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February 28, 2021

6 Canadian Penny Stocks That May Take off in 2021

Disclaimer: The writer of this article may have positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The fact they hold positions in securities has had no impact on the production of this article

By Dan Kent

February 28, 2021

If you’re looking for some of the hottest Canadian penny stocks on the market today, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got 6 of the best penny stocks to be looking at in 2021. Continue reading to find out what they are!

What is the definition of a penny stock?

The definition of a penny stock is quite broad. You’ll get varying answers from different investors, but the general consensus is that a penny stock is a stock that trades below $5.

However, it’s important to note that a lot of popular stocks, ones that don’t have the volatility or market capitalization of a penny stock trade below $5. So here is a few more guidelines to help you narrow down your search:

  • Penny stocks are typically smaller companies, and their shares are often illiquid (not easy to buy and sell)
  • They have a small following, and typically are not covered by major analysts
  • They usually trade OTC (over-the-counter, more on this later) or through pink sheets.

Canadians often confuse the term small-cap stock with penny stock. Unlike numerous small-cap stocks, you won’t find penny stocks trading on the TSX.

This is often because they are too small to meet the requirements needed to list on major exchanges, and don’t file the proper paperwork needed.

How do I buy penny stocks in Canada?

The first box you need to check off if you want to invest in penny stocks is the ability to handle significant volatility. If you don’t think you can stomach the risk, simply head to our how to buy stocks page to get started investing in the major exchanges.

What I like to tell investors looking to start trading the pink sheets, is to set aside an amount you would be completely comfortable losing. I wouldn’t recommend anyone invest their whole portfolio into penny stocks. But a designated amount, say 10% of your total portfolio, is completely reasonable.

Once you’ve allocated some capital towards what I like to call “fun investing”, you’ll need a brokerage account.

If you already have one, you’re ahead of the game. If not, feel free to check out our Questrade review. In my opinion, they are the best brokerage to start with if you’re looking to invest in penny stocks.

Take advantage of our exclusive offer for $50 in free trades with Questrade today.

Keep in mind, most brokerages charge more than their standard commission rates to buy penny stocks.

This is simply due to the fact that the stocks are traded over-the-counter, which is a little bit different than processing a transaction on a normal exchange.

Is it bad to invest in penny stocks?

If you’ve developed the proper strategy no, it isn’t bad to invest in penny stocks.

Where people go wrong, is investing money that they simply can’t afford to lose, and in the end it puts them in a very difficult position both emotionally and financially.

Penny stocks are, in the end, a gamble. We don’t have enough fundamental research to form any sort of concrete conclusion about the company’s future. So, our opinion is that you should be purchasing penny stocks with money you would be completely comfortable taking to a casino.

Why are penny stocks so cheap?

Penny stocks are often companies that do not meet the requirements or have the funding to list on major exchanges. As such, they typically have low market capitalizations and less stringent requirements.

One requirement to list on major exchanges is a higher share price. With penny stocks, there is no minimum and as such, stocks can trade extremely cheap, sometimes in fractions of a penny. The key to judging a size of a company is not its share price however, but it’s market cap. This is a very important concept.

Can you get rich off penny stocks?

It is possible to become rich investing in penny stocks yes. But, it’s very important you understand that for every success story, someone striking it rich and retiring early off a penny stock, there is a dozen, if not more, disasters of people risking way more than they were comfortable with and losing it all.

You are more likely to go broke than strike it rich with penny stocks. So, keep this in mind and invest solid, blue-chip stocks with the majority of your portfolio and spend expendable capital if you wish on Canadian penny stocks.

Can you buy penny stocks on Wealthsimple?

Unfortunately with a brokerage like Wealthsimple Trade, you won’t be able to buy Canadian Penny stocks. Why?

Well, when companies aren’t listed on a normal exchange like the NYSE,NASDAQ or TSX, they are traded via a broker-dealer network. Transactions take place via a bulletin board (the OTCBB) and Pink Sheet listing services.

These broker-dealer networks communicate with each other and act as market makers. They will locate shares available for purchase or sale, along with negotiate a price for a fee.

Although most of the stocks trading over-the-counter cannot make it on the major exchanges due to regulations, they still need to meet requirements to trade OTC.

It’s not only penny stocks that trade over-the-counter either. For example, companies may also issue bonds over-the-counter.

If you want to find a brokerage that will let you trade Canadian penny stocks, you’ll need to stick to one that deals with OTC transitions like Questrade.

Tips when buying penny stocks

Before you get started, I’m going to drop you a few quick pointers you will need to be successful with buying penny stocks here in Canada. This is by no means a complete list, however I feel they are some of the most, if not the most important things you need to know so you don’t lose your money.

