Get Rich Slowly With These 3 Dividend-Growth Superstars

Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), Canadian Utilities Limited (TSX:CU), and Canadian Western Bank (TSX:CWB) have the longest streaks of annual dividend increases in Canada, making them must-own stocks. Which should you buy?

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As history shows, dividend-paying stocks far outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term, and the top performers are those that raise their rates every year. Well, there is no public corporation in Canada with longer streaks of annual increases than Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), Canadian Utilities Limited (TSX:CU), and Canadian Western Bank (TSX:CWB), so let’s take a closer look at each to determine if you should buy one or more of them today.

Fortis Inc.

Fortis is one of the largest electric and gas utilities companies in North America with operations in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.375 per share, or $1.50 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 3.7% at today’s levels.

It is also important for investors to make three notes.

First, Fortis has raised its annual dividend payment for 43 consecutive years, tying it with Canadian Utilities Limited for the longest active streak for a public corporation in Canada.

Second, its 10.3% dividend hike in September 2015 has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 44th consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

Third, the company has a target dividend-growth rate of 6% annually through 2020, which would bring its streak of annual increases to 48, and I think it is safe to assume that it will extend this program or announce a new one as we get closer to 2020.

Canadian Utilities Limited

Canadian Utilities Limited is a diversified global corporation with operations in structures and logistics, pipelines and liquids, and electricity generation, distribution, transmission, and infrastructure development. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.325 per share, or $1.30 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 3.6% at today’s levels.

Investors must also make two important notes.

First, Canadian Utilities Limited has raised its annual dividend payment for 43 consecutive years, tying it with Fortis for the longest active streak for a public corporation in Canada.

Second, its 10.2% dividend hike on January 7 has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 44th consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

Canadian Western Bank

Canadian Western Bank is one of the largest banking institutions in Canada’s four western provinces with approximately $22.8 billion in total assets. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share, or $0.92 per share annually, which gives its stock a yield of about 4% at today’s levels.

It is also important for investors to make three notes.

First, Canadian Western Bank has raised its annual dividend payment for 23 consecutive years, which puts it behind only Fortis and Canadian Utilities Limited for the longest active streak for a public corporation in Canada.

Second, its 4.5% dividend hike in December 2015 has it on pace for 2016 to mark the 24th consecutive year in which it has raised its annual dividend payment.

Third, the company has a target dividend payout of approximately 30% of its net earnings, and in December 2015 it stated that it “remains well positioned to support continued long-term shareholder value through growth in both earnings and common share dividends.”

Which of these dividend superstars belong in your portfolio?

Fortis, Canadian Utilities Limited, and Canadian Western Bank are the undisputed kings of dividend increases, so all Foolish investors should strongly consider initiating positions in at least one of them today.

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 Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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