From the Desk of Irwin Michael – March 18, 2016

One of our preferred ABC Fund holdings is Loblaw Companies Limited. Loblaw is attractive for several reasons. Firstly, it’s a leading and well-managed Canadian grocer selling under its Loblaws, PC and Joe Fresh brands. Secondly, the company, after the purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart, became the foremost pharmacy retailer in Canada. More importantly, with its huge distribution network of over 2400 grocery and pharmacy stores, Loblaw provides a wide selection of consumer staples and should be a major margin beneficiary of corporate cost cutting, increased company synergies and a firming Canadian dollar. Thirdly, Loblaw is a free cash flow generator, pays a 1.35% dividend, delivers positive same store sales and continues to repurchase common shares via corporate buybacks. Clearly, these positive factors have not gone unnoticed as Loblaw’s share price reached a 52-week high this week.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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