Stella-Jones profit rises on demand from railroad companies

Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:40am EDT
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(Reuters) - Canada's Stella-Jones (SJ.TO: Quote), which makes treated wood products for railroad, electricity and telecom companies, reported a 26 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit helped by strong demand for its railway ties.

The company, which also makes utility poles, said it will now pay a quarterly dividend instead of the semi-annual dividend it used to pay. It will pay 15 Canadian cents as quarterly dividend on April 30.

Fourth-quarter profit rose to C$13.4 million, or 83 Canadian cents a share, from C$10.7 million, or 67 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Sales rose 11 percent to C$147.5 million. Sales of railway ties -- used as a base for railway tracks -- were up 19 percent at C$74.4 million.

Stella Jones said it expects demand for its core products to remain solid in 2012, as North American railroad operators continue to invest in their network.

The Montreal, Quebec-based company's shares closed at C$41.90 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)