Act I: New shoots
* The player: Maple Leaf Reforestation Inc. (TSXV:MPE)
* Action: Up 245 per cent or $0.71 in a month (from $0.29 June 29, 2007)
* Recent price: $1
* 52-week high/low: $1.08/$0.08
To reap the best produce from a garden, you have to stir up the earth before planting. A Calgary-based nursery found the same can be said about running a company.
Maple Leaf Reforestation's leadership shakeup gave the company the fresh start it needed, and within two months after the management change, the company signed new sales agreements worth more than $6 million.
The latest deal is to sell approximately $820,000 worth of seedlings to a government-owned forestry company in Mongolia. Under the agreement, Maple Leaf will ship 5.7 million seedlings, including Colorado spruce, Chinese pine, jack pine, Scots pine and Northern China larch, to the Mongolian company over the next year.
Earlier in July, the company announced a $1.5-million sales agreement with a privately held feed company in the Chinese province of Shaanxi, and a $4-million sale to a privately held forestry company in Mongolia.
The stock has shot up 245 per cent in reaction to the sales announcements.
Act II: Game on?
* The player: Dynasty Gaming (TSXV:DNY)
* Action: Down 51 per cent or $0.18 in a month (from $0.35 June 29, 2007)
* Recent price: $0.17
* 52-week high/low: $1.10/$0.17
Texas hold 'em may be all the rage in North America, but people have been playing mahjong, a national game in China, for generations. So it's only natural that a game played on every curbside and in every park would hit the Internet in a big way.
Montreal's Dynasty Gaming has been knocking on doors overseas, trying to find com panies to develop, market and distribute government-approved online applications for its mahjong software.
So far, the company has established a relationship with a large Chinese prepaid card distributor for marketing and distribution of a play-for-points version of the game, and has a deal with Sohu.com, an interactive online source for information, entertainment and communications.
But the process has been slow, and shareholders may be wondering about their apparent gamble. The stock recently hit a 52-week low and has sunk more than 84 per cent from its highs in January.
Act III: In the circle
* The player: Serenic Corp. (TSXV:SER)
* Action: Up 39 per cent or $0.27 in a month (from $0.69 June 29, 2007)
* Recent price: $0.96
* 52-week high/low: $1.05/$0.17
It's been a good quarter for Edmonton's Serenic Corp., a publisher of financial and business operations software for not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and government agencies.
Revenue was $1.8 million for the three months ending May 31, 2007, up 15 per cent compared to $1.5 million in the same period last year.
The net loss, however, grew to $295,000 from $55,000 in the same period in 2006.
But sometimes shareholders don't mind losses - and this seems to be one of those times. Serenic blamed lower profitability on "continued re-investment of resources to advance growth of the business," namely increased salary and employee expenses as the employee base grows, and ramped-up sales and marketing initiatives.
So sure, the financials look pretty good. But even better, the company was recently named a member of both the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and Microsoft Dynamics President's Club. (And anyone who has seen the movie Meet the Parents knows how important it is to be included in "the circle of trust.")
Act IV: Cha-ching
* The player: East Asia Minerals Corp. (TSXV:EAS)
* Action: Up 15 per cent or $0.27 in a month (from $1.75 June 29, 2007)
* Recent price: $2.02
* 52-week high/low: $2.17/$0.35
It's a shareholder's dream: To have a company sell off part of the business for more than the entire company's market capitalization. And even better? To be promised almost all of the proceeds of the deal in the form of dividends.
Vancouver's East Asia Minerals, a junior exploration company with gold and copper assets and seven uranium properties, recently signed a deal to sell one of its uranium properties in Mongolia to a French company for $83 million. (With roughly 43.7 million shares outstanding, East Asia's market cap at the time of the deal was around $78.5 million.)
The deal is pending shareholder approval, to be voted on Sept. 5, 2007, but since East Asia announced that it intends to grant 85 per cent of the proceeds of the all-cash deal to shareholders in the form of dividends, what investor would vote "nay"?
NOTE: The above is not intended as investment advice to buy or sell any mentioned securities. Investors should do due diligence before investing. Quotes are based on results through July 31, 2007.
(Nicole Strandlund can be reached at email@example.com)