  • When buying penny stocks, be aware that smaller sized entities may not be required to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), something that bigger companies are required to do. This makes determining the financial health of a company nearly impossible, which is often why purchasing penny stocks is often thought of as nothing more than a gamble.
  • In order to reduce your risk, try investing in companies listed on the OTCQX or OTCQB exchanges. These are essentially the top and middle tiers in terms of penny stocks, and companies listed on these exchanges will more than likely have accurate financial information, and will file it in a timely manner.
  • If you’re looking for some of the highest returns, albeit highest risk, the OTC Pink is the lowest tier of penny stocks in terms of financial information provided. These stocks are the most volatile, so they bring with them highest potential profitability. Keep in mind though, the higher the reward, the higher the risk.
  • There are a ton of penny stocks out there, and I would highly suggest using a screener to identify and narrow down your potential list of suitable companies.
  • Knowledge in technical analysis is absolutely crucial when trading penny stocks. Because limited or inaccurate financial information is available to most investors, fundamental analysis almost plays no part in picking stocks.
  • Analyze the management team. More than anything, they will be responsible for the inevitable failure or success of the company. With startups in particular, there will be a lot of key decisions made by the management team that can make or break an over-the-counter company.

What penny stocks are hot in Canada right now?

FP Newspapers (TSXV:FP)

Hot Penny Stocks On The TSX - FP Newspapers

 

Speaking of terrible liquidity, you’ll want to be careful trading Canadian penny stock FP Newspapers (TSXV:FP) shares. This $0.63 stock sometimes goes a whole day without trading and has average daily trading volume of just a few thousand shares.

I’m the first to admit a company that owns 49% of the distributable cash of several newspapers in Manitoba – most notably The Winnipeg Free Press – doesn’t sound like a very exciting penny stock opportunity in 2021. But this stock is insanely cheap, and it seems to be turning a corner.

It earned approximately $0.32 per share in 2020, while shares trade for less than 2x that much. It’ll get a nice journalism tax break from the Canadian government in 2021, too.

It also could sell its headquarters in Winnipeg for a nice gain as well. Shares could see another boost when an important loan gets extended.

The stock could also pay a substantial dividend in a year or two once it starts to earn a little more money and it gets its balance sheet more under control. If this happens, you’ll be very happy you got in today.

Kodiak Copper (TSXV:KDK)

Kodiak Copper Stock

 

Kodiak Copper (TSXV:KDK) is a newer player on this list of top Canadian penny stocks primarily because of the rising price of copper.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the price of copper has launched over the last year, going from lows of $2.10 in 2020 to touching highs of $3.70 just recently in 2021. Obviously, with this company being essentially a copper pure-play, it stands to benefit from this increase in price.

In fact, in September of 2020, resource giant Teck Resources invested $8 million into Kodiak Copper, representing a 9.9% stake in the company, and showing strong signs of confidence and outlook for the junior exploration company moving forward.

The company generates no revenue and is largely a play on its exploration efforts and asset base which is located in British Columbia, Arizona and Nunavut.

The company actually recently went through a transition, as it changed its name from Dunnedin Ventures to Kodiak Copper at the start of 2020, and is probably one of the higher risk plays on this list. However, there’s always large potential in exploration companies in the very early stages. Just be wise, and invest with expendable capital.

Namesilo Technologies (CSE:URL)

Top Canadian Penny stocks - Namesilo

 

Namesilo Technologies (CSE:URL) is an internet services company in Canada that registers domain names, provides hosting, offers email services, and provides various other needs for the owners of websites.

In 2021, having your own website is imperative. Customers don’t bother picking up the phone if they have a question or concern; they’re just going to go straight to your website. If you don’t have a digital advertising strategy, good luck.

Namesilo is delivering blistering growth of late, more than doubling its top line on a year-over-year basis in 2019. Net income before taxes, meanwhile, grew more than 1,000% compared to the same period last year. Profit margins expanded as well, and the company reported strong customer retention rates.

The question is whether Namesilo can continue its blistering growth. It should benefit from new businesses (and individuals) becoming serious about building an online presence, as well as taking customers from competitors. Its focus on giving great deals and providing excellent service is a winning combination.

And at just $0.25 per share, Namesilo certainly qualifies as a penny stock. The stock only has a market cap of just under $23 million, so big-time investors might struggle with its lack of liquidity.

Loop Insights (TSXV:MTRX)

Loop Insights Logo

 

Loop Insights (TSXV:MTRX) has surged in value recently, but prior to this the company had a market cap of just over $40 million. It now sits at just over $200 million, but I’d still firmly place this company in penny stock territory.

