Stockwatch 2011 Chart

The best-performing Alberta-based stocks of 2011

by Fabrice Taylor

One Bumpy Ride

If you didn’t have your seatbelt fastened as an investor in 2011, you likely got hurt. You wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at the year-end performance, mind you: while the TSX was down 11 per cent, the broader S&P 500 ended the year effectively flat. But those relatively muted returns masked the greatest level of market volatility in history, with 500 point swings in both directions a regular occurrence. What does 2012 hold in store? More volatility is almost surely in the cards, but so too are some interesting opportunities if you can find them. The best place to start looking is in last year’s returns, so we’ve gathered the info on Alberta’s 50 biggest companies (by market cap) on each of the TSX and TSXV. We’ve also brought in Fabrice Taylor, the author of our Smart Investor column, to help guide you through a few of those figures. Welcome to 2012 – and remember to keep that seatbelt firmly fastened.

The Departed

Having exhausted its ability to use the phonetic “fx” in cutesy marketing gimmicks, Afexa (maker of Cold-FX, Memory-FX, Coldsore-FX) became the object of a bitter bidding war between Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Paladin Labs, which, given the prize, was like two trolls fighting over a mirror. Ailing sales didn’t seem to deter the bidders, both of whom thought they could turn Afexa’s secret (ginseng, that is) formulas into gold. At least feverish investors finally got the cure they needed.

The lights went out on Daylight Energy after the company was bought by Sinopec, the Chinese energy behemoth, whose two-year outbound oil deal tally will hit almost $60 billion. What did the Chinese see in Daylight? A depressed price and an inability to raise money – just what it sees in everything they gobble up as they stealthily take over the world. Daylight’s CEO was last seen pulling a rickshaw laden with Asian men in suits through downtown Calgary.

*All information as of December 1, 2011

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Company Ticker Price Market

(in thousands)
Total Return
52 Week
52 Week
1Suncor EnergySU30.55$48,094,740-19.20%$47.27$23.97
2Can Natural ResourcesCNQ37.84$41,425,240-14.10%$50.50$27.25
3Imperial OilIMO43.37$36,760,3717.90%$54.00$34.15
6Cenovus EnergyCVE33.38$25,147,9902.10%$38.99$28.84
7Husky EnergyHSE25.32$24,244,840-0.30%$30.58$20.61
8Encana ECA20.30$14,928,090-28.70%$34.25$18.62
9Talisman EnergyTLM13.90$14,333,880-36.70%$24.82$11.34
10Crescent PointCPG44.08$12,571,4105.70%$48.61$35.51
11Agrium AGU71.58$11,296,390-21.70%$98.02$63.93
12Canadian PacificCP61.19$10,371,139-3.90%$69.48$46.01
13Canadian Oil SandsCOS21.23$10,285,970-16.00%$33.94$18.17
14Shaw Comm-BSJR.B20.94$9,248,5682.10%$22.45$19.10
15Penn West EnergyPWT18.63$8,746,136-18.80%$28.20$13.22
16Meg Energy CorpMEG44.90$8,664,727-1.30%$52.92$32.26
17Nexen IncNXY16.17$8,528,159-28.60%$27.11$14.75
18Canadian UtilitiesCU61.55$7,865,87816.40%$64.36$47.89
19Arc Resources ARX25.78$7,396,4986.00%$28.67$19.40
20Baytex Energy BTE52.52$6,131,99317.60%$58.77$39.18
21Pembina PipelinePPL29.91$5,014,75846.90%$30.21$20.64
23Tourmaline Oil TOU30.79$4,828,05941.20%$35.97$20.05
25Inter Pipeline FundIPL.UN18.23$4,761,20329.10%$18.55$13.40
26Athabasca Oil ATH11.78$4,704,386-21.50%$18.95$9.61
27Bonavista EnergyBNP26.78$4,378,904-2.40%$32.00$19.88
28Trilogy Energy TET37.75$4,374,178210.40%$37.80$11.35
29Vermilion EnergyVET47.14$4,274,4266.10%$52.45$38.62
30Pengrowth EnergyPGF10.64$3,866,471-11.10%$13.97$8.48
31Atco ACO.X62.11$3,585,6886.50%$66.31$55.02
32Paramount ResourcesPOU40.54$3,451,46128.00%$41.48$26.43
33Progress EnergyPRQ14.42$3,340,34816.10%$15.65$11.00
34Peyto Exploration & DevelopmentPEY24.56$3,267,98537.10%$24.75$17.10
35Keyera KEY45.56$3,250,12635.20%$47.33$33.40
36Precision DrillingP11.61$3,206,43720.90%$17.20$7.98
37AltaGas ALA31.13$2,829,57550.30%$31.46$20.26
38Provident EnergyPVE9.98$2,720,34833.40%$10.03$6.83
39Boardwalk BEI.UN51.41$2,685,68128.80%$52.41$39.75
40Niko ResourcesNKO51.76$2,670,865-49.70%$105.28$39.00
41Trican Well ServTCW18.12$2,658,376-9.80%$26.74$13.44
42Celtic ExplorationCLT24.64$2,576,54638.70%$27.08$16.61
43Ensign Energy ESI16.33$2,501,92310.50%$21.51$12.25
45Cdn Western BankCWB28.39$2,140,0701.50%$31.75$24.00
46Petrobakken PBN9.96$1,864,877-51.00%$23.00$6.04
47Gibson EnergyGEI19.33$1,848,2160.00%$20.44$15.25
48Birchcliff EnergyBIR13.73$1,739,20943.90%$15.62$9.24
49Mullen GroupMTL19.49$1,575,34819.60%$23.28$15.25
50Westjet AirlinesWJA11.00$1,521,981-21.00%$16.02$10.00

February 2012 Contents