The Keg Royalties Income Fund was a hidden gem in 2022, with a total return exceeding 17 percent
Credit: The Keg on Twitter

The Keg Royalties Income Fund was a hidden gem in 2022, with a total return exceeding 17 percent

How the stocks we profiled performed in the year that was

Do we need reminding what a lousy year 2022 was on the markets? The S&P/TSX Composite finished the year down 8.66 percent, which was at least better than the S&P 500 (-19.95 percent), which at least outperformed the NASDAQ 100 (-33.7 percent).

Still, there were winners among the 24 B.C.-based stocks Pacific Trader profiled during this past trip around the sun. Sigma Lithium Corp. (TSXV, NASDAQ:SGML) was the biggest gainer, rising 211.9 percent, followed by International Petroleum (TSX:IPCO) at 108.4 percent and copper-gold junior Filo Mining (TSX:FIL, +72.7 percent). So yeah, energy-related commodities ruled the roost. Thanks, Vladimir Putin.

But there were hidden gems in consumer-oriented industries too. The Keg Royalties Income Fund (TSX:KEG.UN) and Diversified Royalty Corp. (TSX:DIV.UN) posted decent capital gains even as they churned out dividend yields north of 7 percent.

And there were even a handful of stocks that added value after we took a closer look at them: Filo has bulked up another 15.6 percent since Pacific Trader profiled it April 27; AbCellera Biologics (NASDAQ:ABCL) rose 12.6 percent since its story appeared March 2 (though it was down 28.3 percent over the full year); and Pan American Silver (TSX:PAAS) appreciated 10.9 percent in just the six weeks since our story November 16.

READ MORE: How AbCellera's stock can make a full recovery

Granted, there were dropouts in Pacific Trader’s class of 2022. The worst performer was digital health startup CloudMD Software & Services (TSXV:DOC), which collapsed 83 percent over the full year and by half since our profile appeared in May. Software developer Copperleaf Technologies’ (TSX:CPLF) grades were almost as bad (-74.5 percent), though most of that shrinkage took place before our story in September, and the stock has been rebounding of late. Cannabis products stock The Valens Company (TSX,NASDAQ:VLNS) came down 71.9 percent on the year, almost all of that since we featured the company in February.

Our 2021 picks fared no better. The standout from that crop was Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.B), pulling off a 37.9 percent return in 2022. “The stock was the biggest gainer in our coverage universe up North, but it was a wild ride with all the speculation,” noted Morningstar reporter Andrew Willis in a podcast. Other performers included Xenon Pharmaceuticals (TSX,NASDAQ:XENE), which rose 24.8 percent (on top of its 112 percent gain in 2021!), and Absolute Software Corp. (TSX,NASDAQ:ABST), up 22.3 percent in more of a turnaround story.

The glad tidings for investors is that back-to-back down years are rare in stock markets. The last time it happened on the S&P/TSX Composite—and the only time in the last 35 years—was 2001 and 2002. So if history is any guide, the chances of being worse off this time next year are slim indeed.

Best full-year performance

Sigma Lithium (+211.9%)

International Petroleum (+108.4%)

Filo Mining (+72.7%)

Worst full-year performance

CloudMD Software & Services (-83%)

Copperleaf Technologies (-74.5%)

The Valens Company (-71.9%)

Best picks (return since publication date)

Filo Mining (+15.6%)

Abcellera Biologics (+12.6%)

Pan American Silver (+10.9%)

Worst picks (return since publication date)

The Valens Company (-71.8%)

Greenlane Renewables (-51.5%)

CloudMD Software & Services (-51.2%)