Tag Archives: ISV

March 2021 Update – $OSS.v, $REPH, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $ISV.to, $STC.v, $FTG.to, $VMD.to, $SYZ.to, $MTLO.v, $DWSN, $SVT, $FXC.to, $PZA.to

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Thoughts on Market Activity

Once a month I write in my investment journal to attempt to capture my current thoughts on the public markets. It’s not a forecast and I am not a macro guy. It is a quick snapshot of what is happening in real time and how I’m processing it.

This month I made note of how the broader market seems to continue to rotate out of “what worked in 2020”/SaaS/lockdown names and into “recovery” companies. The S&P ended up 7.4% YTD, while the TSX ended up 6.7%. The Russel 2000 has now outperformed the Nasdaq comp over the ttm. The disordered pace of covid vaccine distribution seems to be creating lots of noise. As well, there are many that are very concerned about variants and their implications on the healthcare system. It is interesting to experience in real time. This goes without even mentioning NFT, crypto, EVs, etc. Such things I have no business commenting on.

I continue to find some interesting opportunities in more cyclical companies, although these usually amount to more and smaller positions. As always looking for businesses with long term potential, with incentivized management and a reasonable valuation is the main goal and will constitute the largest amount of my energy. Of course, building positions in such businesses takes continuous effort on the bid as they tend to be illiquid.

Building wealth in the most reasonable way for me is not always the optimal way in the short term.

Posts this month

Quick Notes on Companies Recently Mentioned

  • OneSoft Solutions ($OSS.v)
    • Announced an acquisition of IP
      • Not a ton of details
      • They are usually very thorough on MD&A’s so likely to get more color then
    • Posted Q4 2020 results
      • In line with my expectations
      • MD&A is a must read to understand the value proposition
  • Recro Pharma ($REPH)
    • As mentioned before, I have sold but continue to monitor
  • Issuer Direct ($ISDR)
    • Released Q4 2020
      • Results were good
      • Continue to hold my position
  • Pulse Seismic ($PSD.to)
    • Reported auditor change
      • Non event as it was board approved
    • Lots of volume on March 12
  • Information Services Corp ($ISV.to)
    • Released Q4
      • Business is holding up well
      • Margins have ticked up a bit
      • With the Paragon acquisition they are getting more revenue from services
      • Some delays due to covid, but it didn’t sound like anything major
      • Interesting company
  • Sangoma Technologies Corp ($STC.v)
    • Officially closed the acquisition of Star2Star
  • Firan Technology ($FTG.to)
    • Polar Asset Management sales
      • 528k shares sold from Jan 8 to Feb 12
      • About 50% of the trading volume
      • They now own about 9% of the outstanding shares
  • Viemed ($VMD.to)
    • Reported Q4
      • Still executing well
      • The covid related one time revenue will run off
      • Call indicated that they can return to historical growth rates once we are fully reopen
  • Sylogist ($SYZ.to)
    • Received conditional approval to list on TSX from TSXV
    • Acquisition of MAS (Municipal Accounting Systems) and new credit line
      • 37.8 mil in cash
      • 7.4 mil rev
      • 4.3 mil ebitda
      • Will be immediately accretive
    • Held a call after the acquisition
      • Will list on TSX shortly
      • Integration of MAS 90-120 days
      • Key employees staying on post integration
      • Investing in sales and marketing to expand MAS geographically
    • Announced they will list on TSX
  • Martello Technologies Group Inc ($MTLO.v)
    • They announced a private placement concurrent with the bought deal
      • This was closed and mgmt. participated for about 1 mil
    • I have sold my shares at a small loss and will move on
      • I will continue to monitor for a few quarters
    • Announced strategic sales win
      • It sounds quite positive
  • Dawson Geophysical ($DWSN)
    • Reported Q4
      • As expected rev way down
      • Potential to recover further with O&G activity
  • Servotronics ($SVT)
    • Filed a notification of inability to timely file their 10-K (deadline was March 31)
      • Micorcaps are fun
  • FAX Capital ($FXC.to)
    • Announced a placement with QUIS
      • 16 mil shares at $1.25 for 20mil total
      • 1 year lock up
      • Able to nominate a board member
      • They should still have lots of cash left over after this
    • Closed Carson Dunlop acquisition and placement with QUIS
      • Also appointed a president (graham Badun) of a new platform company
      • Was president of Alarm Force
    • Q4 results posted
      • No surprises
      • Estimating they have about 45% cash in book value after the acquisition of PEO
  • Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp ($PZA.to)
    • Reported Q4 2020 – Not much to report
      • Ontario and Alberta have been under fairly strict lockdowns during the back half of the quarter
      • Non traditional is hurting
      • Payout ratio was 84%
      • They feel they can grow store count by 5% in 2021

The author is long $OSS.v, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $STC.v, $VMD.to, $FXC.to at time of writing.

