Rogers Sugar Inc. Offers a Sweet 5.75% Yield

In today’s world of seemingly unlimited capital, technological innovation, and fantastic management teams, it’s unusual to find an industry that isn’t littered with competition. If there’s a dollar to be made, chances are there will be plenty of worthy people looking. 

Canada’s sugar business is a notable exception. Two companies own the market. One is privately-held Redpath Sugar. The other is Rogers Sugar Inc. (TSX:RSI).

The sugar business is particularly attractive for one simple reason. The federal government supports our domestic sugar industry by placing tariffs on imported sugar. Sugar producers are then free to export finished products to markets that don’t offer the same protections.

The domestic sugar industry isn’t very exciting. Rogers Sugar saw revenues jump 4.25% in 2016 on slightly better prices. Profits rose from $0.26 per share in 2015 to $0.64 in 2016 on better exports, stronger pricing, and low natural gas costs.

Rogers Sugar pays a $0.09 per share quarterly dividend, good enough for a 5.75% yield. The payout is easily covered by trailing earnings.

The only real problem is the future of the sugar industry. People are trying to eat healthier, which is decreasing demand.

This is partially offset by an increasing population. Some activists are calling on governments to tax sweet treats and sugary beverages, which would hurt in a big way.

Nutritionists say sugar is incredibly addictive, comparing to cocaine. If that’s true, then an investment in Rogers Sugar is an investment in something more addictive than nicotine or alcohol. Good things tend to happen to companies that have addictive products.