Move over materials, there’s a new kid on the block. The $300-billion (US$230 billion) industrials group has ousted miners and forestry stocks to become the third-most valuable collection of companies on Canada’s equity market, behind banks and energy.
Comprised mainly of transportation, engineering and construction stocks, industrials are generally seen as cyclical stocks and had blockbuster gains last year with a 24 per cent rally. That was behind only tech and utilities.
Last year Ballard Power Systems Inc.’s shares more than doubled after reporting a technology breakthrough that will reduce the amount of high-cost platinum used in its fuel-cell products. Air Canada came in second in the group after announcing a planned acquisition of tour operator Transat AT, accelerating its global presence in the leisure industry.
Ballard’s surge has continued this year, climbing about 70 per cent in January, as China signalled it wouldn’t further cut subsidies for electric vehicles, easing some fears for battery investors.
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One drag on the sector has been Bombardier Inc., which saw its stock slump and bonds tumble last week after the company said it was rethinking the A220 jet program with Airbus as it seeks ways to increase cash flow to help with paying down its US$10 billion debt load. But, at a shadow of its former self, its contribution to the sectoral gauge is less than 1 per cent.