March 11, 2017

On Friday, the S&P 500 was up 0.3% and Toronto was up 0.1%.

Most of the stocks on our list were up modestly.

I notice a couple stocks that we no longer follow have declined. Liquor Stores N.A. which I turned quite negative on some time ago was down 3.2% to $9.18. I took a quick look at their Q4 2016 results and they continue to have very poor earnings.

Element Fleet Financial was down 7.6%. I don’t know why that is and the headlines indicate it tripled its dividend. I stopped following Element when it split into two companies and also I had been disturbed by the way it was reporting income taxes.

Bombardier is facing charges in Sweden of bribery. It seems clear that there was some wrong doing by some employees. And there are indications that that some people in corporate head office had suspicions and failed to stop it. Bombardier would be well advised to cooperate fully and to fire everyone involved and probably everyone who knew about it or who ignored suspicions. Buffett has said that when you have tens of thousands of employees there is sure to be someone out there doing something an ethical leader would not approve of. Bombardier needs to take that attitude and cannot show any support or sympathy for those involved. Unfortunately there are some indications that head office was not projecting the proper culture that would have rejected the idea of bribery to win contracts. Top Bombardier officials apparently lobbied the Canadian government to keep a certain Russian off of a sanctions list because it would have harmed their business. To me, this is one more reason why a wholesale change of Board members is needed at Bombardier.