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Dividend hikes aren’t official until the board approves them, but these companies are likely to come through with increases again next month.

Ryan Modesto, CFA, is Managing Partner at 5i Research, a conflict-free investment research provider for retail investors offering research reports, model portfolios and investor Q&A. 5i Research provides content under an agreement with The Globe and Mail, which receives royalty compensation. Try it.

At 5i Research, we like to deal in multiples of five. Whether it's our roundup of five must-read links every week, our model income portfolio that targets a 5 per cent total portfolio yield, or the five 'I's' that our company lives by, the number five is a common theme our members come across. So to stick with the theme, we wanted to highlight five stocks with dividend yields in excess of 5 per cent

Crius Energy Trust

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Crius is involved in the sale of energy and natural gas contracts. The company takes a different approach from their competitors, such as Just Energy, through a white-label approach where the company leverages the brand and familiarity their partners have with potential clients, as opposed to trying to build a relationship from scratch. What is most interesting is that Crius yields roughly 7.4 per cent, is growing the dividend consistently while having very little in the way of debt and a payout ratio below 60 per cent. Crius is also getting into the solar business, which offers some potential upside.

Gamehost

Gamehost is a casino operator located in Alberta that has fallen on tough times over the last two years due to the downturn in the oil sands, along with forest fires. While the company has had to face some events outside of the company's control, as the Alberta economy improves, so should spirits, employment and discretionary spending at hotels and casinos, areas that Gamehost benefits from. With a 6.7-per-cent yield and payout ratio at 91.5 per cent, the dividend is higher risk but things look to be improving, as opposed to declining as they were just a year ago. Investors need to be aware of liquidity with a name like Gamehost though, as the shares can be less liquid.

Brookfield Renewable Partners

Brookfield Renewable is a renewable energy infrastructure company that operates hydro plants and wind farms. These assets help Brookfield pay 5.96-per-cent dividend yield that has grown over the years, while also being compatible with investors looking for stocks that meet the environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates.

Richards Packaging

We may be a little shy of the 5-per-cent yield requirement here at 4.87-per-cent, but we figured a 210-per-cent return over five years more than makes up for the yield. Richards Packaging is probably one of those consumer staples companies you have never heard of, but have likely used their products in the form of plastic and glass containers.  The dividend has grown by 6 per cent over five years. Perhaps even more interesting, insiders own over 30 per cent of the outstanding shares.

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Valener

Speaking of companies you have never heard of, Valener is likely up there on the list as well, even though it yields 5.1 per cent and is up 45 per cent over five years.  What makes Valener most interesting is the 29-per-cent interest the company has in Gaz Métro, a Quebec-based natural gas distributor.  In addition to the Quebec assets, Valener also has exposure to a portfolio of wind-energy assets.

While we tend not to equate high-yielding names to being safe per se, dividends can be a great way to earn a return while allowing the investor to reinvest funds however they wish. It is a classic case of a bird in the hand being better than two in the bush. Not to mention that dividends also allow investors to be patient and hold onto stocks during weak markets. While these high yielders won't be for everyone, we hope they will help to offer some ideas for the income portion of a portfolio.

Readers can follow @5iresearchdotca on twitter to get timely updates on dividend initiations, increases and cuts in Canadian markets.

Please perform your own due diligence before making investment decisions.

In order to remain truly conflict-free, the writer and employees of 5i Research cannot take a position in individual Canadian equities.

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