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Brookfield Renewable(BEP-N)
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If I Could Buy Only 1 Dividend Stock, This Would Be It

Motley Fool - Sun Aug 7, 4:52AM CDT

I'm not an income investor. However, more than one-third of the stocks that I own pay dividends. There are also plenty of other dividend stocks that I like.

It isn't difficult to identify my favorite dividend stock. Actually, it's a surprisingly easy decision. If I could buy only one dividend stock right now, this would be it.

A two-for-one choice

In a sense, the one dividend stock at the top of my list is really two stocks. Brookfield Renewable Partners(NYSE: BEP) is a limited partnership (LP). Brookfield Renewable Corporation(NYSE: BEPC) shares the same underlying business but trades under a separate ticker.

I already own both stocks. If push came to shove, though, I'd choose Brookfield Renewable Corporation above Brookfield Renewable Partners. Investing in LPs comes with some tax hassles. That's a key reason BEPC shares were created in the first place.

Without that differentiating factor, you could flip a coin to pick between the two. Both stocks pay exactly the same distribution. Their dividend yields can sometimes vary because their share prices can differ a little. However, both currently yield 3.41%.

Brookfield Renewable has increased its distribution by a compound annual growth rate of 6% since 2013. The company expects to continue growing its distribution over the long term by between 5% and 9% annually.

Beyond the dividend

As much as I like Brookfield Renewable's dividend, it's not the main reason the stock is my favorite dividend stock right now. What I prize the most about Brookfield Renewable is its underlying business.

There aren't any slam dunks with investing, but renewable energy stocks arguably come as close as you'll get. The U.S., Canada, the European Union, the U.K., Brazil, China, India, Japan, and South Korea have all committed to significant reductions in carbon emissions. Achieving those goals will be very difficult with increasing the use of renewable energy.

The costs per megawatt/hour for generating energy using onshore wind and solar is already lower than the costs using coal and gas. This advantage is projected to increase over the coming years.

Brookfield Renewable ranks as one of the leading global providers of renewable energy with a proven track record of success. It owns hydroelectric, solar, wind, distributed generation, and storage facilities on four continents that have a combined capacity of 21 gigawatts.

The company's development pipeline capacity is more than three times greater than its current capacity. And while Brookfield Renewable currently generates roughly half of its power from hydro facilities, it plans to focus largely on solar and wind with its new initiatives.

Brookfield Renewable's stock performance has handily beaten the S&P 500 as well as the S&P Utilities Index and S&P 500 ESG Index since it was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. The company expects to generate average annual returns of between 12% and 15% going forward.

What's not to like?

Probably the biggest knock against Brookfield Renewable is that it depends on borrowing to finance much of its capacity expansion. Rising interest rates could make it more expensive for the company to grow.

The company also faces risks. For example, a dam failure at one of its hydroelectric power stations would present a huge blow. Also, competition will likely intensify -- especially in wind and solar.

But these potential issues certainly aren't unique to Brookfield Renewable. There's a lot more to like about the company and its two stocks than there is to dislike.

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Keith Speights has positions in Brookfield Renewable Corporation Inc. and Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Brookfield Renewable Corporation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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