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Buzz on the Bullboards: Who’s Who in the Business of COVID

Stockhouse Editorial
3 Comments| October 15, 2020

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(Stock photo.)

It’s another week of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means another week where we see the healthcare sector continue to dominate investor attention … and for good reason.

Small-cap investors are always on the lookout for the most current and hottest plays to capitalize on these uncertain times in the markets, while other plays which have a longer-term on gains, see less interest than they may have had in years’ past.

Who came out on top this week? Who is new to the conversation? Who is ready to take their gains even further? Let’s take a dive in and find out.

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A top company getting a lot of attention on the Healthcare Bullboards is StageZero Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX: SZLS, Forum) who briefly touched $0.90 a share after launching its saliva-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) medical test last week which is designed for easier collection of patient samples.

Many bullboarders are seeing a holding pattern here, with few traders willing to drop shares now, especially with SZLS’ Q3 earnings report around a month away. Some users also pointed out that demand for quality testing in certified labs is bound to increase, and StageZero is at the forefront of this movement.

Shares of Canadian cannabis licensed producer Aphria Inc.(TSX: APHA, Forum) peaked at $8.23 this week, in the wake of the company’s announcement it had begun the maiden shipping of medical marijuana to Germany, a market closely-watched by other heavyweights in Canadian cannabis as a prime foothold for medical marijuana sales across Europe.

In other cannabis news, HEXO Corp. (TSX: HEXO, Forum) announced this week that it had appointed Trent MacDonald to its executive leadership team in the acting role of Chief Financial Officer. He most recently served as the CFO for Rx Drug Mart, a private pharmacy ‎operator/consolidator. Prior to that, he served as Vice President Finance of Indigo (TSX: IDG) and Vice President Finance for some of Sobeys’ (TSX: EMP.A) largest ‎divisions and regions.

This brings us to this week’s Stockhouse investor pulse poll question - How important to you is past performance among executives when they join a company? Click the image below to cast your vote and check back next week to see how you stack up.

(Click image to vote in poll.)

Taking a look at last week’s survey, it seems just over half of you are optimistic about the future of cannabis markets, regardless of how COVID is affecting stocks presently.

What the "Buzz"

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A newcomer to the top Technology Bullboards is ARHT Media Inc. (TSX-V: ART, Forum), a creator of digital human holograms (HumaGrams). In these times of social distancing, ART has developed a method to make programs like award shows go off like the large-scale spectacles that they are intended to be. ART announced recently that it had partnered with The Green Carpet Fashion Awards to help amplify the online awards show experience with holograms of celebrity presenters for their first-ever virtual awards ceremony that will be broadcasted globally.

ART followed this up with news that it had captured The Mind Architect Peter Crone in ARHT’s LA studio and presented him holographically for a live fireside talk with Juniper Park\TBWA CEO Jill Nykoliation at Hotel X in front of a physically distanced select audience of the YPO Maple Leaf chapter (Young Presidents’ Organization).

(Image via ARHT Media Inc.)

In previous editions of “Buzz”, we told you about how Datametrex AI Ltd. (TSX-V: DM, Forum) has been providing its COVID-19 tests with test kits and related services to film crews working in Vancouver’s movie and TV industry. Now DM has taken its services one step further and has developed an advanced statistical model to assess the current state of the pandemic and to monitor COVID-19 hotspots using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Datametrex is also developing an early alarm mapping system to keep watch for the pandemic using an advanced ML statistical model to monitor COVID-19 outbreaks.

In a media release on this news, Datametrex’s Chief Executive Officer, Marshall Gunter stated –
“Our AI pandemic management and analytics platform supports the modelling and monitoring of COVID-19. By leveraging smartphones and other digital technology, we use our analytics to produce metrics that help governments and communities evaluate trends to enable strategic and efficient deployment of resources.”

Having recently applied to list its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange as a technology company, PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSX-V: PYR, Forum)’s CEO, P. Peter Pascali stated that – “[T]he company is at a stage where investors could benefit from an up-listing to a more senior exchange, has taken, and is taking, steps to do just that.

PYR has long captivated Bullboarder’s attention and the high-tech company continued to draw chatter through its ongoing collaboration with HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ, Forum). This Montréal-based producer of Innovative Silicon Solutions, building a portfolio of unique high value specialty silicon products needed for the anticipated renewable energy revolution.

After closing a $2.4 million non-brokered private placement with PyroGenesis, HPQ announced this week that its subsidiary, HPQ Nano Silicon Powders inc. is advancing its PUREVAP Nano Silicon Reactor, presently being developed with PyroGenesis, and will be incorporating carbon coating into the spherical nano silicon powders and nanowires, yielding additional capability in its design.

Meanwhile on the Metals and Mining Bullboards, Vancouver, BC-based exploration and development company Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX:NDM, Forum) released a statement welcoming the first tangible step the US government has taken to address, what it considers to be a “threat to America’s economy and military security” that is being posed by a severe over-reliance on dubbed “foreign adversaries” for the supply of critical minerals and metals.

More than a few who post to the Bullboards believe that critical minerals and metals could be a key to bringing metals and mining closer to its prominence among the markets that it had once seen not so long ago.

It seems that a different sector struggles from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic each week. This past week may have solidified for many that the Metals and Mining sector might be losing out more than any other sector.

Operations have begun to revive from the fallout of the first COVID wave and those who are still invested are still seeing impressive gains from companies like Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (TSX:KL, Forum).

This week, KL released production results for Q3 2020 and first nine months of 2020. Q3 2020 production totaled 339,584 ounces, an increase of 91,184 ounces or 37% from 248,400 ounces for Q3 2019. For YTD 2020, the company produced 1,000,218 ounces, 305,345 ounces or 44% higher than the first nine months of 2019.

We will see how the major sectors have been faring through the month of October in next week’s edition of “Buzz”, while also taking stock of which companies the Stockhouse Bullboards are focused on for the autumn trading season. Make sure to check back in here or subscribe to the newsletter to get the weekly “Buzz” review sent directly to your inbox. For previous editions of Buzz on the Bullboards: click here.

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FULL DISCLOSURE: PyroGenesis Canada Inc. and Datametrex AI Ltd. are clients of Stockhouse Publishing.

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