Loop Insights provides retail and marketing solutions for digital and physical landscapes. They’re primarily situated in the AI sector, and the company’s primary function is to enable brick and mortar companies to analyze critical customer data, including customer spending habits and trends.

The company works in the casino, sports, hospitality, retail and education sectors and has signed multiple critical contracts with some major players here in Canada, including Telus, Amazon and Shopify. Although the company does not generate any revenue at the time of writing, this is still a company you’ll want to keep a close eye on moving forward.

As of right now, it’s very difficult to value this company considering it has no form of revenue generation or any sort of earnings. And because of this, we can expect the company to be, like many Canadian penny stocks, extremely volatile around earnings time and on news releases. There is a lot of speculation and forward earnings priced in to Loop’s price right now, so we’d stress extreme caution if you’re considering taking a position.

 

Athabasca Oil (TSX:ATH)

Canadian Penny Stocks - Athabasca Oil

 

Athabasca Oil (TSX:ATH) is a classic penny stock conundrum. It has huge upside potential, but there’s also a real possibility the company could go bankrupt. It’s almost like flipping a coin, except if you win, you’ll likely do far better than just doubling your money.

The company has light oil production in both the Motney and Duvernay fields in Alberta Canada, as well as heavy oil production near Fort McMurray. The heavy oil assets have a long reserve life, but the company isn’t making much from any of its production because of low oil prices.

Athabasca projects it’ll start earning free cash flow in the next couple of years, but in the meantime, it’s forced to spend approximately $125 million each year on sustaining capital. It has cash on the balance sheet, but it must also contend with refinancing some US$450 million worth of debt coming due in 2022.

You could make a lot of money if oil recovers and Athabasca Oil shares shoot higher. But this $0.22 stock is cheap for a reason. You’re taking some significant risk buying today, especially with the demand in oil plummeting due to COVID-19.

However, a quick recovery in the industry could lead to a quick recovery in this stocks share price as well. Prior to COVID-19, Athabasca’s share price sat in the low $0.50 range.

Redishred (TSXV:KUT)

Top Canadian Penny Stocks - Redishred

One of our favorite Canadian penny stocks is Redishred Capital (TSXV:KUT), which owns and operates the Proshred brand.

Proshred has two separate business models – it both owns mobile paper shredding trucks and it franchises out locations to interested franchisees. The company has either corporate or franchised operations in 40 different U.S. cities.

The mobile paper shredding model has a few interesting advantages. It allows Redishred to easily acquire competitors and then rebrand them. It’s more secure – and convenient — than bringing documents to a central location. And the multi-city business model allows brand recognition in an industry that’s currently very fragmented.

It’s well poised to keep growing, thanks to its clean balance sheet with almost zero debt. Top managers are major shareholders with an ownership stake of more than 40% of the company.

And unlike many penny stocks, this company generates plenty of cash flow. Remember, this company has a share price of $0.61 and a market cap of just over $48 million. It doesn’t take much to really move the bottom line.

Redishred is one of our top penny stock picks in Canada because it’s in a good business with great growth potential. It’s the kind of stock you’ll want to stick in your portfolio and own for a very long time.

However as with any other penny stock, you’ll want to keep a close eye on it incase anything materially changes.

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Dan Kent


An active dividend and growth investor, Dan has been involved with the website since its inception. He is primarily a researcher and writer here at Stocktrades.ca, and his pieces have numerous mentions on the Globe and Mail, Forbes, Winnipeg Free Press, and other high authority financial websites. He has become an authority figure in the Canadian finance niche, primarily due to his attention to detail and overall dedication to achieving the highest returns on his investments. Investing on his own since he was 19 years old, Dan has compiled the experience and knowledge needed to be successful in the world of self-directed investing, and is always happy to bring that knowledge to Stocktrades.ca readers and any other publications that give him the opportunity to write. He has completed the Canadian Securities Course, manages his TFSA, RRSPs and a LIRA at Questrade, and has compiled a real estate portfolio of his primary residence and 2 rental properties, all before his 30th birthday.

  1. Hi Dan. I'm a Premium member of Stocktrades. I have looked throughout the Stocktrades website but can't find any reference to Penny Stocks. Is your commentary on '6 Canadian Penny Stocks that may take off in 2021' totally separate from your Stocktrades website.

  2. Hey there Bernard. Yes, it would be. Stocktrades Premium is a totally separate entity than this blog. This blog has posts that are not written by Mat and I, and some of them are only updated semi annually. We don’t speak about penny stocks much on Premium, as we aim to provide long term results on the platform. However, you can always ask about them in the Q and A!

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