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Feb 2021 Recap – $CSW/A.to, $REPH, $ISDR, $PSD.to, $ISV.to, $IDG.to, $STC.v, $FTG.to, $XTC.to, $SYZ.to, $FRD, $FRII.to, $RELL, $MTLO.v, $DWSN

Holy cow this month was busy.

TIKR

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Thoughts on Market Activity

Once a month I write in my investment journal to attempt to capture my current thoughts on the public markets. It’s not a forecast and I am not a macro guy. It is a quick snapshot of what is happening in real time and how I’m processing it.

This month I made note of Reddit and meme stock phenomenon. Also, layering on the uncertainty with covid and the lockdowns. For the first half of the month there seemed to be a record number of victory laps being taken and many are now regretful that they were not fully invested (or beyond fully invested) in tech/SaaS/WFH stocks over the last 6-9 months. On a personal note, I had never been trolled so hard from non-finance people for asking about risk when they mention hot stocks. The end of the month seen some of the market darlings (my proxy being ARK ETFs) look like they are rolling over. What I find interesting about this is that many of these companies could see their market cap drop by 60-80% and still be considered expensive by traditional financial metrics. I must admit I have had a harder time than ever staying on task and keeping on productive activities.

Posts this month

Company Updates

  • Corby Spirit and Wine Limited (tse: $CSW/A.to & $CSW/B.to)
    • Fiscal Q2 2021 released
      • Rev and gross profit down a bit vs. last year
      • Opex was down a bit as well
      • Nets out to pretty flat EBIT
      • 5% dividend
      • EV/FCF around 10
      • 12ish P/E
  • Recro Pharma ($REPH)
    • Renaissance Technologies disclosed a 5.8% position
      • interesting development thought doesn’t seem meaningful
    • Portolan Capital Management disclosed a 5.5% stake or 1.3 mil shares
      • This does not look like a meaningful position for the fund
    • management additions
      • looks like a (very) small amount of portfolio
    • amendment to credit facility
      • debt reduced to 100mil from 116mil
      • interest rate reduced by 1.5%
      • the reduced portion of the term was exchanged for $9 mil in shares of REPH
      • they now deleverd by 25mil in the last 4 month
    • Released Q4 2020
      • The quarter was below my expectations
      • They posted negative gross margin and went through about 5 mil in cash before capex or changes in working capital
      • Guidance was for stronger Q1 rev
    • Also filed an S-3 to issue up to $30mil to Aspire Capital
      • There is a limit of 6.2mil shares allowed
        • There are about 23mil shares outstanding at the moment
      • Uses volume weighted average price (VWAP)
        • Minimum price of $3.43
      • Can’t be more than $500K per day
    • I have sold my shares – the position size was not worth the headache and I need to clear my head
      • I will continue to monitor for 2 or 3 quarters as part of my feedback loop when buying or selling
  • Issuer Direct ($ISDR)
    • Polar Asset Management filed that they sold their 325k shares
      • This is about 8% of the outstanding
      • The shares have absorbed the sale really well
      • Not a material event for me given how well the business is performing
    • Announced a platform upgrade
      • Should help drive Accesswire adoption over time
  • Pulse Seismic ($PSD.to)
    • Reported Q4 2020 results
      • Better than expected
      • Rev down a little
      • Shares have been performing well YTD
  • Information Services Corp ($ISV.to)
    • QV Investors picked up some more shares in Jan 2021
      • This is the first time I’ve seen them active in ISV since 2016
    • Provided an update and outlook for 2021
      • No hard numbers were given for guidance
      • They are expecting Registry and Services to have lower volumes than normal in 2021
      • They are expecting Services to perform well
      • Technology experienced some delays but seem to be chugging along as best they can remotely
      • Trading at 9x ev/forward ebitda for a very strategic asset
  • Indigo Books & Music ($IDG.to)
    • New president announced
      • Leading the “Living with Intention” and transforming the business model
      • He has experience in different types of retail and managing brands
    • Reported Q3 results
      • Did better than I expected given all the covid lockdowns over the holiday season
      • Keeping operating margins here may prove to be a challenge as the support programs may come off quicker than activity returns
      • Having said that they are leaner then when the pandemic first hit
  • Sangoma Technologies Corp ($STC.v)
    • see post from the month
  • Firan Technology ($FTG.to)
    • reported fiscal Q4 2020
