Skip to main content

What are we looking for?

Sustainable dividends from companies steeled by Marvel or other superhero franchises.

The screen

A torrent of accolades marked the death of Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee this week. The reaction highlights the continuing success of superhero movies. Marvel characters, including Spider-Man and Black Panther, have blockbuster appeal worldwide.

Superhero productions are also profitable on Netflix and other streaming services. Disney’s service – Disney Plus – will join them in late 2019 and showcase new iterations of its Marvel, Star Wars and other characters.

Story continues below advertisement

Our search started with stocks whose strong prospects are strengthened by superhero franchises. We then applied our TSI Dividend Sustainability Rating System. It awards points to a stock based on key factors:

  • One point for five years of continuous dividend payments – two points for more than five;
  • Two points if it has raised the payment in the past five years;
  • One point for management’s commitment to dividends;
  • One point for operating in non-cyclical industries;
  • One point for limited exposure to foreign currency rates and freedom from political interference;
  • Two points for a strong balance sheet, including manageable debt and adequate cash;
  • Two points for a long-term record of positive earnings and cash flow sufficient to cover dividend payments;
  • One point if the company is a leader in its industry.

Companies with 10 to 12 points have the most secure dividends, or the highest sustainability. Those with seven to nine points have above-average sustainability; average sustainability, four to six points; and below average sustainability, one to three points.

More about TSI Network

TSI Network is the online home of The Successful Investor Inc. – the group of widely followed Canadian investment newsletters by editor and publisher Pat McKeough. They include our award-winning flagship newsletter, The Successful Investor. The TSI Best ETFs for Canadian Investors is the latest. TSI Network is also affiliated with Successful Investor Wealth Management.

What we found

Our TSI Dividend Sustainability Rating System generated six stocks. Industry giant Walt Disney Co. purchased Marvel in 2009 for US$4-billion. It also owns the Stars Wars franchise. Japan’s Sony Corp. holds the rights to Marvel’s lucrative Spider-Man characters, including current hit movie Venom. (Before its sale to Disney, Marvel cleaved off exclusive movie rights to Spider-Man – including related characters such as Venom – and sold them to Sony.) Toy maker Hasbro Inc. now owns kids-friendly Power Rangers and has a new film in development. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures will pump out more popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. Telecom giant AT&T Inc. harnesses its own superhero power through ownership of Warner Bros., and the DC Comics universe, which includes Wonder Woman and Batman. And finally, while Cineplex Inc. shares lost ground this week, it will continue to gain from the release of superhero blockbusters.

We advise investors to do additional research on investments we identify here.

Scott Clayton, MBA, and James Bates, CFA, are associate editors at TSI Dividend Advisor.

Select TSX-listed stocks that appear reasonably valued

Ranking* Company Ticker Dividend Sustainability Rating Points Div. Yield (%) Market Cap. (US$Bil) Share price (US$) 1Yr Total Return (%)
1 AT&T Inc. T-N Highest 10 6.6 186.2 30.51 -9.1
2 Walt Disney Co. DIS-N Above Average 9 1.4 173.8 117.12 14.4
3 Hasbro Inc. HAS-Q Above Average 8 2.6 12.1 96.69 1.4
4 Sony Corp. (ADR) SNE-N Above Average 8 0.4 64.7 51.14 11.7
5 Cineplex Inc.** CGX-T Above Average 7 6.1 2.3 28.56 -22.7
6 Viacom Inc. VIAB-Q Above Average 7 2.5 12.9 31.79 31.0

Source: Dividend Advisor

Ranking is determined by TSI Dividend Sustainability Score. Where overall points are the same, analysts considered P/E, dividend yield and industry outlook to decide final placements

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies