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2019 was an exceptional year for investors.

Although Canada’s stock market didn’t perform quite as well as its U.S. neighbour, New Zealand, Germany and some others, it was a year of fresh records and over $400-billion dollars in added value in the market.

Against this backdrop, TipRanks, a website that tracks and ranks analyst recommendations, monitored and measured the performance of financial analysts who published recommendations during the year, including ratings for the Canadian stock market.

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The fintech company tracked the number of successful ratings in order to calculate the success rate, or the number of profitable recommendations measured over one year, and average return per rating of the analysts who covered the Canadian markets.

Based on this information, TipRanks has released a list of 2019’s five best performing analysts for the Canadian markets, along with their top stock picks for 2020.

Carey MacRury, Canaccord Genuity

Carey MacRury’s impressive track record puts him in first place.

Out of the total number of ratings he made in 2019, 74.19 per cent were successful, and his calls generated an average return of 14.1 per cent.

Going into 2020, Mr. MacRury has high hopes for Teranga Gold Corp. (TGZ-T), a precious metal producer which is in the processes of acquiring 90 per cent of the Massawa project, a gold mining project in Senegal.

He said: “Teranga remains one of our top picks among the junior/intermediate producers.”

The analyst reiterated his “buy” rating and raised his price target to $11.50 from $9.00.

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Mark Rothschild, Canaccord Genuity

No. 2 on the list is also from Canaccord Genuity.

Mark Rothschild’s average return per rating in 2019 was 10.5 per cent, and he had a stellar 94.11-per-cent success rate.

In a company update, Rothschild focused on real estate company DREAM Unlimited Corp. (DRM-T) for 2020.

“While DRM’s share price has risen materially over the past month, it continues to trade at a large (33-per-cent) discount to our NAV estimate of $16.82 per share. Therefore, buying back shares remains an attractive use of capital and based on our current NAV estimate,” he said.

As a result, Rothschild left the “buy” rating and $13.75 price target as is.

Nik Priebe, BMO Nesbitt Burns

Taking the third spot on TipRanks’ list is Nik Priebe, who boasts an impressive 100-per-cent success rate. His average return per rating is the highest on the list at 22.1 per cent.

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Based on this achievement, all eyes are on the analyst’s bet for 2020. He has reiterated his “outperform” rating for Guardian Capital Group Ltd. (GCG-T), a diversified financial services company which he believes “is on the verge of transformative growth with its fundamental global equity strategy which could be the catalyst that helps narrow the gap between GDB.A’s stock price and sum-of-the-parts value.”

To this end, Priebe also bumped up the price target to $34.00, indicating upside potential of 28 per cent.

Josh Wolfson, RBC Dominion Securities

In fourth place is Josh Wolfson, who moved to RBC Dominion Securities in 2019. He had a 92.3-per-cent success rate and an average return of 13.7 per cent per rating.

His favorite stocks for 2020 is B2Gold Corp. (BTO-T), a small/mid-cap stock from the precious minerals sector.

According to Mr. Wolfson, the investment outlook looks good as “B2Gold is well positioned to deliver strong free cash flow in upcoming years as it benefits from high Fekola mine output in Mali. The increase in free cash flow should deleverage BTG’s balance sheet by year-end 2020.”

Last month, he initiated coverage with a “buy” rating and a price target of $5.88.

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Aravinda Galappatthige, Canaccord Genuity

Also from Canaccord Genuity, the analyst earned an 87.5-per-cent success rate and 9.4-per-cent average return per recommendation.

His bet for this year is media company Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B-T).

He says in his report, “As far as near-term TV ad growth is concerned, the primary factor is whether the recent reassessment of the digital/TV mix by the ad agencies and advertisers is ongoing. If that is the case we may well see a stable year in F2020, with additional Ad-Tech driven tailwinds coming into play during the latter part of the year.”

Mr. Galappatthige reiterated his “buy” rating two months ago and his price target is $9, which indicates good upside potential as the stock currently stands at $5.49.

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