Power Financial Corp.: This Boring Stock Could Make You Rich

Stocks don’t get much more boring than Power Financial Corp. (TSX:PWF).

The company itself doesn’t really do much of anything. It’s primarily a holding company for three different entities. The biggest is a 67.4% stake in Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO), one of Canada’s largest financial services companies. Great-West is primarily a life insurer, but it also offers things like group benefits and wealth management.

Power Financial’s next biggest holding is a 61.2% stake in IGM Financial Inc. (TSX:IGM), the parent company of Investors Group. IGM boasts some 5,000 agents in Canada, folks that sell mutual funds, mortgages, insurance, and other wealth management products to consumers.

Finally, the company has a 50% stake in Parjointco, a Dutch-based holding company that is co-owned with Belgian businessman Albert Frere. This joint venture then owns a 55.5% stake in Pargesa, another holding company. Pargesa owns large positions in several big European companies including the Belgian stock exchange, Imerys, and Total, the French energy giant.

Finally, Power Financial owns a 59.8% stake in Wealthsimple, a robo-advisor that uses online software to build low-cost portfolios for individual investors.

Add up all those stakes, and Power Financial should have an equity value of approximately $31 billion. If we take off the $2.6 billion in preferred shares outstanding, we get a sum of the parts valuation of $28.3 billion.

Shares of the conglomerate have a current market cap of $22.3 billion, meaning investors are paying for the stake in Great-West Life (worth $23.5 billion at current prices), while getting 61% of IGM Financial, 50% of Parjointco, and 59.8% of Wealthsimple for free.

As a value investor, I enjoy getting assets for free. But that’s not the only reason to be bullish on Power Financial.

Great earnings

Not only are investors getting Power Financial cheap on an assets basis, they’re also getting a good deal when looking at the company’s earnings.

Over the last 12 months, Power Financial has reported earnings of $2.80 per share. That puts shares currently at just 11.2 times trailing earnings, which is one of the cheapest valuations in the whole market.

Earnings are projected to get even better going forward; analysts expect 2016’s bottom line to come in at $3.07 per share, and 2017 is projected to be even better with earnings slated to be $3.34 per share.

That puts shares currently at just 10.2 times 2016’s projected earnings and at 9.4 times 2017’s expectations. That is about as cheap as stocks get in today’s high-valuation world.

Fantastic dividend

The TSX Composite is up more than 20% since bottoming in mid-January. Power Financial hasn’t performed as well, increasing less than 6% during that same time period.

While this might not be great news for long-time shareholders, it is presenting a nice opportunity for dividend investors. Shares currently yield 5%, which is a terrific payout compared to traditional fixed-income products.

After years of stagnant dividends, 2015 saw Power Financial hike its quarterly payout from $0.35 per share to $0.37. The company followed that up with another hike in 2016 to $0.39 per share. For a stock yielding 5%, that’s solid dividend growth.

Historic outperformance

Even though the conglomerate discount has adversely affected Power Financial shares, it has still done a terrific job making investors rich during its entire time as a publicly traded company.

A $10,000 investment in the company two decades ago with dividends reinvested would be worth $144,928 today, excluding any taxes, brokerage commissions, or other expenses. That’s an overall return of 14.3% per year.

Power Financial is a boring stock; there’s no doubt about it. It doesn’t actually do anything, it just holds stakes in other financial companies. But there’s no arguing with its results over the years. It’s the kind of stock investors can put away for a very long time.

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Fool contributor Nelson Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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