Topic: Growth Stocks

This growth stock has started paying dividends

Stantec - Education building image

Companies take different paths to growth. Over the years, this Canadian company has steadily acquired a series of small firms with specialized expertise and integrated them into a large organization that can undertake a wide range of projects. And this year, it has joined the ranks of Canadian dividend stocks.

STANTEC INC. (Toronto symbol STN; sells a range of consulting, project delivery, design/build and technology services. The company’s clients operate in a wide variety of markets, including industry, environment, transportation and construction. Stantec has over 11,000 employees at 170 locations throughout North America. It also has four international offices.

In the three months ended December 31, 2011, the company’s revenue rose 12.6%, to $432.0 million from $383.7 million a year earlier. Acquisitions were part of the reason for the gains.

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Canadian dividend stocks: Stantec added five more companies in 2011

Stantec is also working on a number of new projects. Before one-time items, earnings rose 4.3%, to $24.3 million, or $0.53 a share, from $23.3 million, or $0.51 a share.


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The company continues to grow by acquisition. In 2011, it bought five companies. Together, these firms added 725 staff to Stantec’s workforce.

Stantec has begun paying dividends for the first time with a quarterly payment of $0.15 a share in April 2012. Based on the current price, the shares will yield 1.9%.

In the latest edition of Stock Pickers Digest, we examine whether Stantec can successfully counter the risks inherent in its acquisitions policy with its integrated sales policies and cost cutting measures. We conclude with our clear buy-hold-sell advice.

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  • Dan Cottenden

    I look for stocks that can provide both growth and income. I used to focus on more aggressive growth stocks, but capital gains can be unpredictable in a volatile market and is less predictable than income. If I can generate income while waiting for the market to stabilize and recognize the growth, it least you are generating an income stream while you wait.

  • Buying a company paying any dividends means lot of frustration in the days before the ex dividend days occur. I would say that over 75% of the time the stock drops substantially in the day prior to its ex dividend date and in the days which follows, the investors who bought the stock for the dividend feel the stock thus increasing its down side value.

    By far I prefer companies not paying dividends and which reinvests that money to buy-back shares or assure a better development or research to assure a better growth.

    Do you need an example: An highly recommended stock BNS Nova Scotia Bank dropped for 4 days before its ex dividend date and dropped on the following day after it ex dividend date. Most of the cases this is the same situation unless you keep the stock for a long time enough to assure this down trend period is over …. But you must admit with me that for a 55¢ quarterly dividend, it is very frustrating to see your highly recommended stock going downs by 5 times its dividend value!

    [Note from Pat: Going ex-dividend is just one of many influences on the price of a stock.]

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