Canadian Blue-Chip Stocks: The Best of the Best for March 2024

These three stocks are the best of the best this March, providing dividends and long-term growth while remaining in defensive sectors.

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It’s still quite a difficult time to figure out where to invest for Canadians. We haven’t seen an interest rate hike since June of 2023. Yet even so, we’re still struggling with this 5% interest rate. And while many of us may have put a lot of cash in guaranteed investment certificates (GIC), we still want a couple of bucks for growth!

With that, it’s a great time to look at undervalued blue-chip stocks. Which is why today we’re going to look at the best of the best. Those that are certain to climb back and provide strong returns even in March of this year.

Utilities

When it comes to stability, investors have likely already heard that utilities are some of the best investments for protection. They provide stable income from long-term contracts, supported by a regulated industry. And one to consider right now is blue-chip stock Emera (TSX:EMA).

Emera stock is already in the essential area of utilities; however, there’s even more reason to consider this blue-chip stock. Emera offers a geographically diversified business model, with operations in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. This diversification can help mitigate risk and provide extra growth after a downturn.

Emera stock also has a strong history of growing its dividend payouts over time, with a yield currently at 5.88% as of writing! This is also a fair bit higher than other utility stocks out there, and the company hasn’t cut its dividend like others. Analysts now see potential for growth as the company continues to expand its rate base through acquisitions and organic growth. So there is certainly more room for investors looking for returns in March.

Consumer staples

There’s a reason there are “staples” and “discretionary” stocks in the consumer area. One is something you need, and the other is something you want. My kids demand milk every morning – that’s just how it is. So that means I’ll be choosing one store or another, hence the reason this area will continue to do well.

Among these, however, Loblaw Companies (TSX:L) is a titan. It offers every type of grocery operations, as well it is expanding into pharmaceuticals through its Shoppers Drug Mart investment. What’s more, it continues to hold the top dominant market share. This is more than just having a huge market, but also gives them bargaining power with suppliers to spread costs more efficiently.

This leads to higher profit margins, which leads to the ability to find methods of attracting more customers through discounts and loyalty programs. And Loblaw stock has certainly proved its worth in this regard over the last few years.

While the grocery industry is competitive, Loblaw stock has managed to maintain its growth. And now that we’re in a period of time when we need defensive stocks, Loblaw stock looks like it will continue to be a solid option for investors.

Healthcare

Finally, another thing we’ll always need is to look after our health in some form or another. And here there is a real opportunity for investors looking ahead for the next few years, even decades. The Baby Boomer population is aging, and this will likely lead to an increase in long-term care and retirement facilities.

That’s why Chartwell Retirement Residences (TSX:CSH.UN) is another strong purchase. It too is an essential service, providing housing, care and support for the growing elderly population. And the aging population will continue to be a long-term trend.

There is therefore an opportunity for more growth, especially as Chartwell stock is the largest senior living operator in Canada. Add in that the stock currently holds a 4.97% dividend yield, and it too looks like a solid blue-chip stock to buy in March.

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 Amy Legate-Wolfe has positions in Loblaw Companies. The Motley Fool recommends Emera. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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