3 Stocks to Benefit From Online-Fixation

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The excellent researchers at comScore recently released a report about online, social and mobile engagement among Canadians. (You can access the entire presentation here).

Having grown up on the Canadian Border -- in Niagara Falls, N.Y. - I have always had a deep love for Canada. I grew up and remain a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Unlike a sizable swath of Americans, I have never ignored Canada. I have been to many of its great cities -- many times -- and keep tabs on what's happening over there. Thanks to my hockey fandom, I watch Canadian television and consume online media out of Canada daily, almost year-round.

For more than a year, I have been hyper-bullish BCE, Inc. ( BCE) (formerly Bell Canada) and Rogers Communications ( RCI). Along with other killer big media stocks, these two have returned impressive double digits over the last year.

You would not know this if you disregard Canada as irrelevant. Rogers and Bell, along with, to a certain extent, Telus ( TU) benefit from an unprecedented, at least relative to the U.S., regulatory environment. Rogers and Bell own "everything" in Canada -- the Toronto Blue Jays; the Raptors; stakes in the Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians; the networks that air practically every sporting event, including hockey, across the country; arenas such as Air Canada Centre; and every aspect of the telecommunications infrastructure that connects Canadians to one another and the most valuable news, information and entertainment content.

It's a no-brainer for long-term investors to consider BCE and RCI as core positions.

While I wouldn't refer to BlackBerry ( BBRY) as a core position just yet -- it's still quite speculative -- I like it for many of the same reasons that make Rogers and Bell attractive.

Consider some numbers from the above-mentioned comScore report.

First, Canadians, compared to the rest of the world, rank first or second in key metrics that measure online visits, engagement and online video viewing. It's really quite remarkable.

Second, and maybe more importantly, these numbers have plenty of room to run as smartphone adoption continues to grow.

That's a 17% year-over-year increase in Canadians moving from feature phones to smartphones. These are the people who will use data to visit social networks and watch online video as well as purchase another "connected device" such as a tablet or e-reader. comScore estimates that 43% of smartphone subscribers own a connected device compared to 32% of feature phone owners.

Of course, Rogers and Bell will continue to reap the rewards of all of these conversions and this consumption. They not only sell phones, the data and collect attendant fees, but they own so much of the content people stream on mobile devices. They sell the ads. And so on and so forth.

If BlackBerry has a realistic chance at doing anything it's taking back the Canadian marketshare it has been losing to Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG). BlackBerry can win back Canada and solidify itself as the number three mobile platform in the U.S. behind iOS and Android.

Opportunity exists, particularly in Canada. BlackBerry must reclaim that turf. If it does the comScore numbers and the trend tell us it will reap rewards. Also, from an organizational standpoint, it will help it regain the confidence it lost in the pre-Z10/QNX days as it imploded under what became an inept management team.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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