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When I wrote Financially Strong Canadian Dividend Growth Stocks & Their Credit Ratings I looked at Canadian companies with a dividend streak of 5 of more years and Bank of Montreal [BMO.TO]: a total of 89 companies. While compiling that list I was surprised to discover that there were 8 companies that didn’t have any long term debt. In this article I’m going to take a quick look at each of these 8 companies to determine if any warrant more in-depth research. We’ll start with the company with the longest dividend streak and work our way down from there. 1st on the the list is…

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Pason Systems Inc. [PSI.TO]

“Pason Systems Inc. is a provider of data management systems for drilling rigs. The Company offers solutions, which include data acquisition, wellsite reporting, remote communications, and Web-based information management, enables collaboration between the rig and the office. It operates through three geographic segments: Canada, the United States, and International (Latin America, Offshore, the Eastern Hemisphere and the Middle East). Its Electronic Drilling Recorder (EDR) provides a complete system of drilling data acquisition, data networking, and drilling management tools and reports at both the wellsite and customer offices. Its solution Pit Volume Totalizer (PVT) is used for the detection and early warning of kicks that are caused by hydrocarbons entering the wellbore under high pressure and expanding as they migrate to the surface. Its data management system Pason DataHub collects, stores, and displays drilling data, reports and real-time information from drilling operations.”A

Pason Systems Inc. has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive calendar yearsB, but if they fail to increase their dividend by the end of 2016 they will lose this dividend streak. Pason Systems Inc.’s last dividend increase was recorded in September 2014 when they announced a 13.3% dividend increase. The quarterly dividend was increased from $0.15 to $0.17. Pason is in the oil & gas equipment & services industry so I’m not surprised they haven’t increased their dividend since 2014 as this industry has been hit hard by low oil prices. They are currently losing money and have negative earnings. As they are not making enough money to cover the dividend and they have a history or sporadic earnings I am not currently interested in investing in this company.

As of August 31, 2016 their dividend yielded 3.6%B. They have 5 and 10 year dividend growth rates of 15.6%B and 22.8%B respectively.

Computer Modelling Group [CMG.TO]

“Computer Modelling Group Ltd. (CMG) is a Canada-based computer software technology company serving the oil and gas industry. The Company operates through the development and licensing of reservoir simulation software segment. The Company is a supplier of process reservoir modelling software with a blue chip customer base of international oil companies and technology centers in approximately 60 countries. The Company also provides professional services consisting of specialized support, consulting, training and contract research activities. The Company is engaged in the sales and technical support services based in Calgary, Houston, London, Dubai, Bogota and Kuala Lumpur. The Company’s subsidiaries include Computer Modelling Group Inc., CMG Venezuela, CMG Middle East FZ LLC and CMG (Europe) Limited.”A

Computer Modelling Group has increased its dividend for 12 consecutive calendar yearsB, but if they fail to increase their dividend by the end of 2016 they will lose this dividend streak. Computer Modelling Group’s last dividend increase was recorded in June 2014 when they announced a 5.3% dividend increase when the quarterly dividend was increased from $0.095 to $0.100.

As of August 31, 2016 they yielded 4.3%B. They have 5 and 10 year dividend growth rates of 16.4%B and 32.6%B respectively. They have a high payout ratio above 100% so I don’t plan on investing in the company.

Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. [GS.TO]

“Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. is a wealth management company, which is engaged in providing investment management services for high net worth private clients in Canada and abroad. The Company offers its clients various investment strategies across equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes. The Company provides wealth management services to high net worth investors, including entrepreneurs, professionals, family trusts, private charitable foundations and estates, and also serves number of institutions as clients. In addition to high net worth individuals, it offers asset management services to family offices, foundations, endowments and both public and private pensions around the world. The Company derives its revenue mainly from Base Management Fees, calculated as a percentage of assets under management (AUM), and Performance Fees, calculated annually as a percentage of the change in net asset values. The Company’s subsidiary includes BFAM Holdings Inc.”A

