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April was, well, mediocre LEASIDE STOCK INDEX

LSIApr302015The Leaside Stock Index’s April performance can best be described as mediocre, dropping 0.62 percent, excluding currency, and 3.3 percent including the exchange, with a good deal of the loss due to an appreciating Canadian dollar, which gained six cents against the U.S. greenback.

The LSI’s two benchmark ETFs – SPDR S&P 500 ETF and S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index Fund – by comparison gained 1.5 percent in April, excluding currency, but thanks to the Canadian dollar the benchmark ETFs saw an actual decline of 1.7 percent, half the LSI decline.

Year-to-date through the first four months of 2015, the LSI is up 1.7 percent excluding currency and 3.3 percent including currency, compared to 2.6 percent excluding currency for the benchmark ETFs and 4.6 percent including currency. With two-thirds of the year still left to play out it’s possible the LSI will overtake the benchmarks by the fall.

The big winners in April when it comes to American stocks were Starbucks and Dunkin Brands (Baskin Robbins) up 4.7 percent and 9.6 percent respectively. Year-to-date both have delivered double-digit, 20 percent-plus returns. A third stock, Restaurant Brands International (Tim Hortons), also saw a 1.4 percent gain in April and is now up 8.2 percent on the year, suggesting the coffee craze is still going strong helping to deliver most of the LSI’s growth in 2015.

In terms of the top performing Canadian stocks, the banks had a good bounce back month with the TD and Bank of Nova Scotia gaining 3.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectively in April with both stocks moving into positive territory on the year. Also doing well in April was RioCan with a 3.5 percent gain putting it in second spot for the top performance year-to-date for Canadian stocks, up 13 percent, four percentage points behind Dollarama.

We bought Whole Foods

It was fairly easy to pick a replacement stock in the Leaside Stock Index for PetSmart, which was taken private in March.

Anyone driving north on Bayview by Broadway can see the progress being made with the Whole Foods building that’s expected to be ready later this year. While not currently open, Whole Foods recently announced it’s establishing a second, more value-oriented chain that will grow its stranglehold on the natural and organic market.

For this reason and the significant revenue that will be generated in future at Whole Foods’ Bayview location, its stock makes perfect sense.

Whole Foods stock closed out April at $47.76. Since then it’s declined by more than 10 percent as a result of weak second-quarter revenue. With the $12,342 from the PetSmart sale the LSI has purchased almost 286 shares ($43.20 per share) in Whole Foods. Expect big things from this stock in the months ahead.