      • results were better than I expected
      • there is a fair bit of uncertainty in their market right now
      • seems cheap with what the potential could be with lots of cash
      • it looks like 2021 (and forward) defense budgets will remain
      • 2021 visibility on simulator sales is low right now and could we weighing on the share price
      • might do a formal revisit
  • Exco Technologies ($XTC.to)
    • Released fiscal Q4 2020
      • Results were better than I expected
      • Raised their dividend a bit
      • They seem to be executing well and are now trading at single digit ev/forward ebit
      • I know this isn’t SaaS or EV or crypto or anything sexy, but this company seems to be turning the corner and warrants a closer look
    • NCIB announced
      • 9.5% of total outstanding
  • Sylogist ($SYZ.to)
    • released Q1 and held a virtual meeting
      • results were in line with expectation to me
    • the core business is quite profitable
    • new CEO may be a driver for higher growth whether organic or inorganic
    • something to monitor
  • Friedman Industries ($FRD)
    • Renaissance Technologies LLC announced they own share
      • 543,752 shares 
      • 7.72% of Friedman Industries Inc..
    • Reported Q3 2021
      • Good quarter
        • rev up a little, while tons sold (in the coil segment) was down a bit
        • gross margins way up
          • higher steel prices and sale of a steel derivatives contract
          • increased throughput
        • some equipment changes are starting to pay off
      • was bouncing around NCAV price, now at a slight premium
  • Freshii ($FRII.to)
    • Held AGM and reduction of capital for the A shares was approved
      • The NCIB starts in March and is approved for up to 10% of the public float
      • If they execute the maximum per day repurchase they will still only hit about 65% of the total approved
        • They are allowed to execute a block purchase
    • Q4 results came out
      • Business is obviously weak due to covid lockdowns
      • They maintain a strong balance sheet and have the same level of cash as they did before the pandemic began
      • They seen positive trends at the start of Q4 vs. Q3 but further lockdowns took the wind out of their sails
      • I’m expecting Q1 to be weak as well
  • Richardson Electronics ($RELL)
    • Renaissance Technologies disclosed an 8.13% position
      • interesting development
    • has performed well YTD and still trades at a discount to NCAV
  • Martello Technologies Group Inc ($MTLO.v)
    • Reported fiscal Q2 2021
      • Below expectations and shares immediately dropped about 7%
      • Negatives
        • Opex is up due to some reopening and investing in marketing
        • Organic growth lower than expected due to legacy business declining quicker than anticipated
        • Still have high cost debt
        • Share structure is not ideal
      • Positives
        • This legacy business (much of it LiveMaps that came over from GSX) is now 17% of rev
        • MSFT DEM growth sequentially
        • 96% of revenue is recurring
        • 1.49 MRR at quarter end
        • Less than 4x MRR vs peers north of 10+
        • Mitel related revenue up slightly
    • Announced $5 mil bought deal at 0.195 with a half warrant
      • Disappointed in this as I thought they didn’t need the cash immediately and would wait until there was visible organic growth (and a higher ARR multiple) before raising
      • I haven’t added or sold any material amount of shares and this remains a small position for me
  • Dawson Geophysical – ($DWSN)
    • Renaissance Technologies LLC owns 1,741,679 shares or7.42% of Dawson Geophysical Company
      • down from 1,755,263
      • not material to me

Hope everyone is staying safe.

Thanks,

Dean

*the author has a position in $ISDR, $STC.v, $FRII.to, $MTLO.v at time of writing

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Jan 2021 Update – $OSS.v, $ISV.to, $STC.v, $VLN.to, $VMD.to, $SYZ.to, $MCB.to, $FRII.to, $RELL, $MTLO.v, $DWSN

Trying something new this month to catalogue some recent market activity and my thoughts around it.

Thoughts on Market Activity

I’m sure you’ve heard of activity around wallstreetbets reddit board and the short squeeze on some heavily shorted names (Gamestop being the most well known). Sorry to disappoint, but I won’t be participating in the short or long side of that corner of the market. It’s too risky for me. It is absolutely fascinating to witness in real time. I have been overly curious to understand what the thought process is for the individuals on each side. I will admit I have probably spent too much time listening to finance and non-finance people explain why they feel the way they do about it. Anyone interested in hearing some anecdotal data I’ve collected can send me an email or DM on Twitter.