Gluskin Sheff + Associates recorded their last dividend increase in December 2015 with an 11.1% dividend increase. The quarterly dividend was increased from $0.225 to $0.250. They also pay out special dividends occasionally. They have increased their dividend for 10 consecutive calendar yearsB and as of August 31, 2016 yielded 5.3%B which is a high dividend yield for them. In 2008 and 2009 their dividend yield reached 6.8%B and 7.5%B respectively, but beyond this anything above 5% appears historically high. They also have a high 5 year dividend growth rate of 12.5%B. These are good characteristics of a dividend growth stock, but I don’t plan on investing for two reasons. First, the payout ratio is a little high coming in at 72%B. I typically want to see a payout ratio of 60% or less. Secondly my current exposure to financials is already quite high so I shouldn’t be adding a financial like Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. to my portfolio at this time.

Enghouse Systems Limited [ESL.TO]

“Enghouse Systems Limited develops enterprise software solutions for a range of vertical markets. The Company operates through two segments: the Interactive Management Group and the Asset Management Group. The Interactive Management Group specializes in customer interaction software and services that are designed to manage customer communications across the enterprise. Its technologies include contact center, attendant console, voice response, dialers, agent performance optimization and analytics that support telephony environment, deployed on premise or in the cloud. The Asset Management Group provides a range of products to telecom service providers, utilities, and the oil and gas industry. Its products include Operations Support Systems (OSS), Business Support Systems (BSS), Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) solutions and conversion services. The Asset Management Group also provides fleet routing, dispatch, scheduling, communications and emergency control center solutions.”A

Enghouse Systems Limited’s most recent dividend increase  was recorded in May 2016 when they increased the quarterly dividend 16.7% from $0.12 to $0.14. Enghouse Systems Limited has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive calendar yearsB and as of August 31, 2016 yielded a low 1.0%B. They have a 5 year dividend growth rate of 23.4%B. Their payout ratio is a reasonable at 39%B.

I’d be more interested in this company if the dividend yield were higher. At 1% it is too low for me to get interested in as a dividend growth investor. Looking back to 2007 when they started paying a dividend I was able to confirm that the company typically has a low dividend yield. The highest it reached was 2.9%B in 2008. In 2009 it got as high as 2.5%B. If the company were to get closer to a 2.5% dividend yield, then I’d consider investing after completing more research at that time.

What are your thoughts on Enghouse Systems Limited?

Jean Coutu Group [PJC-A.TO]

“The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. is a Canada-based company, which is engaged in franchising pharmacy chains. The Company operates through two segments: franchising and generic drugs. Within the franchising segment, the Company carries on the franchising activity under the banners of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Jean Coutu Sante and PJC Jean Coutu Sante Beaute; operates approximately two distribution centers, and coordinates various other services for its franchisees. In the generic drugs segment, the Company owns Pro Doc Ltd, a Canadian manufacturer of generic drugs whose revenues come from the sale of generic drugs to wholesalers and pharmacists. The Company has approximately 420 PJC franchised stores in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. The Company’s services to its franchisees include centralized purchasing, distribution, marketing, training, human resources, management, operational consulting and information systems, as well as a private label program.”A

Jean Coutu Group’s most recent dividend increase was recorded in May 2016 when they increased the quarterly dividend 9.1% from $0.11 to $0.12. Jean Coutu Group has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive calendar yearsB and as of August 31, 2016 yields 2.5%B which is historically quite high for the company. In 2008 and 2010 the dividend yield got as high as 2.6%B and earlier this year the dividend yield topped these previously high dividend yields. They have 5 and 10 year dividend growth rates of 15.4%B and 13.6%B respectively. The payout ratio is reasonable at 42%B.

I’m interested in this stock, but I’ll need to do some more research before investing. The Quebec Government is proposing changes to the rules around generic prescription drugs which could affect Jean Coutu Group’s business and I need to learn more about this first.

