It’s been a long winter for many Canadians, and even though our spring season is usually short, we’ll still be looking forward to it as the snow finally melts, along with our winter melancholy. In that spirit, we look at three Canadian stocks to help usher in the new season with positive energy.
Despite BCE Inc.’s (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) recent public arguments with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission on various TV-related topics, the media giant’s stock is a winner. It has climbed 13% in the past year, notwithstanding a recent blip where the stock fell from its recent high of $60 per share.
Like its main rival, Rogers Communications Inc., BCE offers television, Internet, home phone, and mobile phone services. So, no matter how much the Internet disrupts traditional TV programming, BCE has all the bases covered. The company recently unveiled its Crave service for consumers who eschew cable television. And the popularity of mobile phones shows no signs of waning.
BCE also offers a healthy dividend of $0.65 per share for a yield of 4.83%. It’s hard to believe, but BCE has been providing dividends to investors for 134 years since 1881.
Canadian bank stocks have suffered modest declines of late mainly because of economic worries and concerns about high consumer debt levels. Still, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) recently reported adjusted earnings of $2.1 billion, up 5% from the same period in the previous year. TD offers a quarterly dividend of $0.51 and a yield of 3.8%.
Bank president Bharat Masrani said in a recent speech that he expects 2015 to be a challenging year, “trapped in a modest growth and low inflation environment,” combined with a decline in oil prices and low interest rates. However, TD has hedged its bets with significant investments in its U.S. retail banking franchise, which will likely act as a fiscal stimulus for the bank.
Despite the economic worries, TD shares have largely maintained their upward trajectory, losing just 2% in the past three months. TD has also shown itself to be a leader in other areas. For example, the bank recently became the first private issuer of green bonds in Canada.
“Through the TD Green Bond, the bank will now be able to offer investors an investment vehicle that supports environmental mandates while providing a market rate of return,” TD said in a release.
Thomson Reuters Corporation
Thomson Reuters Corporation (TSX:TRI)(NYSE: TRI) has successfully transformed its business from a newspaper and broadcast empire to a specialty provider of business information and data. Chairman David Thomson, who inherited the business from his father Kenneth Thomson, purchased the Reuters news business in 2008. The share price, which was down 25% in 2012, has recovered with gusto, rising 35% in the past year.
In its latest quarterly report, Thomson Reuters reported adjusted earnings of $0.43 per share, up from $0.21 per share in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Revenue was down slightly, but at $3.2 billion, it is still quite healthy. The company also announced a 1.5% increase to its quarterly dividend to US$0.335 per share, bringing its annual payment to $1.34 per share and giving its stock a yield of approximately 2.7%. It’s the 22nd consecutive year in which the company has raised its dividend.
These three stocks are perfect for the income investor, particularly if you are seeking dividend growth and don’t want to spend the summer worrying about where these shares are heading. To top it off, all three are members of the Jantzi Social Index, a group of 60 “best-in-class” companies that meet various environmental, social, and governance standards.