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Jun 20, 2018

Parkas, heavy oil and planes lead TSX back to record territory

TSX Composite trading at all-time high

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The TSX Composite has clawed all the way back. After a rocky ride through much of the winter and early spring, the benchmark stock index has eclipsed its record intraday high of 16,421.42 set on Jan. 4, 2018. It’s been a relatively uneven recovery, with five of the eleven TSX subgroups in positive territory from the last peak, and it’s been a veritable grab bag of stocks leading the way.

Lead gainers:

Canada Goose (GOOS.TO): +113.38 per cent

MEG Energy (MEG.TO): +79.45 per cent

Bombardier (BBDb.TO): +77.57 per cent

Shopify (SHOP.TO): +67.95 per cent

The Stars Group (TSGI.TO): +64.83 per cent

Canada Goose:

The high-end parka-maker was having a fine showing to start the year, but shares really kicked it into high gear last week. The company delivered a surprise fourth-quarter profit, and posted 46.4 per cent revenue growth over the last fiscal year. And management doesn’t see the strength subsiding any time soon, forecasting sales will rise 20 per cent over the course of the next fiscal year.

MEG Energy:

One poster child for the Canadian oil market has surged as underlying commodity prices hold in the US$60 to US$70 per barrel range. MEG, which typically has an outsized reaction to fluctuations in crude prices, is far and away the top performer in the energy subgroup. The company has substantially raised its capital spending plans in the wake of oil’s recovery, with MEG planning to spend about $700 million this fiscal year, up from about $510 million last year.

Bombardier:

The plane and train maker has made a stunning recovery after stepping close to the brink. The infusion of stability from its deal to sell a majority stake in its flagship CSeries program to Airbus has rewarded shareholders in spades. At the end of May, CSeries launch carrier Air Baltic signed a firm order for 30 additional jets and an option to double that amount, which at list price would sell for about US$5.9 billion. The recent run of deals hasn’t escaped notice from the investment community, with Goldman Sachs reinitiating coverage of the company with a street-high price target of $7.

Shopify:

Canada’s latest tech darling hasn’t lost any momentum in 2018. After ending last year as the third-best performer on the TSX, shares of Shopify have kept moving higher. While year-over-year revenue growth has slipped below 70 per cent for the first time since the company hit public markets, the e-commerce software provider continues to add merchants at a brisk pace.

The Stars Group:

Online gambling company Stars Group has been buoyed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The company formerly known as Amaya Gaming was swept up in a gambling stock rally after the top American court struck down a federal law barring betting on individual sporting events in the bulk of the country. The Stars Group, which is best known for its PokerStars brand, has also been on the acquisition trail, buying 80 per cent of William Hill's Australia business.

Honourable mention: Great Canadian Gaming (GC.TO): +58.05 per cent

Not to be outdone by its online brethren, Great Canadian Gaming has delivered a banner 2018. Shares of the company surged after it blew past first-quarter earnings expectations, with its recently-acquired license to operate a trio of Greater Toronto Area facilities driving the bulk of the gains. The results raised some eyebrows over how much Great Canadian spent for the so-called GTA Bundle, with some market participants taking the view Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario government sold it for a song.

Dishonourable mention: Corus Entertainment (CJRb.TO): -44.01 per cent

2018 has been a disaster for Corus Entertainment shareholders. The company, which distributes programming including HGTV Canada, the Food Network Canada and the Cooking Channel, has been struggling in the face of the headwinds buffeting legacy media. There has been some concern about the sustainability of the dividend, with the company’s yield currently sitting north of 17 per cent.

All returns above were as of 9:52 a.m. ET on June 20.

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