What’s your take on Jean Coutu Group? Is now the time to buy, or is it too risky right now? Please comment if you know more about the potential changes to the generic drug business in Quebec.

Franco-Nevada Corp [FNV.TO]

“Franco-Nevada Corporation (Franco-Nevada) is a gold-focused royalty and stream company. The Company’s additional interests are in platinum group metals and other resource assets. The Company operates in the segment of resource sector royalty/stream acquisitions and management activities. The Company’s business model provides investors with gold price and exploration optionality. The Company has a diversified portfolio of royalties and streams by commodity, geography, revenue type and stage of project. Its assets include Gold (the United States), Gold (Canada), Gold (Australia), Gold (Rest of World), Platinum Group Metals, Other Minerals, and Oil and Gas. The Company’s projects include Goldstrike complex, Gold Quarry, Marigold, Pinson, Sterling, Sandman, Robinson, Sudbury basin, Golden Highway, Musselwhite, Hemlo, Hardrock, Duketon, Henty, Red October, Edna May, Wiluna, Palmarejo, Sabodla, Subika, Edikan, Cerro Moro and Edson property.”A

Franco-Nevada Corp has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive calendar yearsB and as of August 31, 2016 yielded 1.3%B. They have a 5 year dividend growth rate of 22.6%B. They recently recorded a dividend increased in June 2016 when the quarterly dividend was increased by 4.8% from $0.21 to $0.22. I don’t plan on investing in this company as the dividend yield is low and the payout ratio is high. 

Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd [CSW-A.TO]

“Corby Spirit and Wine Limited, formerly Corby Distilleries Limited, is a marketer of spirits and imported wines. Its segments include Case Goods and Commissions. The Case Goods segment produces and distributes the Company’s beverage alcohol brands. The Commissions segment represents non-owned beverage alcohol brands in Canada. The Company is affiliated with Pernod Ricard S.A. (PR). Its portfolio of owned-brands includes J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whisky, Lamb’s rum, Polar Ice vodka and McGuinness liqueurs. Through its affiliation with PR, the Company also represents international brands, such as Absolut vodka, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Ballantine’s Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Beefeater gin, Malibu rum, Kahlua liqueur, Mumm champagne, and Jacob’s Creek, Wyndham Estate, Stoneleigh, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and Kenwood Vineyards wines. Its products are also exported for sale to the United States, Europe and other international markets.”A

Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive calendar yearsB and as of August 31, 2016 yielded 3.5%B. They have 5 and 10 year dividend growth rates of 6.3%B and 3.3%B respectively. Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd’s most recent dividend increase was 5.6% when they recorded a quarterly dividend of $0.19 in November 2014 which was an one cent increase from the prior dividend of $0.18. If they fail to increase their dividend this year they will lose their 5 year streak. Their payout ratio is 85%B which is on the high side so I won’t be investing. Also their dividend growth rates aren’t as high as I’d like them to be. If their payout ratio drops and they get back to meaningful dividend increases then I’ll reconsider them at that time. 

Nevsun Resources Ltd [NSU.TO]

“Nevsun Resources Ltd is a Canada-based base metals mining company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of mineral property interests. Its segment is the mining business in Africa. Its principal property is the Bisha Property, which hosts a gold, copper and zinc deposit, and includes satellite volcanogenic massive sulfides (VMS) deposits at Harena, Northwest, Hambok, Aderat and Asheli. The Company’s principal mining operation is the Bisha Mine, an open pit copper-zinc mine. The Company owns the Mogoraib River Exploration License, which covers an area of approximately 41.1 square kilometers. The Bisha Mine is located approximately 150 kilometers west of Asmara, over 40 kilometers southwest of the regional town of Akurdat and approximately 50 kilometers north of Barentu, the regional or zone Administration Centre of the GashBarka District, in Eritrea. The Company also develops the Timok copper and gold project, which is located in Serbia.”A

Nevsun Resources Ltd has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive calendar yearsB, but will lose this streak if they fail to increase their dividend this year. Their last dividend increase was recorded in December 2014 when their quarterly dividend was increased 14.3% from $0.035 to $0.040. As of August 31, 2016 Nevsun Resources Ltd yielded 5.1%B. They have a high payout ratio of 200%B and erratic earnings so I won’t be investing.

