Recent numbers in the Canadian food industry have been a mixed bag. Specialty food stores have seen improved business as of the latest retail sales and GDP report for August 2017, but supermarkets and grocers have suffered. Still, food prices are rising and with the S&P/TSX slowing it may be a great time to look at defensive stocks heading into the holidays.
Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) is a Montreal-based dairy producer, marketer, and distributor. The stock was up 0.32% in late morning trading on November 20th. Shares have dropped 7.6% in 2017. Saputo released its fiscal 2018 second-quarter results on November 2nd.
Revenues were up 1.4% to $2.88 billion whereas net earnings fell to $185.2 million compared to $191.8 million in fiscal Q2 2017. The Canadian sector was hurt by lower sales volumes whereas the U.S. sector saw higher sales volumes and an increase in butter price. Saputo stock offers a dividend of $0.16 per share representing a 1.45 dividend yield.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX:MFI) is a Toronto-based consumer packaged meats company. The stock was up 1.16% in late morning trading and has climbed 20.6% in 2017. Maple Leaf released its third-quarter results on October 26th. Sales jumped 6.6% to $908.4 million and net earnings increased 18.2% to $37.6 million. A rise in raw materials costs weighed down performance in an impressive quarter.
Maple Leaf stock offers a dividend of $0.11 per share representing a 1.3% dividend yield. Shares have increased over 200% in a 5-year period. This is a nice option for those chasing growth and income.