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2023 has started off with a bang for investors, as many sectors continue to adjust to rising inflation.

It has been an up-and-down week for Canadian markets so far, but there seems to be an upbeat sentiment from markets across the globe. Many expect the Federal Reserve may ease rate hikes and optimism over China reopening its borders has also been a boost to traders’ morale.

U.S. markets shook off a shaky performance from earlier in the week following last week’s first weekly gain in five weeks.

Much of this volatility has been led by the tech sector. Still, one company that has logged consistent gains since the winter season began is POET Technologies Inc. (TSXV:PTK, Forum), which just released four optical engines for 100G, 200G and 400G.

The engines are targeting the telecom and data centre markets. The small form factor optical engines include directly modulated lasers, optical multiplexers, high-speed photodiodes and optical demultiplexers, enabling cost efficiency, high scalability, and low power needs. Customers may acquire the engines with an integrated fibre array unit.

The company reached the production milestone working alongside Super Photonics, the joint venture formed with Sanan IC of Xiamen, China.

POET and Super Photonics have finalized verification and reliability testing, allowing at least four active clients to proceed to internal product qualification. Purchase orders are expected to follow.

Super Photonics has already received an order for transceiver prototype builds for end-customer qualification.

A ramp-up to high-volume production is planned for the second half of 2023.

Industrial stocks have long supported growth in the North American economy, and many have hit the ground running in Q1 2023. One such solid performer is PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSXV:PYRForum) which recently received the final signed contract to provide its SPARC refrigerant waste destruction system to an undisclosed advanced materials firm.

According to the company, the final signed contract was with an advanced materials firm.

The system is the first of two systems that the client has indicated an interest in. This first system is contracted at approximately $6 million, not including ongoing after-sales support of an indeterminate amount.

This contract includes a first payment of approximately $2.2 million, which has been received by PyroGenesis.

PyroGenesis’ patented SPARC system is based on the technology platform originally developed by the company for both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.

It uses inexpensive steam as the plasma-forming gas to generate a hydrolysis reaction which destroys refrigerants, leading directly to significantly reduced operating costs when compared to processing more expensive gases, with cleaner operations and with no incineration.

The SPARC system, which is powered by electricity, substantially reduces an operator’s carbon footprint while concurrently eliminating ozone-depleting substances.

The healthcare sector has seen its ups and downs in January so far, but Quipt Home Medical Corp. (TSXV:QIPT, Forum) is another stock that has only pointed upward since the end of last year.

The company made news on its acquisition of Great Elm Healthcare, a division of Great Elm Group, this week.

Great Elm operates a complete line of respiratory-related durable medical equipment service locations across eight states.

Based on an independent quality of earnings report, Great Elm Healthcare had unaudited revenues for the 12 months ended August 31, 2022, of $60 million ‎with an adjusted EBITDA of $13 million.

This acquisition establishes Quipt as a leading respiratory-focused home medical equipment supplier in the United States with significant scale, serving 270,000 patients with 32,500 referring physicians across 115 locations in 26 states.

Quipt and Great Elm have a combined annualized revenue and annualized adjusted EBITDA of $220 million and $47 million, respectively, based on Quipt’s reported audited results for the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2022, and Great Elm’s unaudited results for the 12 months ended August 31, 2022.

Investors are already expecting the next week of trading to be big, from U.S. inflation numbers due later today impacting markets while big banks report more earnings. Buzz on the Bullboards will have you covered for what you missed and what small-cap companies are perking interest among Market Herald investors.

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