While the departure of a chief financial officer can often be cause for concern among investors, they need not be worried about the exit of CFO George Halatsis from Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (OTCPK:SHDMF), analysts say.
Irene Nattel of RBC Capital Markets wrote in a note to clients:
We do not believe that Mr. Halatsis’ imminent departure signals anything ominous with regard to Shoppers’ future. Rather, in our view it is an opportunity for this talented 54-year-old seasoned finance executive to have another ‘kick at the can.’
The executive’s replacement by Brad Lukow, who has been senor vice-president of finance at the retailer for nine years, will probably be as close as it gets in business to a “seamless” transition, added the analyst, who maintained her “top pick-buy” rating and C$54 price target on the shares.
Ryan Balgopal of Scotia Capital also expects an “orderly transition” for Mr. Lukow, who worked in finance and tax at Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (OTCPK:LBLCF) prior to joining Shoppers.
“We do not expect any major changes to the company’s operations or strategy,” he wrote, reiterating his “sector outperform” rating and C$67.50 price target. “We also expect capital discipline to remain strong.”