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.
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