Home Capital Group (HCG)

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Sorry shorts, housing finance stocks make a comeback

Have we reached peak housing pessimism in Canada? The word has been out on the street now for months that mortgage growth has slowed, giving investors plenty of opportunity to sell their financial stocks and head for other areas. But, has most of the bad news been factored into prices? The answer may be yes given some of the new additions to our April INK Top 40 (available for Canadian Insider Club members).

First National is trading near 52-week highs (click for larger).

High profile lender Home Capital Group (HCG) joined the list along with lender First National Financial (FN). For investors, who find the Home Capital story too risky, First National may provide more appeal. Not only does the company focus on the prime mortgage market, but the stock also offers a prospective annual dividend yield of 6.1% giving investors a bit of a safety cushion. The stock is a member of the INK Canadian Insider Index.

As broker problems brewed last fall, Home Capital Group CEO sold

July 31, 2015 - At the request of the Ontario Securities Commission, late Tuesday Home Capital Group (HCG) reported more details on its July 10th press release when it announced that a "review of its business partners led to the company terminating relationships with certain mortgage brokers." On Thursday, investors learned that these relationships with some 45 brokers in total had been been terminated because "falsification of income information had occurred" on mortgage applications.

According to the company, the mortgage broker terminations took place during the period from September, 2014 to March, 2015. During that period, CEO Gerald Soloway sold $2.6 million worth of shares into the public market. One could argue that the amounts were modest. Indeed, after years of low interest rates by the Bank of Canada and unrestrained assorted foreign inflows into the local property market, $2 million is only enough to snag a modest single family home in Vancouver. 

Make that two Poloz rate cuts to go!

Bank of Canada rate cuts may well have been the most popular item at global convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (INK Edge outlook: sunny; ATD.B) Wednesday, if not with their customers certainly with shareholders. The stock was the best performing name (+4.2%) in the INK Canadian Insider (CIN) Index as insider stocks rallied on the back of a quarter point drop in the central bank's overnight rate. However, the Poloz cut did not lift all boats. While both the INK CIN Index (+0.14%) and the S&P/TSX Composite Index (+0.43%) rallied on the rate news, both the S&P/TSX Completion (-0.37%) and Small Cap (-0.44%) indices dropped. Perhaps most surprising was a drop in the Dividend Aristocrats Index which suffered a -0.47% loss.

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