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Buzz on the Bullboards: How Markets Carved Out Gains During COVID & Winter Storms


Stockhouse Editorial
14 Comments| February 25, 2021

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(Image via Extreme Vehicle Battery Technologies Corp.)

It is only the end of the second month of the year, but what a year it has been for North American stock markets. The Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have been especially impacted by the performance of tech stocks, with the latter market reaching new highs just a few weeks ago, only to see a massive sell-off in the last few days, all around the performance of tech companies.

Some of this can be credited to a jump in US Treasury yields, which put pressure on risk assets. COVID-19 is still weighing heavily on the overall performance of every segment of the markets at the US recorded 500,000 deaths.


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Calling it a “heartbreaking milestone” during a candle lighting ceremony this week, US President Joe Biden confirmed US infections now stand at 28.1 million, also a global record, with the number of deaths also the highest of any country. This is not even the worst crisis on the minds of many Americans right now, the devastating effects of the latest winter storm will be felt for a long time to come and much of that is due to the energy market.

Everything is connected. Let’s take a look at how these big stories have shaped the share performances of some of the top companies on the Stockhouse Bullboards this week ….

BlackBerry Limited (TSX: BB, Forum) released its 2021 Threat Report this week, which pointed to a sharp rise in cyberthreats facing organizations since the onset of COVID-19.
From the report:

“The research shows a cybercrime industry which not only adapted to new digital habits, but also became increasingly successful in finding and targeting vulnerable organizations. The research also highlights a dangerous new shift in the cybercrime world, one where mercenaries and crimeware-as-a-service models have become increasingly accessible.”

BB also made news this week after the launch of its new research and development arm called BlackBerry Advanced Technology Labs. The Waterloo-based tech company’s Chief Technology Officer, Charles Eagan, said - “Labs will operate as its own business unit solely focused on innovating and developing the technologies of tomorrow that will be necessary for our sustained competitive success, from A to Z; Artificial Intelligence to Zero-Trust environments.”

Autonomous vehicles just happens to be one of those innovations. BlackBerry is teaming up with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to make smart cars even more smart and more secure, with luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker KarmaAutomotive as one of the first to test it out.

The heart of the EV is the battery and Extreme Vehicle Battery Technologies Corp. (CSE: ACDC, Forum) launched its IoniX Pro Recreational Vehicle Freedom line this week. The RV market was estimated in value at $51 billion (USD) in 2019, and projections from research firm Facts and Factors are showing the US market to hit $77 billion (USD) by 2026.



Investors in PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSX-V.PYR, Forum) were no doubt bug-eyed at the sight of a near 170% jump in share price from the beginning of the month and the company appears to be equally surprised behind the scenes.

In a news release commenting on the stock’s performance, the company’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer, P. Peter Pascali said that the company remains on track with current and prospective projects, as well as with the NASDAQ listing.

“I just wanted to take the time to reassure investors that the decline in stock price this morning cannot be explained by any undisclosed developments at the company, as all material events have been disclosed.”


(PyroGenesis Stock Chart – September 2020 to February 2021. Click to enlarge.)


That brings us to this week’s Investor Pulse Poll survey. With so much attention on the performance of the energy and tech sectors these past couple of weeks, are you eyeing stocks in either of those segments, or waiting for things to “blow over”? Click the image below to cast your vote.


(Click image to vote.)

Looking back to last week’s survey, a solid majority of you who responded believe gold is where the action will be later this year. Agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.



Oil prices have risen as much as 4% this week as US crude output slowly comes back online after last week’s deep freeze in Texas shut down production. Anywhere from 2 million to 4 million barrels per day of oil output were shut by oil producers due to cold weather in Texas and other oil producing states. Drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow and it is expected that it may take several weeks before damaged systems are fully restored.

Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX: CPG, Forum) released its operating and financial results for 2020, highlighting annual average production ahead of 2020 guidance with capital expenditures under budget and a disciplined 2021 budget that is expected to generate $375 to $600 million of excess cash flow at $50 (USD) / bbl to $60 (USD) / bbl West Texas Intermediate.



It could be a similar story for Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX: BTE, Forum). Traders will be watching this stock closely today, as it is set to release its Q4 and full year 2020 financial and operating results, followed by a conference call and webcast. Click here for the details on how to listen live or download a recording.

BTE had generated production of 77,814 boe/d (82% oil and NGL) in Q3 2020 and 82,907 boe/d (82% oil and NGL) for the first nine months of last year. It had also logged adjusted funds flow of $79 million ($0.14 per basic share) in Q3 2020 and $229 million ($0.41 per basic share) for the first nine months of 2020.

Inter Pipeline Ltd. (TSX: IPL, Forum) is urging its shareholders to not take any action following the news that an affiliate of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP has commenced a conditional, unsolicited takeover bid to acquire all outstanding common shares of the company. The board has 15 days to provide shareholders with a recommendation regarding the offer, but it was also noted that the board still believes that Inter Pipeline is well positioned to be an energy infrastructure leader in Western Canada and supports its action-based and focused business strategy.

You can read the full letter to investors here.


What the "Buzz"

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Topping the Healthcare Top 6 for the third week in a row is The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX: FIRE, Forum), who just activated a bought deal offering of 83,490,000 units of the company for aggregate gross proceeds of $25,881,900. The net proceeds will be used to fund growth initiatives, as a reserve for strategic opportunities.



That wasn’t the only big cannabis news on the Healthcare Bullboard this week, as a team up between Leamington ON-based Aphria Inc. (TSX: APHA, Forum) and Nanaimo, BC-based cannabis licensed producer Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY, Forum) launched aphriatilraytogether.com.

This new resource seeks to provide shareholders of both companies with information, news, and updates leading up to the special meetings of shareholders at which Aphria’s and Tilray’s respective shareholders will vote on the resolutions necessary to implement the proposed business combination of the two companies. The website will also allow the public to register for transaction updates.

Finally, as TAATLifestyle & Wellness Ltd. (CSE: TAAT, Forum) carves out its market niche that serves the estimated 17% of the world, or 1.3 billion people, who use tobacco, it is creating a global tobacco market solution that could play into its value that approached $1 trillion (USD) last year.

TAAT has developed a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional cigarettes and their potential is not mere hyperbole. More than $100,000 (CAD) worth of TAAT tobacco-free cigarettes were ordered on the first weekend following the launch of the company’s online storefront. That is less than 48 hours of sales activity.

Who knows what next week will bring, and which stocks will survive and thrive? What we can predict is that we will be able to get a clearer picture of where the markets are headed, and which companies will do well in the times to come. For previous editions of Buzz on the Bullboards: click here.


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FULL DISCLOSURE: Extreme Vehicle Battery Technologies Corp., PyroGenesis Canada Inc., and TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd. are clients of Stockhouse Publishing.


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