Eight Canadian Tech Companies: Who's Lucky and Who's Not? Part 2

by: Mark McQueen

For those of you interested in follow-up blogs, here is a look back at the progress that many of the publicly traded tech firms have enjoyed over the tumultuous past four weeks (see prior post “Tech haves and have nots” March 8-08):

The Haves:

  • Arise (OTC:APVNF): It is up 87% on the much-heralded promise of even more manufacturing capacity a few years from now.
  • Bridgewater [BWC/TSX]: It is down 10% on no news.
  • Descartes Systems (NASDAQ:DSGX): Essentially, the stock is flat.
  • DragonWave (DRGNF.PK): It is down another 21%.
  • Macdonald Dettwiler (OTCPK:MDDWF): It is down 10% on the news of the Industry Minister’s preliminary decision to hold up the space systems sale.
  • MKS [MKX/TSX]: It is up 53% as a major shareblock was cleared out at C$1.50, and news that 300,000 shares were recently acquired by insiders. It also has a good dividend (see prior post “Just sit tight - unless you’ve got the chance to raise capital” Jan 22-08). MKS is a Wellington Financial Fund I portfolio company.

  • Open Text (NASDAQ:OTEX): It is up 11%.

  • The Have Nots:

  • Espial [ESP/TSX]: It is down another 15%.

  • Evertz (OTC:EVTZF): It is up about 11%.

  • Nortel (NT): The stock is up 3%.

  • Redline [RDL/TSX]: It is down another 43% to a close of C$0.91. Having raised $21.6 million at $1.96 on the AIM IPO on December 6, 2006 (net of issuance costs of $3.88MM), $27.7 million on the TSX IPO at C$ on October 25, 2007 (net of issuance costs of $3 million), things are only getting worse.

    With Dec. 31, 2007 cash of $28.7 million, A/R of $17.4 million, and inventory of $9 million, the current market cap. of less than C$20 million is quite telling. In addition, the provision for doubtful A/R grew from 2% as at 2006 FYE to 7% as at 2007 FYE; and that’s after $1.224 million of bad debt was written off. Trouble with customers is never fun.

  • Sandvine (OTC:SNVNF): The Entrepreneur of the Year is up 10% (see prior posts “Sandvine CEO named ‘Entrepreneur of the year’” May 30-07 and “Sandvine gets taken out and shot” March 7-08).

  • Disclosure: The author owns MKS.