Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sold: SNC Lavalin Group

SNC Lavalin Group ("SNC") represents one of the few dividend growth stocks I've ever sold.  However, when the price rose above $45 earlier this week, I didn't hesitate in selling a position in my TFSA. My two main reasons for selling are the low dividend yield (about 2.0% at the time I sold earlier this week) and their ongoing ethics/bribery/corruption problems. Of the two, I could have looked past the low dividend yield (due to the impressive history of dividend growth), had the company not continually been in the media for all the wrong reasons over the past 18 months.

What's most depressing is that I still believe in the long-term potential of this Canadian construction company. Having said that, I tend to believe the nature of the projects they bid on globally leads them to tricky situations...and they haven't proven less than adequate at handling these ethical dilemmas. Even with new anti-bribery/corruption policies and processes in place, my bet is that their reputation will take them decades to restore. 

As a side note, I still hold a small position in SNC in my non-registered account, but it's likely one I'd think of selling as well if the price of SNC stays strong. There are simply better, more ethical, larger yielding Canadian dividend growth plays.


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