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Portfolio Strategy

New names among the dividend growth stars Add to ...

As a company increases its dividends over the years, it boosts the yield that shareholders get from the money they invested. If you buy a $10 stock with a 20-cent annual dividend, your initial yield is 2 per cent. If the company raises its dividend to 60 cents over a period of time, your yield on the $10 cost of your shares rises to 6 per cent.

"Most of the stocks I have I bought years ago," Mr. Connolly said. "If dividend growth stops, I'm still getting a high yield on cost."

The power of a rising yield on cost is well documented by CPMS's list of the stocks that have been included in its Dividend Growers portfolio the longest. Remember, that's the annual list the firm creates of stocks that increased their dividends the previous year.

Take SNC-Lavalin, for example. CPMS added it to the portfolio at the end of 1993 at a split-adjusted cost of $2.08 and the yield on cost was 32.7 per cent at the end of last year. SNC has already clocked in with another dividend increase in 2011, so the up-to-date yield on cost is 40.4 per cent.

Some of the banks may be cranking up their dividends again, but the overall trend in Canada for dividend growth is disappointing. The 2011 version of CPMS's Dividend Growers portfolio includes the shares of 48 companies that increased dividends the previous year. That's down from 53 in 2010 and 65 in 2009. Back in 2006, before the financial crisis, there were 74 dividend growth stocks in the portfolio.

If the menu of dividend-growth companies is getting smaller, there's at least a core of stocks that keep on delivering. SNC-Lavalin stands out in this group, although it's not immune from Mr. Connolly's criticism. "It's a terrific company," he said, "but it's never cheap."

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Dividend Growth Stars of Today, Part One

Here's a list of the TSX-listed stocks that have increased their dividends at least once per year over the past decade. The stocks are listed from highest 10-year dividend growth rate on down.

Company

Ticker (TSX)

Annual Dividend ($)

Share Price ($)

Yield (%)

5-yr Ann. Div. Gwth (%)

10-yr Ann. Div. Gwth (%)

Home Capital Group

HCG

0.72

52.36

1.4

26.75

34.14

BMTC Group Inc.

GBT.A

0.24

19.83

1.2

24.58

28.81

Saputo Inc.

SAP

0.64

44.79

1.4

13.20

25.36

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

SNC

0.84

54.62

1.5

28.47

23.86

AGF Management Ltd.

AGF.B

1.04

18.44

5.6

11.25

19.06

Empire Company Ltd.

EMP.A

0.80

53.97

1.5

7.26

18.12

Cdn. National Railway

CNR

1.30

74.40

1.7

13.75

16.56

Metro Inc.

MRU.A

0.77

47.29

1.6

12.02

16.14

Ensign Energy Services

ESI

0.38

17.80

2.1

8.21

15.34

Toromont Industries Ltd.

TIH

0.64

18.68

3.4

12.22

14.51

Enbridge Inc.

ENB

0.98

30.68

3.2

10.13

10.34

Fortis Inc.

FTS

1.16

31.64

3.6

13.89

9.31

Atco Ltd.

ACO.X

1.14

61.15

1.9

6.75

8.71

TransCanada Corp.

TRP

1.68

42.29

4.0

5.66

7.18

Cdn. Utilities

CU

1.61

55.90

2.9

6.85

5.31

Imperial Oil Ltd.

IMO

0.44

43.69

1.0

7.36

5.16

Source: Morningstar Canada

Dividend Growth Stars of Today, Part Two

These TSX-listed companies have the highest dividend growth rates over the past 10 years, but some may not have raised dividends annually. Companies that cut dividends in the past decade are omitted.

Company

Ticker (TSX)

Annual Dividend ($)

Share Price ($)

Yield (%)

10-yr Div. Gwth (%)

Shaw Communications

SJR.B

0.92

20.60

4.4

43.96

Home Capital Group

HCG

0.72

52.36

1.4

34.14

Veresen Inc.

VSN

1.00

13.91

7.1

29.56

Industrial Alliance

IAG

0.98

40.61

2.4

29.31

BMTC Group Inc.

GBT.A

0.24

19.83

1.2

28.81

Sun Life Financial Inc.

SLF

1.44

28.24

5.1

28.21

Saputo Inc.

SAP

0.64

44.79

1.4

25.36

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

SNC

0.84

54.62

1.5

23.86

Reitmans

RET.A

0.80

15.00

5.3

22.80

Le Chateau Inc.

CTU.A

0.70

8.65

8.0

21.48

Arbor Memorial Svcs

ABO.B

0.44

24.60

1.8

20.18

AGF Management Ltd.

AGF.B

1.04

18.44

5.6

19.06

Empire Company Ltd.

EMP.A

0.80

53.97

1.5

18.12

Cdn. Western Bank

CWB

0.56

30.00

1.9

17.87

Suncor Energy Inc.

SU

0.44

37.29

1.2

16.75

Source: Morningstar Canada

Dividend Growth Stars of Today, Part Three

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