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SNC Lavalin beats the Street

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Construction and engineering giant SNC Lavalin (SNC-T) raised its dividend after reporting a better than expected 21-percent increase in fourth-quarter profit.

The quarterly dividend increases 23.5 percent to $0.21 per share.

Earnings surged to $139.2 million, or $0.91 per share, compared to $98.7 million, or $0.65 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. The 2010 profit beat the consensus analyst estimate from Thomson Reuters of $0.75 per share.

SNC said asset sales boosted net income by $26.1 million.

BNN's Paul Bagnell says the company announced it has removed from its backlog all contracts with Libyan exposure. Previously booked Libyan projects amounted to $484 million at year-end.

"The Company decided to remove these projects as a precautionary measure that will remain in place until the situation is further clarified," SNC said in a statement on Friday.

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