I am not a macro guy. I can say that I have been finding interesting ideas lately, but I have not stumbled across businesses that I feel warrant a very large position in the portfolio. I am sitting on a higher than normal amount of cash, but that can change in a few weeks.

Posts this month

Relevant News from Companies Profiled Recently

  • OneSoft Solutions ($OSS.v)
    • Another customer signs on to integrate CIM into their pipeline operations
      • 4th customer in 3 months
      • This is a big positive and shares are up a bit for the month (about 15%)
  • Information Services Corp ($ISV.to)
    • They announced that they ratified a collective agreement with their in-scope unionized employees
      • They did this virtually which is good to hear
      • Provides 6 years of stability with the members with modest wage increases
  • Sangoma Technologies Corp ($STC.v)
    • Update on cyberattack
      • Had no material impact on sales or additional risks to the business
    • Huge acquisition announced
      • The had a call on Jan 29th to discuss
      • More details to come in the next few weeks
      • On the surface the acquisition seems like it is a good fit for the business and will further increase their value to customers, but the valuation is not cheap
        • This is common for Sangoma; all previous acquisitions looked a little off at first glance, but ended up being very well executed
      • I’ll likely to a more in depth post to help myself digest the news
      • As of this morning the shares are halted
  • Velan ($VLN.to)
    • CFO resigned to join a private owned company
      • Doesn’t seem a material event on the surface as he is staying to help transition the role
      • Would like to see a new CFO within a reasonable amount of time
    • Reported fiscal Q3 2021
      • The quarte was better than expected though covid is still having an impact on the business
      • They were able to execute the V20 plan remotely
      • They have the highest backlog in 8 years
      • Sale of the montreal plant resulted in a gain on the balance sheet
        • To me this gives additional margin of safety as looking at this as net-net gives no value to PPE which obviously has some value
    • I honestly think that this is one of those weird names that could earn more ebitda in a few years than the market cap in 2020
      • But that needs to be monitored
    • The bulletin boards are dead from this
  • Viemed ($VMD.to)
    • Released details of a recent Non-invasive vent study
      • Study was led by their CMO
      • Data was between 2012 and 2018
      • Seems like a good validation of NI vents and a helpful data point to bring to the table
  • Sylogist ($SYZ.to)
    • CI purchased shares
      • Bought 1.032 shares since Nov 10, 2020
      • About 40% of trading volume
      • These likely happened at the start of December as there was a spike in volume
    • New CTIO announced
      • Pedigree seems well
      • 225 options at $11.78
        • 5 year term that vest in equal tranches on 1st, 2nd, 3rd anniversary of $15, $17 and $19
  • McCoy Global ($MCB.to)
    • New board member announced (Cory Janssen)
      • Was co-founder of Investopedia
      • He’s quite connected as McCoy commercializes some of their digital products
  • Freshii ($FRII.to)
    • Alternative Monthly Report stating that Silver Ring Value Partners Fund LP
      • During the month ended December 31, 2020, Silver Ring acquired 195,500 Common Shares through open market purchases on the facilities of the Exchange, resulting in Silver Ring holding an aggregate of 2,806,233 Common Shares as at December 31, 2020, representing approximately 10.65% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares.1 Prior to December 1, 2020, Silver Ring owned, or exercised control or direction over, 2,618,733 Common Shares, representing approximately 9.95% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares.
      • Seems like a decent value shop
      • Nice to have a capital allocator own a large amount of the shares outstanding
    • Update on Special Meeting Circular announced
      • Reason for the special meeting is to reduce the stated value of the A shares so they can institute a NCIB
      • This is a step in the right direction
  • Richardson Electronics ($RELL)
    • Reported fiscal Q2
      • Results were better than expected and guidance was strong
      • Looks like wafer side of their business is rebounding and the current cycle could match or eclipse previous cycle
      • The CT tubes are seeing an increase in demand versus what was previously communicated, particularly seeing strength in Europe
        • looks like they could get the healthcare part of the business to break even closer than anticipated
      • shares spiked 20% on the news
  • Martello Technologies Group Inc ($MTLO.v)
    • Provided an update on operations
      • GSX (which was acquired in May 2020) is now fully integrated
        • Gizmo coupled with solutions MTLO already provides is set to take their DEM strategy to another level
        • Sales from all GSX and Savision were about 58% of rev in Q2 fiscal 21
      • Reiterated that legacy products have been declining and will mask core business growth
        • They noted that expenses related to managing the legacy part of the business are minimal
  • Dawson Geophysical – ($DWSN)
    • Wilks Family disclosed a passive stake of 2.28mil shares or 9.7% of the outstanding shares

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