What are we looking for?
ESG-friendly, quality companies demonstrating growth at acceptable valuations.
Essentially, our search combines the three most used fundamental factors: quality, growth and value. The objective is to find a solid company that grows and has an reasonable valuation. We consider environmental, social and governance criteria as part of our qualitative analysis.
We screened Canadian stocks focusing on the following criteria:
- Market capitalization higher than $5-billion;
- StockPointer (SP) score of 70 or higher – the SP score is a complex composite that focuses on quality and value. The score varies between zero and 100. A score of more than 60 is considered solid.
- PEG (price/earnings-to-growth) ratio below two – The ratio considers valuation and growth. It is the price-to-earnings ratio divided by the five-year mean of earnings per share growth.
- ESG score lower than 22.1 – the current score of the S&P/TSX 60. The score uses Sustainalytics’s methodology to calculate unmanaged ESG risks. The score is the sum of the ESG risks. The score mostly varies between zero and 50, where zero stands for the most ESG-friendly company.
For informational purposes, we have also included the recent stock price, P/E ratio, five-year EPS growth mean, ESG scores, three-year dividend growth rate, one-year price return and dividend yield. Please note that some ratios may be shown as of the previous quarter’s end.
More about Inovestor
Inovestor for Advisors is a fundamental-analysis research platform specializing in the economic value-added (EVA) approach. With Inovestor, advisers can quickly identify attractive investment opportunities, outsource their stock picking by using model portfolios and easily communicate investment decisions with clients through client-friendly reports.
What we found
Life insurer Manulife Financial Corp. has the most reasonable price relative to its growth, with a PEG ratio of 0.41, a result of its low P/E ratio of 9.3 and high EPS growth (five-year mean) of 22.6 per cent. Since the beginning of the year, the Government of Canada 10-year bond yield has increased by approximately one percentage point. Signs of a strong economic recovery tend to push bond yields higher. A rising yield environment tends to favour insurance companies because higher interest rates are inclined to generate higher fees.
Telecommunications company Quebecor Inc. achieved the highest five-year EPS growth of our list, at 30.7 per cent, while selling at a below-average P/E of 16.3. Note also its annual dividend growth of 96.8 per cent in the previous three-year period. The company announced on Feb. 25 that it will lift its quarterly dividend for 2021 by 38 per cent, continuing its streak of dividend hikes. Quebecor could benefit from reduced competition if Rogers Communications Inc.’s deal to purchase Shaw Communications Inc. goes through.
Hydro One Ltd., the electricity transmission and distribution utility serving Ontario, has an ESG score that is 26.2 per cent less than that of the S&P/TSX 60. The company has a virtual monopoly on the transmission of electricity, an essential good, which provides a high degree of stability to its operations. The company’s net income is inflated because of a favourable tax event in the past year, but it should not change its position in the table.
Investors are advised to do further research before investing in any of the companies listed in the accompanying table.
Anthony Ménard is an investment analyst at Inovestor Asset Management.
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