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The Megastars

Our new Megastar ranking of Canada's largest publicly-traded companies evaluates each major stock on the TSX and awards two star ratings - one for its appeal to value investors and the other for its allure to momentum investors. We then focused on the 20 stocks with the best blend of value and momentum characteristics, which form our Megastar team. Our full methodology and a list of the ratings for the 250 largest stocks on the TSX can be found here.

Advantage Energy (AAV) is a Calgary-based oil and gas company with operations focused in the Alberta portion of the Montney formation. Advantage slashed its share count by 4.8 per cent over the past four quarters and it is currently conducting a substantial issuer bid to buy back more. Advantage trades at near six times earnings (trailing 12 months, unless otherwise noted) after its shares surged 74 per cent over the past 12 months.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) is a large oil and gas producer based in Calgary, with a mix of assets in North America, the U.K. North Sea and offshore Africa. The company maintained its dividend during the COVID-19 crash, unlike some of its competitors. It offers a 4.2-per-cent yield after recently announcing a 13-per-cent boost to its quarterly dividend.

Celestica (CLS) manufactures a range of electronics products and offers related supply chain services through its operations in North America, Europe and Asia. The Toronto-based company trades at 88 per cent of book value and six times forward 12-month earnings.

Clairvest Group (CVG) is a private equity-management firm based in Toronto that trades at 93 per cent of book value. Clairvest likes to invest $25-million to $100-million in companies with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) between $10-million and $50-million. While Clairvest's shares are thinly traded, they're up 31 per cent over the past six months.

Crew Energy (CR) is a natural gas producer with operations primarily in the Montney formation in northeast British Columbia. The Calgary-based company's shares climbed 131 per cent over the past 12 months, and now trade near seven times earnings and three times cash flow.

Element Fleet Management (EFN) is an automotive fleet manager with operations across North America, Australia and New Zealand. The Toronto-based company pays a 2.1-per-cent dividend yield after recently raising its quarterly dividend by 29 per cent to 10 cents a share.

Enerplus (ERF) is an oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary. It focuses mainly on light oil assets in the Bakken formation in North Dakota, and it has a position in the Marcellus shale natural gas region in northeast Pennsylvania. Its shares climbed by more than 100 per cent over the past 12 months, yet still trade at five times earnings. Enerplus also cut its share count by 11 per cent over the past four quarters.

Fairfax Financial (FFH) is an insurance-focused conglomerate based in Toronto. Damaging storms this fall will likely allow Fairfax's property and casualty insurance businesses to boost premiums. The company trades near book value and seven times forward 12-month earnings.

Frontera Energy (FEC) is an oil and gas company with operations in South America. Calgary-based Frontera trades near two times earnings, 51 per cent of book value and has cut its share count by 9.5 per cent over the past four quarters.

George Weston (WN) is the parent company of huge food and drug retailer Loblaw (L) and Choice Properties REIT (CHP.UN). Toronto-based George Weston has grown its revenues by 8 per cent over the past four quarters and boosted its operating income by 31 per cent.

iA Financial (IAG) is a Quebec City-based insurance and wealth-management company. Its stock trades near 1.2 times book value and pays a 3.5-per-cent dividend yield. iA also has a habit of boosting its quarterly dividend, which has climbed from 38 cents a share to 67.5 cents over the past five years.

Imperial Oil (IMO) is a large integrated oil and gas company based in Calgary that pays a 2.3-per-cent yield. Imperial cut its share count by about 12.1 per cent over the past four quarters and continues to buy back stock, with a substantial issuer bid that was due to be completed on Dec. 9. The company is a subsidiary of U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil, which owns about 69.6 per cent of Imperial's stock.

Manulife Financial (MFC) provides life insurance and wealth management to individuals and institutions, primarily in Asia, Canada and the U.S. The Toronto-based company trades just below book value. It also offers a generous 5.4-per-cent yield and reduced its share count by 2.1 per cent over the past four quarters.

Mullen Group (MTL) is a large trucking and logistics provider headquartered in Okotoks, Alta., that operates across the U.S. and Canada. It supports the energy, mining, forestry and construction industries in Western Canada. Mullen pays a 4.7-per-cent yield and trades near 11 times forward 12-month earnings.

NuVista Energy (NVA) is an oil and gas company that focuses on the Montney formation in Alberta. The Calgary-based firm's shares climbed 121 per cent over the past year and now trade at five times earnings.

Restaurant Brands (QSR) is a quick-service restaurant conglomerate with brands that include Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes. The Toronto-based company offers a 3.3-per-cent dividend yield and, as of its December payment, it will have grown its dividend at an average annual rate of 21 per cent over the past five years.

Royal Bank (RY) is the largest bank in Canada and the largest stock on the TSX by market capitalization. Toronto-based RBC recently boosted its quarterly dividend by 3 per cent and now offers a yield of 3.9 per cent. Factoring in the boost, the bank's five-year dividend-per-share growth rate is a healthy 7.7 per cent.

Stelco (STLC) is a steelmaker based in Hamilton that has earned huge profits over the past couple of years. The company trades just above two times earnings and pays a 3.7-per-cent dividend yield (after a 40-per-cent boost to its regular quarterly payments that does not include a $3-a-share special dividend paid on Dec. 1). Stelco also reduced its share count by a whopping 29 per cent since the start of 2022 after completing a recent substantial issuer bid.

Stella-Jones (SJ) makes pressure-treated wood products. The company, based in Saint-Laurent, Que., offers a 1.7-per-cent yield and has grown its dividend each year, from 32 cents a share in 2015 to 80 cents a share in 2022.

Teck Resources (TECK.B) is a mining company with operations and projects in Canada, the U.S., Chile and Peru. Vancouver-based Teck trades at five times earnings and nine times forward 12-month earnings. After a 55-per-cent price climb over the past 12 months, its shares aren't too far away from their all-time highs.

Main Article: The Globe 250
Spreadsheet: The Top 250 Value and Momentum Star Rankings [.xls]

First published in the Globe and Mail, December 9 2022.

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