Dividend investors are always on the lookout for reliable stocks with stable payouts.
The best companies are often expensive, but sometimes the market serves up a nice treat, and yield seekers get a chance to pick up quality names for reasonable prices.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canada’s most international bank has operations in more than 50 countries and has spent US$7 billion in recent years to create a significant retail and commercial presence in Latin America. It’s this focus outside of Canada that makes it attractive as a long-term investment.
Through a series of acquisitions, Bank of Nova Scotia has positioned itself to benefit from the growth in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. These four countries are the core members of the Pacific Alliance, a free-trade bloc created to enable the free movement of goods and workers among the member states.
The integrated markets have a combined population of 200 million people and Bank of Nova Scotia is capitalizing on the growing demand for credit and investment services in the bloc.
In its Q1 earnings statement the bank said year-over-year retail-loan growth in its Latin American division hit 13%. Commercial loans increased by 11%.
Bank of Nova Scotia pays a dividend of $2.72 per share that yields about 4.2%. The stock has pulled back about 12% from the August highs and trades at an attractive 11 times forward earnings and 1.7 times book value.
The case for investing in Potash Corp. is a simple one. The global population is expected to grow from 7.2 billion today to as much as 11 billion in 2050.
More mouths to feed is just part of the equation. As emerging economies continue to develop, suburban sprawl consumes arable land. At the same time, all the newcomers to the global middle class are developing a taste for meat. This means farmers have to get better yields out of less land to feed more people and animals.
One way to improve production is to use crop nutrients, and potash is a key part of the mix.
Potash demand hit a record 61 million tonnes in 2014. Potash Corp. saw this coming and invested heavily in a series of expansion projects. As the new facilities switch from development to production, Potash Corp.’s capital costs will come down and output will increase. The net result should be a bonanza of free cash flow available for distribution to shareholders.
Global potash prices are under pressure right now due to a battle for market share among some of the big players, but that should be a short-term issue.
In the big picture, Potash Corp. is a solid long-term holding. The stock is down more than 16% in the past three months and now trades at a reasonable 12.5 times forward earnings. Potash pays a dividend of US$1.52 per share that yields about 5%.
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Andrew Walker owns shares of Potash Corp.