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The year 2019 was good for Canadian stock market investors

Ron Walter looks at the performance of various stocks in 2019
Bizworld by Ron Walter

Last year was a good year for the stock market in Canada with a 19 per cent gain by the benchmark TSE 300 Index.

That gain comes after four years of unimpressive gains as the oil-weighted exchange suffered from low oil prices.

In 2019, oil prices failed a major recovery but other sectors, notably gold stocks, did much better.

Six of the 22 stocks covered by Bizworld during the year were gold companies. Seven gained in price, one lost.

Northeastern B.C. gold explorer Royal Ascot lost 14 per cent despite increasing reserves.

Equinox Gold Corp., a miner in Brazil and California, turned in a cool 88 per cent gain with Ecuador miner Lundin Gold gaining 81 per cent.

Northeastern B.C. miner Pretium Gold turned in a neat 61 per cent gain.

A mid-year column on Nova Scotia-based Atlantic Gold saw a 63 per cent gain when an Australian company acquired the open pit miner.

A late year column pegged a risky K92 Mining in Papua, New Guinea as a choice. K92 gained 19 per cent by year end.

Five aircraft leasing companies featured in a spring column performed well.

The lone Canadian company, Chorus Aviation, gained 19 per cent.

Los Angeles-based Air Lease Inc. gained 27 per cent.

Irish-based Aerocap gained 32 per cent while another Irish-based firm, Fly Leasing, gained 78 per cent.

Two Saskatchewan penny miners in base metals exploration were split. Foran Mining with a zinc-copper deposit in the Hanson Lake area lost seven per cent to 28 cents. Murchison Minerals, with a zinc-copper property, gained 59 per cent to 13.5 cents.

Among other metals explorers, Arianne Phosphate looking to develop a Quebec property, lost 38 per cent to 24.5 cents.

Young technology companies didn’t perform well.

An exception was hydrogen generator developer dynaCERT, gaining 74 per cent to 84 cents.

Baylin Technology, maker of antennae for telecommunications, lost 46 per cent as 5G expansion was delayed.

Bion Environmental, a U.S. developer of a livestock wastewater treatment, lost 36 per cent.

And plant-based meat company, Beyond Meat, lost 48 per cent, as suggested in a late year column.

Facebook, listed as risky in mid-year, gained 26 per cent.

DIRTT Environmental Technologies, specializing in interior renovations, hit the skids for a 46 per cent loss after a co-founder set up a competing business.

Cleaning business acquisitor GDI Facilities gained 19 per cent on the strength of more acquisitions.

Retailer Dollarama lost 9.4 per cent after a late year column proposed it as a stock to watch.

Montreal-based meal delivery firm GOLO Mobile gained four per cent to 35.5 cents.

Analysts are split about 2020; some see the end of a 10-year bull market and difficulties from trade wars, mid-eastern issues and Brexit.

Others see continued low interest rates spurring on the bull market.

This may be the year Americans and Canadians re-discover the bargains in Canadian oil stocks.

CAUTION: Remember when investing, consult your adviser and do your homework before buying any security. Bizworld does not recommend investments.

Ron Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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