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Will Sceptre boost payout? Add to ...

After two major mutual fund companies rewarded their owners with dividend increases this week, analysts expect Sceptre Investment Counsel to join the trend by boosting its payout on Thursday.

DundeeWealth doubled its quarterly dividend on Monday, while AGF Management followed through on a promised increase in its payout with a 4 per cent boost to the quarterly dividend when it released financial results on Wednesday.

AGF reported a quarterly profit that more than doubled to $30.6-million from $12.2-million in 2009, and assets were up 34 per cent to $43.8-billion. In a report, BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst John Reucassel said the fund company made a "solid start to fiscal 2010."

Sceptre is a smaller money manager, and is expected to post a 25 per cent increase in profit, year-over-year, and a 13 per cent rise in its assets under management, according to a report this week from analyst Phil Hardie at Scotia Capital. If he's correct, Sceptre is now home to $7.25-billion of assets.

"With a significant improvement in market conditions from when Sceptre slashed its dividend by 50 per cent, we believe that its board may declare an increased quarterly dividend of $0.07 per share, up from the current level of $0.06 per share," said Mr. Hardie.

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