May 5, 2017 / 3:08 PM / in 4 months

BUZZ-Stella-Jones: Shares up as brokerage raises PT

** Timber company's shares rise as much as 8.5 pct to C$45.78, hits 4-month high - after RBC raises PT on stock following positive Q1 results on Thursday

** SJ, supplier of railway ties and timbers and utility poles, posts higher-than-expected profit as its utility poles business showed "improved performance"

** Co says utility pole sales rose nearly 15 pct to $151 mln

** "Despite a significant decline in tie activity SJ continued to report strong profitability and margins were north of 12 pct" - Laurentian Bank Securities Equity Research

** Laurentian Bank forecasts a "return to growth" closer to Q3, while SJ expects sales of its products to pick up in the 2nd half of year

** Of the 8 brokerages covering the stock, 5 recommend "hold" and 3 "buy"

** Up to Thursday's close, stock had fallen about 12 pct in the last 12 months

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