
Then: $167.16 Now: $204.85 +22.55% Total return: +23.03%
Then: $58.76 Now: $53.79 -8.46% Total return: -6.84%
Total Return Average: +5.40%
We have been pleasantly surprised by recent indications that the Canadian economy is showing better growth than expected. In particular, the weak Canadian dollar has strengthened manufacturing activity, generating some good quality jobs. Of equal importance, in spite of very low commodity prices, the employment picture in Alberta and Saskatchewan seems to have stabilized, reducing fears about real estate and banking industry stress. As earning season starts, we expect to see modestly improved expectations for corporate profits in the balance of 2016, which will support some growth in share prices for the remainder of the year.