Final Thoughts

After going through these eight companies I was surprised by the number of companies that I wasn’t interested in, despite the fact that they have no long term debt. Of the eight companies only three piqued my interest. Just goes to show that while a strong financial position is important, it is not the only thing to consider. I found Jean Coutu Group the most intriguing and I plan to do some more research on the company. I’d consider Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. and Corby Spirit and Wine Ltd more seriously if they can bring down their payout ratios. That said I already have a lot of financial companies in my portfolio so I doubt Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. will make it onto my short list.

Of these eight companies, which interest you the most? 




B August 31, 2016 Canadian Dividend All-Star List

Photo credit: sinkdd via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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  1. Thanks for a great, informative article. I am also not interested in the above companies for the same reasons. So, thanks for helping me formulate my personal “black list”. Because I’m over 60 and don’t have a long time to wait for dividend growth rates to grow, I am only interested in solid, reliable companies that already pay over 3% and have a solid track record in increasing dividends.
    I look forward to your future articles on this topic.

  2. Helen:

    A solid company with initial yield over 3% AND with a high dividend growth rate is the golden fleece we all look for. Problem is that everyone else s buying that stock o, so the price is high and yield low. Please let us know if you manage to find such a stock.


    I think I read that the founder(s) of Gluskin Sheff is demanding a large payout when he retires. If so, this cloud will probably limit future dividend increases.

  3. I meant to add:

    Enghouse is a great stock in terms of total return. If your horizon is (say) 10 years, then the high dividend growth rate surpasses the initial low dividend yield. Worth a look.

    1. I don’t know much about the company Enghouse, and you could be right about total return, but it’s still too low for me. At 1% it is a very low starting point. Even at 20% annual dividend growth; which is hard to sustain for long periods of time, the yield on cost only gets to 2.5% in year 5 and 6.2% in year 10.

  4. I have been a dividend investor for a long time, but just discovered this most excellent blog site. While reading the author’s comments on the above 8 stocks, it occurred to me how very much like my own thinking DGI&R’s is, especially when it comes to yield of interest and payout ratios. At 3%, my criteria for yield is a bit higher than 2.5%, but I would certainly consider a solid stock yielding as low as that. Just as the author has indicated other factors are considered such as sector weight in my portfolio. Payout ratio can also be a concern of mine. While I’d consider a stock paying out over 60%, it would have to be extremely inviting otherwise. Utilities for example, typically operate quite consistently with payouts higher than 60%.

    Re the above 8, I am most interested in Jean Coutu and would like to see more input on that one especially as it relates to Quebec’s proposed changes to generic prescription drugs rules.


  5. Forward P/E estimates are higher than the current 33%, payout ratio is a paltry 34%, return on assets and equity are higher than the industry norm, etc etc. There is no reason currently to doubt that a dividend growth rate of 20% (achieved since inception and over 3 and 5 year periods) cannot be sustained.

    But if the dividend growth rate DOES falter, sell and reap the consideravble capital gains.

    Of course, to make this scenario work, to get aYield on Cost of 10% in ten years, you need a purchase price of about $34.67. S put the stock on your watch list and wait. If the stock price falls toward that level, you can buy my shares because I will be selling! 

  6. This is a great site and I’ve used it a few times over the past year. Thanks a heap. This is my first time to comment so I thought I should finally says thanks. Along with info on this site I got into CWB with good value and am kicking myself I didn’t take more. Up 42% and counting dividends. It was risky with oil but they seemed to carry little risk and are diversifying. This will be a long term hold for me.

    Anyway, does anyone have any news on the generic drug reform proposed in Quebec. It appears a few provinces have gone down this path and scrapped it at the last minute. How would the proposal effect JC’s internal drug distribution? How much of it’s revenue from generic drugs is sourced from external sources? I need to do some research obviously.

