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The Case to Buy TransCanada Corporation Today

TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP), one of the largest owners and operators of natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in North America, has watched its stock tumble over 27% in 2015, but I think it could pare these losses and head much higher over the next several years. Let’s take a look at three of the primary reasons why I think this will happen and why you should be a long-term buyer of the stock today.

1. Its strong financial performance could support a near-term rally

On November 3, TransCanada announced very strong earnings results for its three- and nine-month periods ended on September 30, 2015. Here’s a summary of 10 of the most notable statistics from the first nine months of fiscal 2015 compared with the first nine months of fiscal 2014:

  1. Comparable net earnings increased 8.1% to $1.3 billion
  2. Comparable earnings per share increased 8.2% to $1.84
  3. Revenue increased 11.6% to $8.45 billion
  4. Comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased 9.5% to $4.38 billion
  5. Comparable earnings before interest and taxes increased 9.4% to $3.07 billion
  6. Funds generated from operations increased 8.5% to $3.35 billion
  7. Net cash provided by operations decreased 10.9% to $2.98 billion
  8. Delivery volumes increased 0.5% to 2.87 trillion cubic feet in its NGTL System segment
  9. Delivery volumes increased 0.8% to 1.21 trillion cubic feet in its ANR segment
  10. Delivery volumes decreased 4.7% to 1.2 trillion cubic feet in its Canadian Mainline segment

2. Its stock trades at very attractive forward valuations

At today’s levels, TransCanada’s stock trades at just 16.9 times fiscal 2015’s estimated earnings per share of $2.46 and only 15.8 times fiscal 2016’s estimated earnings per share of $2.63, both of which are inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 21.1.

I think TransCanada’s stock could consistently command a fair multiple of at least 20, which would place its shares upwards of $52 by the conclusion of fiscal 2016, representing upside of more than 24% from current levels. This projection is also very reasonable when you consider that the stock would still trade more than 12% below its current 52-week high of $59.50, which it reached back on February 13.

3. It has a high dividend and is a dividend-growth play

TransCanada pays a quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share, or $2.08 per share annually, which gives it stock a 5% yield, and this is significantly higher than the industry average yield of 3.2%. It is also very important for investors to note that it has raised its annual dividend payment for 15 consecutive years, and it has a program in place to increase it by another 8-10% annually through 2020, making it one of the top dividend-growth stocks in the market today. 

Is there a place for TransCanada in your portfolio?

TransCanada has taken a beating in 2015, but it has the potential to widely outperform the overall market from this point forward, so all Foolish investors should strongly consider beginning to scale in to long-term positions today.

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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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