BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) and Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) are solid picks for investors who just want to buy reliable stocks and forget about them for a decade. BCE BCE looks much different now than it did a decade ago, but the core reasons for owning the stock have not changed: steady revenue growth and reliable dividend increases. BCE has gone from being a basic telephone company to a media and communications powerhouse. Some long-standing investors were initially concerned about the expansion down the value chain, but the timing appears to be right as the lines blur between communication and content consumption….
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BCE looks much different now than it did a decade ago, but the core reasons for owning the stock have not changed: steady revenue growth and reliable dividend increases.
BCE has gone from being a basic telephone company to a media and communications powerhouse. Some long-standing investors were initially concerned about the expansion down the value chain, but the timing appears to be right as the lines blur between communication and content consumption.
The company still operates a world-class wireline and wireless network that spans the country, but it also owns sports teams, a television network, retail outlets, specialty channels, radio stations, and popular Internet portals. At this point, BCE is so well entrenched in the Canadian market that most people interact with the company on some level every week, if not every day.
Think about it. If you send a text, call your friend, stream a movie, download a song, watch the news, listen to the weather report, or check your email, the odds are pretty good that a BCE product or service was involved somewhere along the line.
That’s a compelling business, and one that should remain dominant for many years to come.
BCE continues to invest in its quest to conquer the country. The most recent deal is an agreement to buy Manitoba Telecom Services for $3.9 billion. Some pundits think the sale could be blocked, but I suspect it will be approved.
BCE has the money to make the necessary investments Manitoba desperately needs, and the company has already negotiated a deal to sell a portion of the mobile assets to Telus in a bid to head off competition concerns.
Despite pumping billions into new infrastructure and acquisitions, BCE still generates enough free cash flow growth to ensure a steady pace of dividend increases. The stock isn’t cheap, but investors get a rock-solid business with a plump yield of 4.4%.
Fortis is an electricity generation and natural gas distribution company with assets located in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.
Over the years the business has expanded through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, and that trend continues.
Last year Fortis delivered record net income of $2.11 per share. New revenue coming from the 2014 acquisition of Arizona-based UNS Energy and the expansion of the company’s Waneta hydroelectric facility in British Columbia supplied most of the gains.
This year, Fortis is spending US$11.3 billion to acquire ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent pure-play transmission company in the United States.
Investors like Fortis because it has a great track record of successfully integrating new assets, and the majority of the company’s revenue comes from regulated businesses. This means cash flow should be predictable and reliable, which is great for dividend fans.
Fortis has increased its distribution to shareholders every year for more than four decades. The current dividend offers a yield of 3.7%.
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Fool contributor Andrew Walker has no position in any stocks mentioned.