Still a top choice for income seekers

Article Excerpt

BELL ALIANT REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS INCOME FUND $26 (Toronto symbol BA.UN, Conservative Growth Portfolio, Utilities sector; Units outstanding: 127.3 million; Market cap: $3.3 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.0; Dividend yield: 11.2%; SI Rating: Above Average) will convert to a dividend-paying corporation on January 1, 2011. That’s when Ottawa will start taxing income-trust distributions. Investors will receive one common share of the company for each trust unit they hold. As part of the conversion, the trust will change its name to “Bell Aliant Inc.” It will also change its trading symbol to “BA”. The trust will continue to pay monthly distributions of $0.2417 a unit until just after its conversion. The current annual rate of $2.90 yields 11.2%. Starting in March 2011, Bell Aliant will change the rate and frequency of its payout: It will switch to quarterly dividends of $0.475 a share. The new annual rate of $1.90 would yield a high 7.3%, based on today’s price. As well, investors who hold Bell…

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