    Good luck to all investors.

  7. Any thought changes on Franco Nevada, Share price has pulled back – we can wait and see if it goes lower. Given its steady and consistent producing capital increases I’ve been interested. I like your site, and enjoy reading your analysis, any further thoughts or would you consider changing your opinion on this stock.


    1. I haven’t done a huge amount of research on Franco Nevada as it’s payout ratio seemed too high to warrant it. I can’t figure out why they keep raising their dividend when earnings don’t cover the dividends. It’s not a trend you can keep going forever. Like I said, I haven’t done a huge amount of research, but at first glance it’s not a company I’m interested in.

      It’s also in a sector (basis materials) that doesn’t typically do well for dividend growth investors long term as dividend cuts are more common in this sector. It’s hard to find wide moat stocks in the basic materials sector that can support long term dividend growth.


      1. Speaking of sectors, it seems difficult to construct a well-diversified portfolio of Canadian stocks. The financials are strong, and in good times energy stocks are strong, but in other sectors what do you have?

        In telecommunications, Shaw and Telus look poor compared to Verizon and AT&T.

        In transportation, CNN (NYSE ticker CNI) looks good, but what other DG Stocks look good? Any recommendations?

        1. Hi Len,

          I agree it is hard to construct a well-diversified Canadian portfolio of strong dividend growth stocks. In fact I don’t think it can be done which is why I try and supplement my portfolio with international dividend growth stocks to fill in the gaps. I’ve listed my short list of strong Canadian dividend growth stocks below. Keep in mind that I haven’t made my mind up on all of these yet, so do your own further research. Also some currently have high payout ratios so I wouldn’t invest unless the payout ratios drop to a more reasonable level.

          Basic materials
          – Nothing

          Communication Services
          – Telus
          – Rogers Communications (subject to credit rating improvement)
          – BCE (subject to credit rating improvement)

          Consumer Cyclical
          – Richelieu Hardware Ltd.
          – Canadian Tire Corp Ltd (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)

          Consumer Defensive
          – Saputo Inc.
          – Jean Coutu Group
          – Andrew Peller Ltd. (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)

          – Enbridge Inc
          – Canadian Natural Resources
          – Transcanada Corp.
          – Suncor Energy Inc

          Financial Services
          – Canadian Western Bank
          – National Bank
          – Bank of Nova Scotia
          – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
          – Royal Bank of Canada
          – Toronto Dominion Bank

          – Nothing

          – Canadian National Railway
          – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

          Real Estate
          – Canadian REIT (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)

          – Enghouse Systems Limited (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)

          – Canadian Utilities
          – Fortis Inc
          – Atco Ltd.
          – Emera Incorporated
          – Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)
          – Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. (Haven’t made my mind up 100% with this one, but worth further research)

          1. Thanks for the list, author. (By the way, do you go by a name, or do you prefer “author”?)

            I have many of your stocks on a watch list, but it’s thin gruel, as you say. Sometimes the growth rate is low, or the initial dividend yield is too small. My personal goal is a YOC of about 10% in ten years. Difficult to find these at today’s lofty prices, but almost impossible on the TSX.

            I am going to have to import a few international stocks like you.

            But one stock, BIP, looks interesting. What do you think?

            1. Author or DGI&R is fine.

              With BIP there is the limited partnership (LP) structure and their use of funds from operations (FFO) instead of earnings (EPS) that has prevented me from investing as I haven’t taken the time to fully research the LP structure vs. a corporation and why they don’t use EPS. When a company is not using EPS to make their dividend growth decisions I get a little wary as some future large costs are not amortized in FFO so from a long term perspective the dividend increase decisions can become short sighted. That isn’t to say that I won’t invest in these types of companies, but it takes more research for me to really understand them. Basically my comfort level of understanding BIP’s company and structure isn’t quite where it needs to be yet for me to invest.

