Look beyond the banks for reliable dividends

Article Excerpt

GREAT-WEST LIFECO INC. $28 (Toronto symbol GWO; Conservative Growth Payer Portfolio, Finance sector; shares outstanding: 988.4 million; Market cap: $27.7 billion; Dividend yield: 5.6%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.greatwestlifeco.com) is Canada’s second-largest insurance company, after Manulife Financial. It also offers mutual funds and wealth management services. Power Financial Corp. (Toronto symbol PWF) owns 67.7% of the company. With the March 2018 payment, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 6.0%, to $0.389 a share from $0.367. The new annual rate of $1.56 yields a high 5.6%. In the past few years, Great-West has used acquisitions to expand, particularly in Ireland. Recent purchases in that country include Aviva Health and the 51% of GloHealth that Great-West didn’t already own. The company also purchased an undisclosed stake in the Irish operations of Invesco Ltd. (New York symbol IVZ). That business manages the pension plans of 275 of Ireland’s large corporations and over 500 of its smaller companies. Great-West also paid an undisclosed amount for U.S.-based EverWest Real Estate…

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