Is Enbridge (TSX:ENB) A Top Pick Heading Into 2020?

Enbridge Inc (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB) was one of the top-performing energy stocks of 2019. It looks to ride this momentum and remain a top sector pick in 2020.

| More on:
edit Person using calculator next to charts and graphs

Image source: Getty Images.

The energy sector hasn’t had a great year. Year to date, the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index is in negative territory with a loss of 0.67% thus far. In comparison, the S&P/TSX Composite Index is enjoying one of its best years in a decade, up 18.25% in 2019. Volatile oil and natural gas prices, pipeline constraints, and oil curtailments are just some of the headwinds holding the sector back.

That being said, not all energy companies have struggled, and there have been some notable standouts. Case in point, Canada’s largest energy company: Enbridge (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB). In 2019, Enbridge’s returns have far outpaced the sector and eclipsed that of the TSX, as it is up 19.46% year to date. It is a welcomed rebound for a company that lost almost 16% of its value the year prior.

This past week, the company held its annual investor conference. Is Enbridge a top pick heading into 2020? Let’s take a look.

A top dividend-growth company

Let’s start with the dividend, as Enbridge is considered one of the best income stocks in the country — for good reason. This midstream giant is a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat and has the 10th-longest dividend-growth streak in the country. This past week’s 10% raise marks the 25th consecutive year of dividend growth. It is an impressive feat considering how volatile the energy sector has been over the past decade.

Speaking of its 10% raise, the company held true to its commitment to raise dividends by 10% from 2018 through 2020. When management keeps their word, it re-enforces their status as a reliable income company. Enbridge is targeting a 65% dividend-payout ratio as a percentage of distributable cash flow (DCF). As of end of year, the ratio stood at exactly 65%, and as such, investors should expect the dividend to rise in line with DCF. Post 2020, the company expects to achieve 5-7% DCF per-share growth.

With a 5.77% yield and mid- to high annual dividend growth, Enbridge remains one of Canada’s top income stocks.

Strong growth opportunities

To sustain its momentum, Enbridge will have to successfully deliver on its $5.5 billion of secured growth opportunities in 2020. To do so, it aims to keep the debt level below five times EBITDA. This is well and good, but all eyes are on the delayed Line 3 expansion. Previously scheduled for 2019, there remains no clarity on when the project could be operational. Line 3 is expected to double capacity of the existing pipeline and provide strong cash flows.

Somewhat timely, Enbridge received a bit of good news the day before its investor conference. Minnesota’s Department of Commerce found no serious threat to Lake Superior in the event of a crude oil pipeline leak. Despite this, even if all goes smoothly from here on out, Line 3 won’t contribute to financials until at least 2021. Likewise, another delay or setback could have a negative impact on the company’s share price.

Decent value

Last year’s selloff was clearly overdone, and despite impressive gains in 2019, Enbridge remains attractively valued. It is currently valued at a reasonable 16.78 times next year’s earnings. Furthermore, it is trading at a steep discount to its own five-year historical price-to-book, price-to-sales, and price-to-earnings historical averages. These also happen to be at or below industry averages.

Analysts remain bullish, as nine analysts rate the company a “buy” and have a one-year price target of $55.30 per share.

A top energy stock for 2020

Considering the company’s strong performance, Enbridge is riding a wave of positive momentum heading into 2020. With a hefty backlog of projects, the company will continue to drive growth and remain a very attractive dividend-growth stock.

The biggest risk is news related to Line 3, which can lead to significant share price volatility. Positive developments will no doubt lead to a strong 2020 and outperformance. On the flip side, more setbacks could lead to a down year, such as the one it experienced in 2018. Since company estimates do not factor in Line 3, any dip in share price as a result of related news should be viewed as a buying opportunity.

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 Mat Litalien owns shares of ENBRIDGE INC. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Enbridge.

More on Dividend Stocks

woman retiree on computer
Dividend Stocks

2 Dividend Stocks That Will Pay You for Years and Years

Top TSX dividend stocks are starting to look oversold.

Read more »

TFSA and coins
Dividend Stocks

2023 TFSA Contribution Time: 2 Dividend Stocks to Buy With $6,500

Are you interested in using some of your 2023 TFSA contribution room? Here are two dividend stocks to buy with…

Read more »

money cash dividends
Dividend Stocks

2 Stocks Under $100 You Can Buy and Hold Forever

While many stocks continue to trade cheaply, here are two of the best in Canada to buy today and hold…

Read more »

Senior Man Sitting On Sofa At Home With Pet Labrador Dog
Dividend Stocks

Retirees: 2 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Buy for Passive Income

Given their solid underlying businesses and high dividend yields, these two dividend stocks are an excellent buy for retirees.

Read more »

Early retirement handwritten in a note
Dividend Stocks

2 TSX Dividend Stocks to Buy Today to Help You Retire Early

Buying these two reliable TSX dividend stocks today can help you retire early if you hold them for the long…

Read more »

Doctor talking to a patient in the corridor of a hospital.
Dividend Stocks

Is Northwest Healthcare Stock Oversold?

Northwest Healthcare stock has plummeted 41% so far this year on concerns over its financial health as interest rates shot…

Read more »

TFSA and coins
Dividend Stocks

How to Earn $1,800 Per Year in a Self-Directed TFSA

This TFSA investing strategy can reduce risk and still generate attractive tax-free passive income.

Read more »

edit Sale sign, value, discount
Dividend Stocks

TFSA Income: 2 Great Canadian Dividend Stocks Now on Sale

Top TSX dividend stocks now offer attractive yields.

Read more »