The aggressive rate hike campaign by the Bank of Canada to control inflation is a strong headwind for stocks. The Feds did not hold back if you look at the timeline of rate hikes in Canada. They raised the policy rate seven times in the seven times they met in 2022, 4.25% ending at year-end.
For 2023, the policymakers met seven times, implemented rate hikes thrice and paused in four. The last scheduled meeting for the year is on Dec. 6, 2023. Rate-sensitive stocks suffered sharp declines as a result. However, some TSX stocks endure the shock and even offer protection.
Budget-friendly fast food
Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR) outperforms because food is essential, and quick-service restaurants offer budget-friendly meals. In the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, net income fell 31.3 % to US$364 million, not due to weak sales but the income tax expense in the current year and unfavourable foreign exchange movement.
Total revenues rose 6.4% to US$1.83 billion from a year ago, while systems-wide sales rose 10.9% year over year. RBI chief executive officer (CEO) Josh Kobza credits the brands’ strength, franchises’ efforts, and home market franchisee profitability growth for another quarter of double-digit system-wide sales growth.
Kobza said, “I am confident we are well positioned to enter 2024 with momentum.” QSR trades at $94.03 per share (+9.99% year to date) and pays a decent 3.24% dividend.
Affordable everyday products
Nothing is surprising about Dollarama’s (TSX:DOL) +24.30% market-beating return thus far in 2023. The business of this $27.7 billion operator of dollar chain stores is recession-proof. If you invest today ($98.13 per share), the consumer defensive stock also pays a 0.28% dividend.
In Q2 fiscal 2024, sales and net earnings increased 19.6% and 27% to $1.45 billion and $245.7 million versus Q2 fiscal 2023. Also, there were 18 net new stores compared to 13 a year ago. Its president and CEO, Neil Rossy, said, “Dollarama continues to deliver unparalleled value to a growing number of consumers seeking affordable everyday products at low price points.”
Rossy expects the strong demand to persist through the rest of the year amid the current macroeconomic environment. Dollarama hopes to end fiscal 2024 with 60 to 70 net new store openings and achieve 10% to 11% comparable store sales growth.
Lottery and charitable gambling
Pollard Banknote (TSX:PBL) has rewarded investors with superior gains in 2023. At $29.30 per share, the current investors are up 53.99% year to date and partake in the modest 0.57% dividend.
Apart from lottery and gaming solutions, the $788.87 million company is the largest and second-largest provider of instant tickets based in Canada and the world, respectively. Management believes Pollard is now North America’s second-largest bingo paper and pull-tab supplier and the largest supplier of iLottery solutions in the U.S. lottery market via a 50% joint venture arrangement.
In Q3 2023, net income reached $7.7 million compared to a $0.2 million net loss in Q3 2022. Pollard also achieved quarterly records in combined sales, record-level iLottery sales, and adjusted EBITDA. Pollard expects overall demand for its products and solutions to remain strong but not instant ticket volume.
Protect your wealth
QSR, DOL, and PBL are outstanding choices if you need to take a defensive position and protect your wealth against high interest rates.