              Looking at the 2015 annual report it looks like their target payout ratio is 60% to 70% of FFO.

              “Our objective is to pay a distribution to unitholders that is sustainable on a long-term basis while retaining within our operations sufficient liquidity to fund recurring growth capital expenditures, debt repayments and general corporate requirements. We currently believe that a payout of 60% to 70% of our FFO is appropriate.”

              My hunch is that BIP is probably a worthy dividend growth stock, but at this point I’m still at the “hunch” stage, so without further research I’ll be on the sidelines. From a valuation perspective I haven’t looked at it recently either.

              What’s your take on BIP?

            2. One more quote from the 2015 annual report of BIP: “We target a 5% to 9% annual distribution growth in light of the per unit FFO growth that we foresee in our operations. We intend to review our distribution per unit in the first quarter of each year in the normal course”.

  8. What about XTC, it’s currently yielding 2.6% with a conservative net debt, low payout and great dividend growth streak. The sector currently seems out a flavor which makes the stock an attractive buy and a reasonable valuation right now. Your thoughts?

    As others mentioned I’ve based many of my investing decisions off your dividend growth spreadsheet and valuable research. Have you ever considered adding previous years EPS growth rate or CAGR as you’ve done for the dividend growth rate?

    Many thanks and happy holidays!

  9. Regarding the comment: ” it seems difficult to construct a well diversified portfolio of Canadian stocks”. If you buy a Canadian Bank you do have great diversification, as they own a lot of somethings and a little of almost everything. The dividends are dependable with payout ratios below 50%. There are some red flags now but history is on their side. If the Banks go down the tube, the whole Canadian economy will tank. The Federal government would have no choice but to force the taxpayers to cover the shortfall.

  10. More on BIP. Thee is an American website that analyzes a lot of dividend stocks traded on the NYSE and Nasdaq, as BIP is. This site gives BIP a score of 68/100 for safety of the dividend (68 is pretty safe), a score of 60 for dividend growth in future (equating to about 7-8% in the owner’s estimation).

    I take a different approach to estimating the future dividend growth. I take the most sedate period of dividends in the past (anywhere between inception of dividends and about 2006), average them with the past 4 years of dividends (usually higher CAGRs) to get a conservative estimate of dividend growth. ThenI average this figure with the estimate from the US website I subscribe to to get a blended likely dividend growth rate going forward.

    BIP’s future dividend growth rate should be about 9.78% per year. I invested a bit into BIP, not a lot.

  11. Great site and posts.

    More on BIP

    The many “figures” to consider > % > $ > P/E Ratio > Debt > Price/Cash Flow > past > future > present etc..etc…. When all looks favorable .

    Go figure this one ??

    Kinder Morgan, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners’ Pipelines To Be Investigated For Over-Recovery Of Costs
    2:49PM ET on Thursday Jan 19, 2017
    02:49 PM EST, 01/19/2017 (MT Newswires) — Kinder Morgan (KMI)-owned pipelines are the subject of new investigations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that will seek to determine if costs were over-recovered, the Commission said in a statement.

    FERC will investigate the rates of Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, jointly owned by Kinder Morgan, and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP), and Wyoming Interstate Company, wholly-owned by Kinder Morgan.

    FERC said it will launch Natural Gas Act section 5 investigations of the rates charged by the pipelines “to determine if the companies may be substantially over-recovering their costs, resulting in unjust and unreasonable rates.”

    The Commission reviewed the cost and revenue information provided by the companies for 2014 and 2015. FERC estimates Natural’s return on equity for the years to be 28.5% and 20.8%, respectively, while WIC’s return on equity was estimated to be 17.7% and 19%, respectively. Based on the figures, FERC said it is “concerned” that each pipeline’s level of earnings may exceed its actual cost of service, including a reasonable return on equity.

    FERC directed each pipeline to file a cost and revenue study for the latest available 12-month period within 75 days.

    Price: 22.37, Change: -0.07, Percent Change

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