Once in a while, Mr. Market throws the baby out with the bath water. As global investors go into panic mode, stocks are selling off across the board regardless of their connections to the problems at hand.
This is par for the course in these situations, but savvy investors can use the opportunity to pick up their favourite dividend plays at a discount.
Canada’s largest communications company has built itself a competitive fortress that is the envy of its global peers.
Through strategic acquisitions, BCE now owns significant media and telecom assets all along the value chain.
Any time a Canadian buys a new smart phone, sends a friend a text, listens to the radio, streams a movie, reads e-mail, or watches the news, there is a high probability that a bit more money goes into the pockets of BCE’s shareholders.
BCE pays a dividend of $2.60 per share that yields 4.9%. The company expects free cash flow to increase 8-15% in 2015, and that means investors should see continued growth in the distribution.
If the Canadian economy goes into a nosedive, people will still require mobile phones and their Internet access. While the expensive coffee might get cut out of the budget, most Canadians will resist giving up their TV subscriptions.
Fortis owns and operates electricity and gas utility assets in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.
The company continues to look for opportunities to grow and maximize shareholder returns. Last year Fortis paid US$4.3 billion to acquire Arizona-based UNS Energy. The deal gives Fortis a more balanced portfolio that is already bringing in strong cash flows.
Fortis also just took advantage of a strong market for real estate to unload its portfolio of commercial properties for $430 million. This cash can be used to lower debt, invest in new assets, or pay investors a special dividend.
The company’s customers are going to turn their lights on, heat their homes, and cook their dinners regardless of what is going on in international markets. Fortis gets about 93% of its revenue from regulated assets, which means cash flow is very predictable.
The company has increased its dividend every year for the past four decades and that trend shows no sign of changing. At the moment, Fortis pays $1.36 per share that yields about 3.9%.
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 has no position in any stocks mentioned.