David Olive: Stock surges and setbacks for the week ending Nov. 20


Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. (EGLX.TO) $ 2.87+53.5%

Investors have been slow to warm to stock in Enthusiast Gaming, which operates the largest online network of gaming sites in North America. The stock was flat this year until news that Joe Biden was making use of the Toronto company’s nearly 1,000 YouTube channels and other gaming platforms to reach Gen X and Millennial voters in his U.S. presidential campaign. The stock made further gains this week as Enthusiast expanded its advertising clientele to include consumer-products giants Gillette and the Popeyes fast-food chain.

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS.TO) $ 45.54+1.4%

In the midst of a global pandemic, Canada Goose has held up remarkably well. Earlier this month, the firm reported sales and profits that widely outperformed gloomy analysts’ forecasts. Credit the firm’s increased online prowess, which has helped offset sales declines in traditional stores. Canada Goose also benefits from its sizable presence in Mainland China, the first major economy to fully reopen after gaining control of the pandemic. But the firm warns that European and North American sales will remain weak due to rising pandemic cases in those regions.

Cineplex Inc. (CGX.TO) $ 8.94+22.8%

The thriller now playing at Cineplex theatres is a survival saga that investors have lately taken an interest in. True, in its latest quarter, Cineplex reported a 91 per cent drop in attendance and an 85 per cent plunge in revenues from the same quarter in 2019, and recorded a $ 121.2 million loss. But the Toronto firm, Canada’s biggest cinema operator, also recently won temporary relief from financial covenants on $ 460 million in credit facilities. And it was able to raise $ 303 million in new financing — an act of faith by lenders that the post-pandemic era will see a robust recovery in theatregoing.




Jamieson Wellness Inc. (JWEL.TO) $ 34.90-8.5%

Jamieson has been one of the pandemic winners. The stock has more than tripled in value over the past three years, with much of that gain this year. The leading maker of vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, based in Toronto, has benefited from the long-term wellness movement. The pandemic further increased demand for supplements that boost immune systems. But as all stock-market darlings do, Jamieson finally reached the point of overvaluation, trading at a pricey 48 times earnings by September. A correction was due. But the underlying fundamentals, including Jamieson’s successful international expansion, remain intact.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) $ 31.75-5.8%

Barrick investors have been riding a roller coaster this year. Gold went on a tear, hitting a record price of $ 2,050 (U.S.) in August. But the gold price has since slumped as perceived geopolitical risk — the main reason people buy gold — has receded. Barrick has reported an impressive profit of $ 3.0 billion (U.S.) year-to-date. But the pandemic and local political disputes have intermittently closed two of Barrick’s biggest mines. And at least some investors were put off the stock when, earlier this month, Warren Buffett revealed that he had dumped about 40 per cent of his Barrick stake, so keen to do so that he took a loss on the shares.

Metro Inc. (MRU.TO) $ 60.68-1.9%

Metro, one of Canada’s top three grocery chains, is among the pandemic economy’s winners. Some investors who anticipated the strong 11.4 per cent increase in fourth-quarter profit that Metro reported this week took their winnings off the table. But Metro’s growth prospects remain intact. Building on a 160 per cent surge in online sales in the latest quarter, Metro is accelerating growth its online-pickup capacity, and upgrading its online pharmacy operations to counter Amazon’s recent move into prescription drugs. Metro is also expanding the variety of its prepared-meal offerings, catering to the growing “grocerant” trend of selling restaurant-like meals.

David Olive