Many dividend investors follow a simple mantra. When it comes to the security of a payout, a longer history is better.
While the United States has a greater variety of stocks with very impressive dividend histories, that part of the Canadian market is still filled with some formidable organizations, companies that dominate their industries, attract much of the top talent, and are poised to continue growing.
In short, these are names that you should be considering for your portfolio.
Let’s take a look at a few of Canada’s most impressive dividend payers — companies that haven’t missed a payout for at least the last 50 years.
Bank of Montreal
Let’s start with the most impressive streak. Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO)(NYSE:BMO) is Canada’s oldest bank, with a consecutive dividend streak it has maintained since 1829. The company has paid dividends for 190 years in a row.
You’ve got to be impressed with that streak.
BMO is well positioned to maintain the streak for a while, too. The company is firmly entrenched as one of the members of the Big Five Canadian banking cartel — huge organizations that effectively control banking in this country.
Its mortgage, credit card, capital markets, wealth management, and insurance businesses churn out profits quarter after quarter, results that are usually a little higher than last year’s.
The company is taking these profits and reinvesting them in the United States, with that part of the firm posting some solid results lately. Revenue is up 5% thus far in 2019, with adjusted net income from the U.S. personal and commercial banking division soaring by approximately 15%.
Remember, the U.S. banking system is more fragmented than Canada’s, giving the company more potential to make acquisitions south of the border and further boosting growth in the future.
BMO’s current quarterly dividend is $1.03 per share, which is good enough for a 4.3% yield.
The company has amassed a very impressive collection of assets, including more than 27,000 kilometres of crude oil pipelines, nearly 42,000 kilometres of natural gas pipelines, and the company is Canada’s largest natural gas utility with operations in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
Enbridge also has a large renewable energy division that generates enough power to meet the electricity needs of nearly 700,000 homes.
Despite interest rates marching lower lately — which is good news for a heavy borrower like Enbridge — the company’s shares are virtually flat over the last year. This is despite several growth projects coming on line that should add to profits. In other words, it looks like a good buying opportunity.
Enbridge shares currently yield a very impressive 6.5%.
Many energy companies were forced to cut their payouts over the last couple of years when the price of crude oil collapsed. Imperial Oil Limited (TSX:IMO)(NYSE:IMO) not only maintained its payout, but has also raised it each of the last 25 years. The company also hasn’t missed a dividend for at least a century.
There have been a lot of ups and downs in the energy market over the last 100 years. Imperial Oil has prospered no matter what the underlying energy market does, which is impressive growth.
You can’t beat Imperial’s assets today, either. The company is one of the leaders in the oil sands — production that has become cheaper thanks to some aggressive cost-cutting measures. It also owns refineries across Canada, which provide steady cash flow independent to the price of crude.
And it supplies gasoline to more than 2,000 branded service stations across Canada, making it the leader in that part of the sector.
Imperial Oil also has the strongest balance sheet in the sector, maintaining a AA+ rating. To put that into perspective, the United States government also has a AA+ debt rating.
Imperial Oil’s dividend yield is 2.5% today.
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Fool contributor Nelson Smith owns shares of ENBRIDGE INC and Bank of Montreal. The Motley Fool owns shares of Enbridge. Enbridge is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.