Some B.C. tech stocks have generated better percentage increases than Amazon in 2020

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      Despite a brief COVID-induced bear market earlier this year, it’s been a profitable year for investors in many U.S. tech giants.

      As of July 13, Microsoft shares were up 29 percent and Apple shares were up 27 percent since January 2.

      But that was nothing compared to Amazon stock, which shot up 64 percent over the same period to cross the US$3,100 threshold.

      Each of these three of these companies are worth more than US$1.5 trillion. That will likely exceed Canada’s gross domestic product this year.

      Over the same period, Netflix stock jumped 59 percent, Facebook rose 14 percent, and Alphabet (parent of Google) increased by 10 percent.

      That doesn’t take into account the U.S. dollar’s five percent appreciation from January 2 to July 13 in comparison to the Canadian dollar.

      This means that if any readers bought those U.S. tech stocks at the start of the year, they would be a whole lot richer today—particularly if they loaded up on Amazon or Netflix.

      B.C. has a few big gainers

      But what about publicly traded B.C. tech companies?

      The website keeps tabs on what it calls the T-Net 20 Stock Index. It’s updated quarterly and includes the 20 largest publicly traded tech companies in B.C.

      The shares in these companies have, for the most part, not fared nearly as well this year as the U.S. tech stocks listed above. But there have been two standouts.

      Burnaby-based Ballard Power Systems share price have risen a whopping 139 percent between January 2 and July 13, when it closed at $24.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. That was actually a down day—it fell by 10.91 percent, bringing its market capitalization down to $6.05 billion.

      Ballard develops and manufacturers proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, announcing a $7.7-million purchase order earlier this month from a company in China in which it holds 10 percent ownership interest.

      Another big gainer in the T-Net 20 Stock Index has been Vancouver-based Absolute Software Corp. It specializes in endpoint security, which is in even more demand with so many people working from home.

      Its share price closed at $14.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on July 13, up 62 percent since January 2. That's lifted its market capitalization to $618.28 million.

      Absolute Software is a finalist in two categories in the 2020 Technology Impact Awards: tech culture of the year and company of the year - anchor success.

      Three other Vancouver tech companies outside of the T-Net 20 Stock Index have also seen impressive gains in their share prices this year.

      XPhyto Therapeutics Corp., which is working with a German partner on a COVID-19 test, is up 177 percent.

      Legend Power Systems Inc., which developed a power-management program, has seen its stock rise 110 percent since January 2.

      And electric-vehicle manufacturer ElectraMeccanica is up 61 percent.

      The pros often say that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

      So if you’re in the mood to put down some money, make sure you do your homework.