Stella-Jones raising dividend 14.3% following 2014 profit and sales growth

MONTREAL – Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) will be raising its quarterly dividend by 14.3 per cent starting with its payment on April 30.

The increased payout to shareholders of the Quebec-based maker of pressure-treated wood products will be eight cents per share — up a penny from the previous quarterly dividend.

Stella-Jones says 2014 marked the 14th consecutive year of growth, with annual sales rising to $1.25 billion from $1.01 billion in 2013. Its main products are railway ties and utility poles.

In the fourth quarter, Stella-Jones had $23.0 million of net income, or 33 cents per share, up from $19.7 million or 29 cents per share in 2013.

Sales totalled $289.9 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up $30.3 million from 222.5 million a year earlier.

Two acquisitions contributed to the increase. In addition, the rising value of the U.S. dollar increased Stella-Jones revenue. Excluding impacts from currency fluctuations and acquisitions, sales increased $26.6 million or 12 per cent from 2013.

Analysts had estimated 36 cents per share of earnings and $287 million of revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.