Sun Life’s stable dividend adds to its appeal

Article Excerpt

Sun Life remains a great choice for investors seeking reliable dividends during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company continues to add high-quality businesses, particularly overseas. That should let it keep raising your payments. SUN LIFE FINANCIAL INC. $53 is a buy. The stock (Toronto symbol SLF; Conservative-Growth Dividend Payer Portfolio, Finance sector; Shares outstanding: 585.0 million; Market cap: $31.0 billion; Dividend yield: 4.2%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.sunlife.ca) lets investors tap Canada’s third-largest life insurance company by market cap, behind Manulife Financial (No. 1) and Great-West Lifeco (No. 2). As of March 31, 2020, it had $1.02 trillion in assets under management. Starting with the December 2019 payment, Sun Life raised your quarterly dividend 5.0%, to $0.55 a share from $0.525. The new annual rate of $2.20 yields a high 4.2%. Moderate payout ratio a plus The company aims to pay out 40% to 50% of its earnings (before unusual items) as dividends. In the latest quarter, the payout ratio was 42%. That suggests there’s room to keep…

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