Q: Hi, Pat. My question relates to the Horizons Active Preferred Share ETF. Compared to holding the preferred shares of individual companies, does an ETF like this provide any advantages? Is this the best one to buy if you want to buy such an ETF? Thanks!

A: Preferred shares behave more like long-term fixed-income instruments rather than short-term instruments. So while short-term interest rates are still relatively low, the outlook for long-term interest rates is less certain.

The underlying credit quality of preferred share issuers can be a negative factor in some… Read More

Growing utility’s new target cuts risk

Growing utility’s new target cuts risk

This diversified Canadian utility plans to raise its annual dividend rate between 4% and 5% each year through 2021. That’s down from its previous 8% target, but this more modest growth conserves cash for new projects and pays down debt.

That’s why this company has our… Read More

Emera can handle its debt load

EMERA INC. $44 (Toronto symbol EMA; Income Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares o/s: 233.0 million; Market cap: $10.3 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.7; Divd. yield: 5.4%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.emera.com) has spent $2 billion in the past year on new projects. Those include its 49.5%-owned Labrador Island Link, which… Read More

Emera’s new target cuts its risk

Emera now plans to raise its annual dividend rate between 4% and 5% each year through 2021. That’s down from its previous aim to raise the dividend 8% annually through 2020.
The company cut that growth target to conserve cash for new projects and pay down… Read More

Expect dividend increases from these four

Rising interest rates generally reduce the appeal of income stocks, including utilities. However, recent acquisitions by these four industry leaders—and their new projects—set them up for years of higher dividends.
CANADIAN UTILITIES LTD. (Toronto symbols CU [class A non-voting] $31 and CU.X [class B voting] $31; Income Portfolio, Utilities sector;… Read More

Updating BCE Inc., Bank of Montreal and Emera Inc.

BCE INC. $51 (Toronto symbol BCE; Conservative Growth and Income Portfolios, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 898.0 million; Market cap: $45.8 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 2.0; Dividend yield: 5.8%; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; www.bce.ca) stands to gain from the new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada (called… Read More