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Lesley Marks is a vice-president and portfolio manager, Canadian Equities at Jones Heward Investment Counsel. She is responsible for small-cap investing and lead portfolio manager of the BMO Special Equity Fund.

Fund stats

Total assets: $393.9-million

MER: 2.35%

Global five-star rating: 5 stars


Martinrea International Inc.2.4%

HudBay Minerals Inc. 2.2

Canadian Western Bank 2.2

Transat A.T. Inc. Class B 2.1

MacDonald Dettwiler2


6 months21.98%14.8216.59
1 years26.0516.0318.9
2 years31.2121.9926.45


Systems Xcellence

(SXC-TSX) $29.49

The ability to lower a customer's cost base is the value added that Systems Xcellence offers in the health-care information space. Ms. Marks sees their "underlying" and "organic" growth as primary reasons this company will deliver.

Sandvine Corp. (SVC-TSX) $5.74

Sandvine Corp offers broadband network solutions that prioritize traffic flow. "A dominant player," says Ms. Marks, whose price target is $7.

Aecon Group (ARE-TSX) $11.13

Infrastructure construction and maintenance are the primary focus of Aecon Group. "


Although current inflation and interest rate fears may cause a near-term correction in the markets over all, Ms. Marks believes "the Canadian small-cap market has many positive attributes, which will help these stocks to continue to outperform and the heavy resource exposure in the group will continue to be fuelled by high and rising commodity prices." Ms. Marks is optimistic that these groups will show the best relative earnings momentum and that consolidation will continue to be the theme supporting current valuations in materials, REITs and income trust groups.

BNN-Business News Network presents Market Call live Monday to Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT. To send a question to upcoming guests, e-mail

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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