For investors looking for Canadian companies in the tech sector, options have been rather slim, with former juggernaut BlackBerry (TSX: BB)(NASDAQ: BBRY) crumbling into the ground right next to Nortel. Where does this leave tech-hungry investors? Are there any other options left?
Why, yes there are. Let’s take a look at some of the future powerhouses of the Canadian tech sector.
Masters of the “Internet of Things”
Sierra Wireless (TSX: SW)(NASDAQ: SWIR) has carved itself a niche market that is quickly becoming mainstream. The company creates machine-to-machine communication infrastructure that can be operated wirelessly through the internet. It can be used to operate things such traffic notification signs, security camera networking, and cloud-based operations.
This technology is far from a novelty, as both Apple and Google have been endeavouring to make more and more mundane products compatible with an app or device. This interest from the major players has led insiders to declare the Internet of Things a $19 trillion industry by 2020.
The products flowing out of Sierra Wireless have the possibility to make your humble handheld device more powerful than anything on Star Trek or The Jetsons. For the investors of yesterday who picked up the stock at a 52-week low of $11.78 last June, Friday’s closing price was $21.77. This shows the amount of instant growth the company has experienced in what is really the infancy of this technology.
King of the cloud
Since its purchase of Aastra, Mitel Networks (TSX: MNW)(NASDAQ: MITL) has become a billion-dollar company that now has the size to compete against U.S. tech giant Cisco. Mitel has taken great strides to reinvent itself from a business communication solution company to one of leaders in cloud computing, as was evident with the acquisition of Aastra.
Speaking of the Aastra merger, Standard & Poor’s has decided to upgrade its long-term corporate rating from B to B+ due to the “early integration success” of the merger. Investors who were around for the ride before the merger have been rewarded, as the stock’s 52 week-low of $3.66 last June is now overshadowed by its Friday close of $11.85.
The backbone of broadcasting
If cloud computing and machine to machine communications aren’t up your alley, why not check out Evertz Technologies (TSX: ET)? The company designs and manufactures audio and video equipment for television, film, and online broadcasting. In other words, it creates the infrastructure to take the action that is happening on the sound stage to your TV.
It’s a good time for Evertz and its investors, as it has just released its year-end reports, where records were broken. Revenue for the year was $325 million, up from $316 million last year, while net earnings were down slightly — $83 million compared to $86 million. A research and development investment last year of $60 million may have affected earnings. However, net earnings just in Q4 2014 were $14 million, up from $8 million in Q4 2013. The stock closed Friday at $18.25, just shy of its 52-week high of $18.90.